The further we drift from the NBA playoffs, the closer we get to some big decisions: NBA free agency and trades. Carmelo Anthony is potentially the second biggest name on the list of guys who might switch teams. Although he’ll be getting a very lucrative offer from the New York Knicks, Anthony just might prefer playing for the Chicago Bulls more than any other option he has laying in front of him.
Even though someone stole his thunder over being the top prize for teams in free agency this summer, Carmelo Anthony is still quite happy about having plenty of teams courting him. The Houston Rockets are interested, but their current offer of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik isn’t enough for the New York Knicks to bite and agree to a trade. The Dallas Mavericks have the cap space to outright sign him, but Anthony has his eyes for someone else, as we’ve mentioned: Chicago.
What’s so interesting about the Bulls? They seem to have an aura of win now and having the tools to do it. If it wasn’t for Derrick Rose’s injury, who knows? Maybe they’d be celebrating the first title without Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen having their fingerprints on it. But what if’s don’t really matter in the serious world. All that matters is whether Anthony feels like the Bulls are his best chance of winning, and he seems to be in that mindset.
Anthony will opt out of his deal. He can re-sign with the Knicks on a $129 million, five years contract. However, Anthony seems to be hitting that place in which money isn’t as important as his chance to win. The Knicks, with the max offer or not, don’t have that certainty of success to them. They won’t go far this season, and even with the $52 million in cap space being cleared from the books in 2015, Anthony isn’t too happy about their chances of building a championship team around him.
The Bulls can offer him a lot of money only if they amnesty Carlos Boozer and trade away Taj Gibson, and probably another player. Part of what makes the Bulls a strong team, or what used to when Rose was healthy, was their bench. Losing Boozer is something that should have been done a long time ago. Losing Gibson? That’s a bit of a nasty pill to swallow, but they’ll do it anyway if it means Anthony coming on board.
The Knicks might also do a sign-and-trade with Anthony and then do some kind of deal with the Bulls. Chicago have two first round picks in the 2014 NBA draft: The 16th and 19th. That isn’t going to land you franchise changing players unless you’re lucky or a mad genius, but for the Knicks, who have no prospects to go on heading into the 2014-2015 NBA season, one of those picks along with Boozer (which they can amnesty to save some tax money) might be able to get the deal done.
Anthony has all the power in his hands. He can decide what’s the most important thing to him and set the parameters. He has good, solid teams chasing after him, with options for money or success lined up for him to see and asses. There’s also the New York option which is somewhere he’d love to keep playing at. However, from what he sees stretching in front of him, becoming a Chicago Bulls player just might be the best option.