Carmelo Anthony

Now that Carmelo Anthony has opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks, it’s time for the long list of suitors, which includes the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks to try and convince the All-Star to sign with them. He might still stay right where he is, and probably listen to offers from the Atlanta Hawks or dream of playing for the Miami Heat, but those are a bit less realistic scenarios.

Anthony himself keeps saying that he wants to stay in New York, mostly for family reasons. Moving kids from city to city, changing schools and friends, isn’t easy. Anthony himself went through it growing up. Basketball-wise? It seems Anthony is dropping hints that he’s not in love with the situation the Knicks are currently in. In short, he’s saying to the teams coming in to convince him to impress him so much that he forgets about relocating his family.

The Chicago Bulls seem to be the number one option going into the negotiations. Anthony is very interested in going there, and it seems that everything the Bulls have done for the last six months: From trading Luol Deng to signing guys like Ronnie Brewer, the Bulls have working the angle of making room for Anthony. If they do amnesty Carlos Boozer, they’ll have around $13 million in free cap space, but they’re also willing to move Taj Gibson if it means getting Carmelo. They just need to hope that taking less money is an option for him. The Knicks aren’t really happy about a sign and trade, or at least anything the Bulls have to offer.

Carmelo

The Houston Rockets come next in terms of their chances of landing Anthony. They’re at $63 million in salary cap for next season, but they’re trying to move both Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in order to make room for Anthony. They have two All-Stars for Anthony to partner with in James Harden and Dwight Howard and the Rockets are convinced that their sales pitch and attractiveness rivals that of the Bulls in terms of being a potential contender.

The Dallas Mavericks have the cap space, but seem to be lacking confidence when it comes to the prospect of adding Anthony. They failed with LeBron James, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard in recent years. Despite the ownership and coaching situation, despite the option of playing next to Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis without it hurting the salary, it seems they’re coming in a bit low and late in this race.

And how about the Los Angeles Lakers? Plenty of cap space, tinsel town pedigree, 16 NBA championships and one Kobe Bryant, who might be more of a deterrent than actually an attracting factor. The thing is about  the Lakers is that they just don’t seem like a good enough team to compete, not this season, and maybe not in another as well. Anthony wants a more “now-ready” team to acquire him, and he’ll want the Lakers to look better than they are now in order to even consider them.

The Miami Heat aren’t long shots in terms of Anthony wanting to play for them: It’s a matter of just how it’s going to be possible. The Heat are waiting for James, Wade and Bosh to decide on their future. If they stay and if they opt out of their deals to take a paycut, than it can work – let’s say all four sign for $13 million a season. Doable, but how likely is it? Right now there seem to be more realistic options.

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