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LeBron's max limits odds to team with Melo

Carmelo Anthony to Miami was always viewed as a long shot, but LeBron James’ quest for a maximum contract, as reported by ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, all but ends any chance the Miami Heat have of landing Melo. It also creates a big hurdle for any team that's hoping to acquire both James and Anthony.

Here’s why:

The plan to get Carmelo to Miami always included the Heat’s Big 3 taking big pay cuts to make room to sign Anthony.

The Heat are expected to have $55 million in cap space. In order to make a competitive offer for Anthony, all three of its stars would have to accept deals with first-year salaries of approximately $14 million. This would allow the Heat to offer Anthony a contract starting at $14 million.

But if James signs a maximum contract with Miami worth $22 million in the first season, Bosh and Wade would have to split up the remaining $19 million in cap space in order to give Antony a contract starting at $14 million. That's asking a lot of Bosh and Wade.

In theory, if Wade or Bosh were to sign elsewhere, the Heat would have more salary cap space to offer Anthony a competitive contract. But that seems unlikely at this point.

In regards to Anthony and James teaming up together in an another city, that scenario also seems far-fetched now that James is seeking a max contract.

The Los Angeles Lakers are one team hoping to lure James and Anthony but the Lakers are planning to offer both contracts starting at $18 million, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. If James is seeking max money, that scenario won’t work.

The Rockets, in theory, could still land James and Anthony if they were to sign one as a free-agent and acquire the other in a sign-and-trade.

But, in reality, James’ wishes for a max deal limits the chances that he’ll end up with Anthony in Miami -- or any other city.

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