NBA News: Carmelo Stays; Deng Goes; Bosh OK With LeBron Move

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carmelo-anthony-knicksIn the end, Carmelo Anthony said his heart was in New York. It didn’t hurt that $122 million was there, too.

The Knicks star forward shunned the Chicago Bulls and other suitors and inked a five-year, $122-million contract to return to New York, where surely there will be pressure to perform with that kind of money going into his direct deposit.

He actually took less than the max of $129 million the Knicks could have offered, to allow the team some salary cap flexibility.

“I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart,” Anthony said in the statement. “I am looking forward to continue my career in orange and blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.”

Said Jackson, the team’s president: “He did exactly what we kind of asked him to do. Give us a break in the early part of his contract so that when we have some wiggle room next year, which is hopefully big enough wiggle room, we can exploit it, provide a more competitive team for our group.”

Luol Deng Bolts Cavs For Heat; He’s LeBron’s Replacement

Luol Deng surely would not like to be called LeBron James’ replacement. But, in essence, that what he signed on for when he agreed to a two-year, $20-million deal to join the Heat.

Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix had been in consideration for Deng, according to ESPN sources. HeĀ is entering his 11th NBA season, having spent almost his entire career with the Chicago Bulls, who traded him to Cleveland in January.

Chris Bosh On LeBron Going To Cleveland: ‘No Hard Feelings’

LeBron James’ move back to Cleveland broke of the erstwhile “Big 3” in Miami. But his decision did not move Bosh to bolt, too, despite a four-year, $88-million offer from Houston.

“[There were] very enticing offers,” said Bosh, 30, who re-signed with the Heat for five years and $112 million. “There was some surprising advances made in everything, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami. I think it was the right choice. I benefit from it, the team will benefit from it, from here. My heart was in Miami. I wanted to be there and keep my family there and build relationships and really keep building on something special.”

Bosh said there were “no bitter feelings” about James leaving Miami.

“We’re all making decisions to make ourselves happy and our families happy,” Bosh said . “That doesn’t take away what we’ve done together and the special bond that we created and the special bond that we have and just all the memories that we had together. That will never change. As you move forward, you appreciate those moments and keep going forward.”

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