The Knicks continue to anxiously await word on whether Carmelo Anthony will opt in for next season, where he’s set to make $23.3 million. The deadline for his decision is Monday, and most signs point towards him opting out, despite productive meetings with Knicks president Phil Jackson. In that event, it seems the Bulls have pulled ahead of the Rockets as his “most likely” destination.
A source informs SNY.TV and The Knicks Blog the Bulls are ‘Melo’s most likely landing spot, “unless Houston can come up with something other than Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik.”
The Chicago Bulls are the most likely landing spot for Carmelo Anthony, a league source told SNY.TV and The Knicks Blog.
Assuming he follows through with his plan to opt-out by Monday’s deadline, Anthony could either sign with the Bulls for less money than he is due to make with the Knicks ($129 million over five years) or be moved to Chicago in a sign-and-trade deal.
“He is looking to leave if one of the teams he likes can get a deal done with New York,” the source said. “He knows New York is not good enough the way they are currently constructed. Melo wants to win now. He will move if he feels that team can win.”
The source added that Chicago was the most likely landing spot “unless Houston can come up with something other than Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik.”
As we’ve reported previously, both Houston and Chicago have to finagle the necessary cap space to afford ‘Melo’s maximum-level contract. Chicago would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer, then drop Taj Gibson and one other player to afford Anthony. The Rockets, meanwhile, need to rid themselves of the final “poison pill” years on the deals for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik if they’re to open up enough cap space to sign a max deal for ‘Melo. Don’t put it past Rockets GM Daryl Morey to do just such a thing.
A more likely scenario, as mentioned by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently, is a sign-and-trade involving the Knicks and Bulls, with Boozer and either the No. 16 or 19 pick in exchange for Anthony before this coming Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Regardless, it seems ‘Melo isn’t long for New York, with the Windy City or the most populous city in Texas as the likely victor for his services.
Between Chicago and Houston, where does ‘Melo go?
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