Dec 11, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson (22) defends against New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the second half of NBA game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

NBA rumors: Tom Thibodeau excited about Carmelo Anthony

Now that New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony has officially opted out of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, suitors are lining up to talk to him.

The Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks are expected to pursue Anthony with the Chicago Bulls being the favorites. The Bulls look like an excellent destination because they are already play fantastic defense and are in need of a player like Anthony who can create offense for them.

The Bulls are getting very excited about the prospect of landing Anthony. In fact, according to Anthony’s college coach, Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim via Marc Berman of The New York Daily News, Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau is very excited about potentially adding Anthony.

“I’ve talked to Tom about Melo, his name has come up,’’ Boeheim told The Post Tuesday. “I think Tom is very excited about the possibility of getting Carmelo. He likes him. He likes how he plays. He feels he’s coachable. I think Tom Thibodeau is one of the better coaches in the NBA. Carmelo would be happy playing for him. It would be a good fit — the coach-player relationship.’’

Boeheim has spoken to Anthony in the past about his free agency, but not recently. He believes Anthony’s priority is having the best chance to win a title and hopes that place is New York, but it may not be.

“I talked to some of his guys, spent time with him in the past about it,’’ Boeheim said. “Everybody has to understand with LeBron opting out [Tuesday], these guys are business guys. They have to look for the best situation for them. That’s all they’re doing. There’s so much put on winning championships. Every player has to try to find the best situation for them. Problem is, it’s not that easy to do.’’

Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line last season.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Chicago Bulls Jim Boeheim NBA Rumors New York Knicks Tom Thibodeau

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