NBA Rumors: LeBron James Will Need to Fight for Carmelo Anthony to Cavaliers Deal

Through the opening stages of free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers have mostly watched and waited.

Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets kicked things off, followed by Paul George to Oklahoma City Thunder for what could be a stay as short as a year. It's possible that both George and Russell Westbrook will be gone next summer, putting enormous pressure on the Thunder to win in a competitive Western Conference. Reacting to losing Paul, and with J.J. Redick off to the Philadelphia 76ers, the L.A. Clippers gave All-Star, injury-prone power forward Blake Griffin $175 million over five years.

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Almost all of the major moves so far have happened in the Western Conference, though Gordon Hayward is currently taking a tour of Boston including a visit to Fenway Park.

And the Cavaliers, too, could be about to strike. According to ESPN, Anthony has told the New York Knicks he would be open to waiving his no-trade clause to go to northeast Ohio.

Anthony, the ten-time All Star, found himself the target of ex-Knicks President Phil Jackson's frustrations. Jackson said in April that the Knicks had been unable to win with the 33-year-old and that Anthony would be "better off somewhere else."

Anthony is reportedly keen on joining James, in a move that would make the Cavaliers even more of an overwhelming favorite to advance out of the East.

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But it may not be as easy as James clicking his fingers. The Rockets' bold move for Paul has put the NBA on notice and Anthony would also be interested in joining Paul and James Harden.

If the Rockets aren't already a serious rival to the Golden State Warriors then signing the New York native might make them so. A move to Houston would be high-risk, high-reward for Anthony, heading into the jaws of what has become an even more competitive Western Conference this summer.

Then again, if Anthony-Harden-Paul works, it has the potential to be even scarier than Anthony-James-Irving, with a better chance of bringing Anthony his first championship.

His decision may come down to the giant influence of James. It might be time for James to leave his backseat role and drag Anthony to Cleveland. Or at least send him emojis, as the Celtics have been doing to Hayward.

NBA Rumors: LeBron James Will Need to Fight for Carmelo Anthony to Cavaliers Deal | Sports