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NBA free agent rumors 2016: Carmelo Anthony and Knicks enter Kevin Durant Sweepstakes

The Knicks aren't giving up on the superstar. Plus, other Durant scenarios and Pau Gasol leaving the Bulls.

So far, the Kevin Durant free agency news has swirled around six teams: The Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. That isn't stopping Carmelo Anthony from attempting to lure this year's biggest free agent to the Big Apple. Anthony told ESPN that he's recruiting Durant to the New York Knicks.

Whether Durant officially meets with the Knicks or not doesn't matter to Anthony, saying he's been talking with the superstar. "I do consider myself part of the Knicks," Anthony told ESPN, "so that meeting has already taken place."

The Knicks acquired Derrick Rose in a trade last week and with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis could feasibly contend in the Eastern Conference next season -- especially with a star like Durant joining the squad. After missing the 2014-15 season, Durant helped lead the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals this year, averaging 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep. Joining the Knicks would immediately make them contenders in the East, even after missing the playoffs last year, and even with the shaky health problems facing Rose. Anthony, 32, knows he doesn't have much time left to win a championship -- so he's turning on his recruiting charms.

"Being in that situation before and knowing how much he has to think about‎ and what he has go through, him not wanting to leave Oklahoma ‎[after] all the time that he spent there," Anthony told ESPN. "‎I felt the same way when I was in Denver, spending 7½ years there and then to have to make a decision‎. But you leave it up to him. He's going to make the best decision for him. I think that's the most important thing‎."

Durant downplayed the recruitment. "Melo has been my friend since I have been in high school. We talk about everything," Durant said. "That is like my big brother right there. The best thing about all of us, none of the guys here have put any type of pressure. It has been cool."

He wasn't ruling out the Knicks, either. "Obviously they have a good team now with D-Rose and Melo and Porzingis, so I will talk to my team and we will figure things out," he told reporters on Monday.

The Knicks still don't have an official meeting set up with Durant, so Knicks fans should temper their excitement -- there's plenty of rumors swirling around Durant.

Kevin Durant might be waiting for Russell Westbrook to make a decision

Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports thinks Durant will wait for his running mate Russell Westbrook to make a long-term decision on free agency. "Most likely scenario is he does a two-year deal with option," Wojnarowski told CBS Sports Radio. "Then he and Russell Westbrook next year will be free agents together."

With the salary cap rising each year, Durant could possibly demand an even larger contract next season. Plus, he and Westbrook clearly enjoy playing together, so why not give it one more year? Wojnarowski, who often knows the pulse of the league, went on to say wherever Durant signs, it would be for one year. That way he'd be able to reassess before 2017 free agency.

Pau Gasol won't be in Chicago next season

The veteran big man declined his player option with the Chicago Bulls for the 2016-17 season, and both he and the Bulls know he won't be back in Chicago. It looks like the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks are the frontrunners for nabbing the Spanish star.

Gasol told a Spanish newspaper (per HoopsHype) that San Antonio would be an interesting destination for him only a week after his brother, Marc, said he wanted his brother to join the Spurs. With Tim Duncan possibly retiring, the Spurs would be in need of a big man, and Gasol would fit the mold. At 35, Gasol is aging but still has some years left in his game. He averaged 16.5 points and 11 rebounds per game in 72 games with the Bulls this season, his 15th season in the NBA.

The Knicks emerge as a threat to sign Gasol solely because of the roster and front office. Phil Jackson coached Gasol to an NBA Championship with the Lakers, and with Derrick Rose recently being traded to the Knicks, Gasol could be a great fit alongside Anthony and Porzingis.

Wherever Gasol ends up, he'll be a valuable big man that should push his new team to a new level.