Now that New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony is almost sure to opt out of the final year of his contract and is reportedly leaning towards leaving the Knicks in free agency, many believe the Chicago Bulls are the most likely landing spot for Anthony.
It looks like Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explains why the Bulls are considered the frontrunner to land Anthony.
The Bulls are considered a frontrunner mainly because they have a lot of parts in place and a head coach that could maximize Carmelo’s bid for a championship. Keep in mind that as much as he may have eyes for Chicago, the Bulls are not nearly as ready to rip apart their team to run after Carmelo with cap space. There is real interest on the Bulls part, but it has to be at the right price and under the right structure. Currently the Bulls have $63.95 million in guaranteed salaries for next season, giving them no cap space to pursue Carmelo. In order to get in the game without a sign-and-trade, the Bulls would have to use their Amnesty roster cut on Carlos Boozer’s remaining $16.8 million salary, find “giveaway” trades for both Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy Jr. and not take any money back in return.
That’s not exactly palatable to the Bulls, even for a talent like Carmelo. The Bulls would prefer a sign-and-trade that offloads Boozer’s cash and allows them to keep Gibson. The Bulls are sitting on four young assets: Last year’s first round pick Tony Snell, third year swing man Jimmy Butler and two first round picks this year.
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line.