The summer of 2014 will once again be the summer of superstar free agents in the NBA. With LeBron James expected to re-up with the Miami Heat, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is set to be the biggest free agent on the market this summer in the NBA.
Anthony is expected to opt out of his current contract with the Knicks and test the open market. The overwhelming consensus throughout most of this season has been that Anthony would re-sign with the Knicks on a max-contract, however, recent comments from the Knicks forward would seem to suggest that he is leaning towards leaving New York and signing with a contender.
Anthony has grown frustrated with the losing ways of the Knicks this season as the team is 22-40 on year and on the outside of the playoff scenario.
There appear to be only two legitimate options for Anthony to consider as opposed to returning to the Knicks. The two options are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.
Unlike the Lakers and Knicks, the Bulls can not offer Anthony a max-contract. But the Bulls do offer Anthony the best chance to win a NBA title outside of the Miami Heat.
That was the selling point that Bulls center Joakim Noah made to Anthony during the NBA All-Star break. Chris Broussard of ESPN reports that Noah pitched the Bulls to Anthony in February during the All-Star Break. The report states that Anthony responded to Noah’s pitch by expressing his admiration of the Bulls style of play as well as saying Derrick Rose is his son’s favorite player.
Speaking of Rose, the report states Rose would recruit Anthony if asked.
In order for the idea of the Bulls to acquire Anthony to become a reality, the team will need to amnesty Carlos Boozer in the summer and then trade away one of their two forwards in Mike Dunleavy or Taj Gibson. That would allow the Bulls to offer a contract to Anthony that begins at $18 million. Roughly $4 million less than what Anthony could receive from the Knicks.
Though, with Anthony’s frustration over the Knicks losing ways, contending may be his top priority as he becomes a free agent this summer.