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Report: Bulls may need Carmelo Anthony to take $16 million per year

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseThe Chicago Bulls might offer Carmelo Anthony the best opportunity to contend for an NBA championship. Having Anthony, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose in a starting lineup would be tough to beat. From the sound of it, the only chance the Bulls have of signing Anthony is if he buys into that theory. Why? They don’t have much money to offer.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Bulls spoke to Melo during their meeting with him on Tuesday about the possibility of a four-year deal worth roughly $16 million per season. The New York Knicks can offer Anthony roughly $130 million over five years while other teams can go to four years and $96 million. That means the Knicks can offer $26 million per season and other teams can offer $24 million.

In other words, Melo would likely need to play at a significantly discounted rate to sign with the Bulls. Unless he is in love with the team and the city, he probably won’t be willing to do that. There have also been rumors about a possible sign-and-trade involving Carlos Boozer that would allow Chicago to give Anthony more money, but Phil Jackson is reportedly opposed to the idea.

If the Houston Rockets trade Jeremy Lin, they can offer Anthony close to a max contract. Keep in mind that Carmelo is 30, so this will likely be his last big deal. Is he willing to take $8-$10 million less per season to play in Chicago? We highly doubt it.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Kobe Bryant flies back from Europe vacation to meet with Carmelo Anthony

Kobe-Bryant-Carmelo-AnthonyCarmelo Anthony will continue his free agency tour on Thursday by visiting with the Los Angeles Lakers. No pitch to a superstar free agent would be complete for the Lakers without their five-time NBA champion and 16-time All-Star. That’s why Kobe Bryant reportedly flew back to LA from a European vacation late Wednesday night.

As ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne noted, Bryant and Anthony are close friends. Kobe has been courting Carmelo for quite a while, but he still felt he should be present when the team officially meets with the 30-year-old. While the Lakers — like all other teams — have reportedly made LeBron James their No. 1 target, it sounds like Melo can hardly be called Plan B.

Anthony is far from a consolation prize, however. Sources indicate the Lakers are enamored with his game and believe he would complement Bryant well. The Lakers hope to pair the two wings with center Pau Gasol, with whom they met on the first day of free agency.

Gasol has already indicated that the Lakers will have to make some significant changes in order for him to re-sign with the team, and I’m sure signing someone like Anthony and bringing in a new head coach would be enough to persuade him.

The Lakers are said to have delayed their coaching search so that free agents like Anthony or LeBron could pick their head coach if they decided to sign with LA.

While having Kobe fly in to state his case is probably flattering, Anthony has to decide if the Lakers give him the best chance of capturing his first NBA title. Kobe is 35 and has suffered significant injuries in each of the past two seasons. Gasol will turn 34 on Sunday and hasn’t exactly been a model of health, either.

If Anthony is going to leave New York (and it doesn’t sound like he is), you would think the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets would be far more appealing.

Jeremy Lin seemingly responds to Rockets ‘giving’ Carmelo Anthony his number

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While trying to flatter Carmelo Anthony before his free agent visit on Wednesday, the Houston Rockets also insulted Jeremy Lin. Photos of Anthony wearing No. 7 were plastered on the Toyota Center to show him what he would look like in a Rockets uniform. The issue with that is No. 7 currently belongs to Lin, who is still under contract with the team.

Shortly after photos of Anthony on the Rockets’ arena went viral, Lin sent the following tweet.

As many of you know, Lin is very religious. We’d be shocked if that Bible passage wasn’t directed at Houston’s disrespectful gesture. But we’re not surprised that Lin, who has been overlooked throughout his career, seems willing to turn the other cheek.

Everyone knows Carmelo wears No. 7 and that Lin’s salary would probably need to be dumped if Anthony decides to sign with the Rockets, but there are other ways the team could have courted ‘Melo. They didn’t need to toss one of their own aside.

Photo via @MarkBermanFox26

Rockets have signs with Carmelo Anthony wearing Jeremy Lin’s No. 7

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The Houston Rockets are hosting Carmelo Anthony for a free agent visit on Wednesday. Just like the Chicago Bulls did on Tuesday, the Rockets have decorated their arena with photos that show Carmelo Anthony in a Houston uniform. The Rockets, however, may have insulted one of their own players in the process.

The videoboard outside the Toyota Center featured Anthony wearing a Rockets No. 7 jersey — the same number he wore with the New York Knicks. Jeremy Lin, who is still under contract with the Rockets, wore No. 7 last year.

It is widely assumed that Lin and his $8.3 million salary for next season will have to be cleared if Anthony decides to sign with Houston. Still, that’s kind of messed up.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo via @MarkBermanFox26

Derrick Rose reportedly worked out to show Carmelo Anthony he can play

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose does not like recruiting players to join his team. As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune put it, Rose has an old-school mentality and believes trying to convince a player to sign with the Bulls would undermine his current teammates. He made an exception for Carmelo Anthony.

Rose spoke to Anthony inside the Bulls locker room on Tuesday for about 20 minutes to help state Chicago’s case. Perhaps more importantly, the former Memphis star reportedly spent some time proving to Anthony that he is healthy and ready to play.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports that Rose went through a private workout with Anthony present. The goal was to prove that he has recovered from two major knee injuries that have limited him to just 49 games since the 2011-2012 season. Rose has supposedly looked sharp in five-on-five drills during practice.

K.C. Johnson noted that Taj Gibson also spoke to Anthony, which could be of importance since Anthony will likely want the Bulls to keep Gibson so he can play with Rose, Gibson and Joakim Noah. However, keeping Gibson and his $8 million salary would likely mean Anthony would have to take less money than he is entitled to.

From the sound of it, the Bulls did everything right on Tuesday. They had all of their star players present and plastered Anthony’s photo and name all over the United Center. Despite that, it still appears that Carmelo returning to New York is the most likely scenario. At the very least, Rose and company have given Anthony a lot to think about.

Report: Carmelo Anthony’s wife La La wants him to stay with Knicks

carmelo-anthony-lalaYou ever hear of the saying “happy wife, happy life?” If those words ring true in the Anthony household, Carmelo Anthony may wind up re-signing with the New York Knicks.

Marc Berman of the NY Post reported earlier this week that Carmelo’s wife La La, who is also a Brooklyn native, has been very happy in New York and wants Melo to stay with the Knicks. Anthony also said in an interview last week that he has concerns over uprooting his 7-year-old son Kiyan again.

“There’s reason to believe he’s staying,” a source from Anthony’s inner circle reportedly told Berman. “There’s just too much money out there. He’s doing to the right things, though. He’s got to make the rounds.”

For what it’s worth, La La previously said she believes Carmelo will stay with the Knicks but that she can “live anywhere” if she lived in Denver.

The Knicks can offer Anthony a max contract of nearly $130 million over five years. Any other team can “only” sign him to a four-year, $96 million deal. Obviously, the ability to offer more money gives the Knicks an edge. I’m sure the addition of Phil Jackson to the team’s front office also helps.

According to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley, the Chicago Bulls are feeling “pessimistic” about their chances of landing Carmelo despite their extravagant pitch to him on Tuesday.

“They’re worried that he’s headed back to New York,” a source told Begley. “They’re more pessimistic than optimistic.”

Jackson has basically admitted that Carmelo gave the Knicks his word he would return to New York, so there is every reason to believe the Knicks are still the favorite. But if we’ve learned anything from NBA free agency in the past (ahem, LeBron James and “The Decision”), it’s to always expect the unexpected.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Bulls using video boards to recruit Carmelo Anthony

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With the official NBA free agency period beginning on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls are making it no secret that Carmelo Anthony is their top priority. Upon arriving in Chicago in his van that had police escorts in front and behind it, Anthony saw images of himself in a Bulls uniform plastered on and around the United Center.

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported that ‘Melo received some scattered applause from fans who were anticipating his arrival outside the United Center. He politely thanked them as he walked into the building. Joakim Noah also showed up shortly after Anthony, presumably to play a role in Chicago’s pitch.

The Bulls obviously have a winning tradition and can easily argue that they are closer to being a championship-caliber team than the New York Knicks. Other teams are going to do the same stuff when Anthony comes to town, so I doubt the video boards will have much influence. The prospect of playing with Noah and Derrick Rose and under Tom Thibodeau is probably what will be most appealing to ‘Melo.

H/T Deadspin
Photo: Twitter/Steve Lippo