As the rumor mill continues to churn, Carmelo Anthony seems more and more likely to be leaving the Knicks. According to a Yahoo report, Melo’s priority is to pursue a Championship next season, and “re-signing with the Knicks continues to fade as his priority.”

The Bulls and Rockets reportedly are the main suitors for Anthony’s services, with both front offices working diligently to shore up cap room:

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is leaning toward leaving in pursuit of immediate championship contention, and awaits the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign him in free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

 

As re-signing with the Knicks continues to fade as his priority, Chicago and Houston have emerged as the clear frontrunners to acquire Anthony, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

 

Anthony’s meeting with Knicks officials on Friday night had little impact on his state of mind, league sources said, because there remain too many uncertainties about how quickly president Phil Jackson can reshape the team into a championship contender.

 

Chicago and Houston front-office executives are working diligently on contingencies to clear the space to sign Anthony outright – or engage sign-and-trade scenarios with New York, sources said.

 

“His heart is in New York,” one source familiar with Anthony’s thinking told Yahoo Sports, “but he wants a chance to win now.”

Melo will reportedly opt out of the final year of his contract that would have paid him $23 million next season.