Top free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could have reportedly influenced Anthony's possible return to the Knicks.
The Knicks considered bringing back Carmelo Anthony if the franchise had acquired other top free agents this summer, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
If New York signed free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Anthony could have been added to a roster built around veteran talent, reports Charania.
Instead, Durant and Irving went to the crosstown Nets and the Knicks look to rebuild with a roster mixed with both younger and experienced players, which includes No. 3 draft pick R.J. Barrett.
Meanwhile, Anthony is still looking for a home ahead of the 2019 season and his inner circle also reportedly talked with Team USA about a possible reunion. However, both sides decided against Anthony's return.
Anthony remains unsigned after parting ways with the Rockets last season. While the Lakers talked about bringing him on last year, it doesn't appear that it will happen this season. Charania reports that Anthony "would likely find a significant contract" in China if he ever received an offer from the Chinese Basketball Association. Ice Cub's Big 3 could also present a possible opportunity for him, considering other former veteran players have landed there.
Current players around the league have lobbied for Anthony's return to the NBA in 2019 and don't want to see him retire yet. Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard even took to Twitter to express his support for Anthony and replied to a comment by saying "Melo should be [playing]."
NBA executives reportedly think that if Anthony doesn't receive a deal, he could end up signing a one-day contract with the Knicks to retire like Amar’e Stoudemire did in 2016.