2014 Free Agency / Jun 20, 2014 / 4:45 pm

Report: Bulls Most Likely Landing Spot For ‘Melo

Carmelo Anthony, Kirk Hinrich

Carmelo Anthony, Kirk Hinrich (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

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.

Then again reigning DPOY Joakim Noah has been purportedly courting ‘Melo since the all-star break this year, and there’s no accounting how much those talks have swayed Anthony’s thinking.

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.

(The Knicks Blog)

Between Chicago and Houston, where does ‘Melo go?

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  • Jimbo

    Ok am I missing something because nobody seems to be mentioning that if the knicks are alrdy over the cap next yr how can they take back 30 mill in salary between asik n lin?? Even if they let go of melos contract I don’t think he was set to to make 30 mill next year. Also most people aren’t mentioning that bulls have 3 low level players they can drop with mike James audmenson and Ronnie brewer to clear up a little more cap room and then getting rid of dunlevy would probably do the trick without loosing taj. Either way looks like the bulls got the rockets beat on this one. Hello new big 3 In the east!!

  • jtrain23

    I will dance in the streets if the Bulls can get ‘Melo for Boozer and one 1st rounder. I don’t even think that would work with the salary cap and exchanging of contracts. The Bulls would have to include someone like Mike Dunleavy. Still, this needs to happen if it’s a possibility. If the Bulls can get Anthony for Boozer, Dunleavy, and BOTH 1st round picks, I would be happy.

  • Mario Cardone

    There are plenty of exceptions in the rules, for example Knicks I believe are over the cap even if Melo is off the books, but they are allowed to re-sign him (thats 1 exception) if Knicks sign a rookie (thats another exception) if Knicks sign ANY player at minimum or vet minimum or even that mid level money. Plenty of exceptions, including for trading though I don’t know what it is exactly.

  • 3dsoul27

    what if the Bulls and Knicks don’t get something done (or even Rockets and Knicks for that matter) and Anthony simply opts out? Then, the Bulls would Amnesty Boozer and try some other miracle to make financial space for Melo. Meanwhile, another team would simply sign boozer. In that case, Melo would likely be signing with the Bulls for much less than he wants. I wonder if Melo will really be all about “winning” then. I actually think the Knicks are holding some pretty good cards here. The Bulls need to make a really nice offer to get a deal done.

  • Jimbo

    Ryt so either way knicks would be wayyy over the cap if they try to trade for lin or asik or even both? Looks like rockets really don’t have much of a chance then as they make it out to seem. Unless they trade the two to some other team without taking any salary/players back? Bulls can easily create cap space by amnesting boozer and dropping the contracts of the three I mentioned I guess they would just need to find a taker for dunlevy.

  • Kreigh Hook

    they aren’t going to trade Boozer. They are gonna amnesty him. Trading Gibson and probably Dunleavy as well as amnesty Boozer will give us enough cap space to do the sign and trade. I’d throw in next years 1st round draft pick too.

  • jtrain23

    The Bulls will trade Boozer given the chance. I don’t think they will be able to due to lack of a trade partner.

    The fact is that most teams that are interested realize they can wait for him to be amnesty and then sign him for much cheaper.

    Their only chance is finding a team that would prefer his expiring contract, rebounding, and marginal offensive skills that does not have cap space but does have their own bad contract to trade. However, if the Bulls take on a big contract that is not Melo then they cannot sign him.

    The word is not that the Bulls won’t trade Boozer. It is that they can’t trade Boozer

  • SpaceKadet1000

    I think the bulls should wait for Lebron

  • 2cents

    I bet Knicks fans would be happy for ‘Melo to sign with the Bulls. That way, his cancerous attitude can destroy another franchise.

  • Renato de Lain

    Is true jeremy lin and omer asik are set to make 15mil each but there salaries only count as 8mil each in cap space

  • Bob Fusky

    Bulls and Knicks are only 2 teams that make sense. Good piece on Melo’s impending free agency on SH. Insightful, worth the read: http://straighthoops.com/courting_carmelo.html

  • Jimbo

    Knicks are 4 mill over the cap without melos contract.. so those two would put them…bout 20 mill over. Would knicks do something that stupid for a ta they technically don’t want and of they’re looking to have free space next year? They would be paying huge penalties next year and would be able to chase any of the big name free agents they wanted to go after.

  • Jeffrey Yam

    How is Boozer and a low first round draft pick better than a Lin / Asik duo… Both proven solid players? I still think Lin goes to New York. My thoughts here: http://www.jeremylintel.com/2014/05/09/jeremy-lin-season-recap-and-predictions-for-2014-2015/

  • BullsFanOliveira23

    I Hope & pray The BUlls Get Anthony! So The Bulls can race a seventh championship banner to the rafters!!

  • Park Ridge Howard

    The Knicks are not going to take Boozer and a 1st round pick. They would just let Anthony walk. The Bulls will need to amnesty Boozer and Reinsdorf doesn’t want to do that. Anthony is going to need to be satisfied with about $18 million or it’s not going to happen. Also the Bulls DO NOT need to get rid of Gibson nor do I believe they are willing to, but they do need to get rid of Dunlevy. It looks like the Bulls may get Mirotic to sign for the mid-level exception to provide bench strength.

  • Park Ridge Howard

    Why would Melo want to go to Houston and play with a gunner in Harden who needs the ball and a cry baby with Howard.

    The Rockets would be a crash and burn for him. The Bulls are a perfect fit except for Rose having turned into a cry baby over the last 2 years.

  • Park Ridge Howard

    You are obviously from New York. New York isn’t the center of the universe. Take a deep breathe and live in the real world.