Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony have spoken about Melo’s impending free agency, and the big fella says Anthony should approach it strictly as a business decision. (Insert Knicks breaking into a nervous sweat here.) Per USA Today:

The power play he pulled on the Orlando Magic to get to the Los Angeles Lakers in Aug. 2012 was classic NBA star stuff, not all that different from the way players like the Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony went from smaller markets in Denver and Utah, respectively, to bigger ones.

But Howard’s follow-up chapter – the one where he left approximately $30 million in extra earnings behind in order to pursue rings and happiness in Houston – was an entirely new twist. The question now, of course, is whether he blazed a trail that Anthony and others like him will take in the future.

As Anthony ponders the merits of leaving the woeful Knicks (21-36) and all their dysfunctional ways behind in free agency this summer, there’s no better blueprint to consider following than the one drafted by Howard.

“He has been in the league for a long time,” Howard said about Anthony. “He hasn’t made it to the Finals and at this point in his career he wants to win. You can see it every night when he plays. I know he has to take a lot of shots and all that stuff, but he just wants to win.

“I can’t say (what he’ll do). That’s on him. He’s got to decide. (But) he can’t be what everybody else wants. In this situation, you’ve got to take your heart out of it…So I’d just say for him, take his heart out of it and think with his head and think about business.”

“If you don’t win, you’re not going to get all the (off-court) stuff you want anyway,” Howard said. “I saw that last year (in Los Angeles). I was in the biggest market for the NBA, and we lost, so those (companies) aren’t going to be coming to you for losing.

“When I was in Orlando, a small market, and we were winning. I was very popular with a lot of different deals on the table. So it’s moreso about winning, and you’ve got to put yourself in a position to where you’re winning basketball games and you’re having fun doing it. Losing is not fun, and Melo wants to win.”

“I know he has just got to do what’s best for him,” Howard said. “I’ve been through it. I’ve seen it. The same people that love you one day, if you don’t do what they want you to do, then they’re going to hate you. You’ve got to always remember that you’ve got to do what’s best for you at the end of the day. If people don’t like you, you can’t stop that.”