Carmelo Anthony is considering leaving the New York Knicks and heading to the Chicago Bulls, according to a report from ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. On ESPN Chicago 1000 with Carmen and Jurko, Smith laid out new information about Anthony's possible departure.
Yesterday at approximately after 5 p.m., the day after I was on ESPN Chicago, and I got a call. 'Look something has come up. Something is in the mix. Melo is having second thoughts, and this is what it is. CHICAGO. Suddenly Chicago is on his mind.' And this is someone who is incredibly close to Carmelo Anthony who I completely trust as a source. Couldn't explain why. But just said Chicago is not out of the mix. Believe what you want. Melo is chilling at home with his wife, his family and he's talking about the Chicago Bulls.
The report was confirmed by Mike McGraw of the Arlington Daily Herald and Ken Berger of CBS.
Hearing the Stephen A. Smith report is accurate. Carmelo may have been leaning elsewhere, but regained interest in #Bulls.— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHBulls) July 11, 2014
The Bulls are still under consideration for Carmelo Anthony, a person familiar with his thinking tells @CBSSports.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2014
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Anthony would choose the Knicks barring a last-minute change of heart. Could that be happening?
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Why this is a good idea
Chicago has the obvious pieces and cap mobility to sign Anthony to a significant contract while retaining the services of the best players on the roster in Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.
If the Bulls were able to negotiate a deal that isn't a sign-and-trade for Anthony, the presumed frontcourt of him, Noah and Gibson would quickly jump to top consideration as the best in the Eastern Conference.
Anthony would provide a scoring threat and could avoid taking harsh beatings down low, instead relying on the defensive prowess of his teammates to soak up the punishment. It would be a perfect situation for him, playing for a head coach in Tom Thibodeau with significant playoff experience. If Anthony wants to win now, Chicago would be the best move.
Why this is a bad idea
Money. Anthony stands to make a maximum of $129 million over five years if he signs with the Knicks, where the Bulls can only offer $96 million over four.
At 30, this will likely be Anthony's last gargantuan contract and he should take it for all it's worth. New York has a new head coach in Derek Fisher and with Phil Jackson at the helm, the organization is at least trying to make enough moves to get Anthony past the first round of the playoffs.
Another factor here is the idea of the sign-and-trade. If Anthony is able to be dealt to Chicago instead of signing with them outright, the Bulls might have to give up some of the pieces that make the Windy City such an attractive offer.
Likelihood it happens
It's hard to leave $35 million on the table in any scenario. From a basketball and organizational perspective, Chicago is the best place for Anthony. There will be no qualms about him having to solidify his legacy against Michael Jordan's, and with the core in place they would be contenders out East. Still, it's hard to see him leaving the Knicks with all that cash. I'll give it a 3/10 chance of happening.