All Bull - Chicago Bulls
UPDATE 1:54 p.m. -- According to multiple reports, Carmelo Anthony has informed all parties that he plans to accept a five-year, $120-million deal to stay with the New York Knicks.
So the Carmelo chase (and wait) appears to be over and the Bulls are working on a way to use a sign-and-trade with the Lakers to get Pau Gasol to Chicago.
The early Saturday news had Marca.com in Spain reporting a commitment to the Bulls by Barcelona native Pau Gasol.
The story said he is waiting for a sign-and-trade with the Lakers to be finalized, but gave no further details. It also said Gasol is planning to take a physical in Chicago, then return to Spain.
Most of the NBA attention was focused on LeBron James in the last 24 hours. Maybe that's why Carmelo Anthony is waiting so long to make his decision, so he can get a few days to himself in the national spotlight.
It's difficult to tell where Anthony is going. The story is accurate that he's still engaged with the Bulls, but how genuine is his interest in Chicago? Only time will tell.
Anthony's plight seems to rest on these NBA words of wisdom repeated so often, they've become a cliché -- he's not leaving $30 million on the table. This line ignores the fact that he'll likely play a fifth year with a new team, which would lower the money differential, and his opportunities would grow by playing on successful teams, in Chicago or anywhere else.
There have been predictions of Carmelo Anthony staying with the Knicks and LeBron James returning to Cleveland, but as of Thursday morning, the NBA world was still waiting official announcements.
There is also no telling when either player might make a decision. James is reportedly planning to attend the World Cup final in Brazil on Sunday, so maybe he'll say something first. Or maybe announce during the break between extra time and penalty kicks.
After James met with Pat Riley in Las Vegas on Wednesday, there were some reports that James wants to talk to his family before deciding.
The New York Daily News reported a friend of Carmelo Anthony confirmed the high-scoring Knicks forward will stay in New York. The story says an announcement is expected Thursday.
Nothing is official yet. If the Bulls miss out on Anthony, they are expected to focus their effort on signing Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. If Gasol says no, there's no telling what might happen. There's a long list of available players and no obvious targets.
As far as the Knicks' prospects for the future, they will have some cap room to spend in 2015.
As of Wednesday morning, the momentum was certainly building for a LeBron James return to Cleveland.
The Cavs agreed to a three-way trade that clears enough cap space to give James a maximum contract. Cleveland sends guard Jarrett Jack and forward Sergey Karasev to Brooklyn; while center Tyler Zeller and a top-10 protected 2016 first-round pick go to Boston. The Celtics also get guard Marcus Thornton from the Nets.
There are also suggestions the Cavs are after former James teammates Ray Allen, Mike Miller James Jones.
There is a conflict in play here. A few days ago, Miami came to agreements with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, with the idea that they would help fortify the supporting cast when the Power Trio returned intact next season.
The latest rumor to fall off the tree during “Melo Watch 2014” is he's waiting to see if a spot opens up with Miami's Power Trio.
The theory goes, if Chris Bosh decides to accept an offer from Houston, then Anthony could fill that slot and play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the Heat.
Anything's possible, but this one doesn't add up. The feeling here is Bosh will leave only if LeBron bolts. So either the Power Trio plays on for Year 5, or LeBron goes back home to Cleveland. In that case, Bosh would probably consider jumping to Houston and who knows what Wade will do.
Transformers sequels are popular, for whatever reason, so why wouldn't the nation tune into “The Decision, Part Two?”
Monday's free-agency buzz concerned the growing belief LeBron James might be ready to return to Cleveland. This is serious enough that owner Dan Gilbert's manic rant in comic sans type was finally removed from the Cavs website after four years, according to multiple reports.
The Cavaliers would need to clear some salaries to offer James a maximum contract, but that can probably be done. Houston is also said to be chasing Chris Bosh as an alternative to keeping the Power Trio together in Miami.
If James isn't serious about Cleveland, he should put a stop to this charade immediately. That city doesn't need an extended tease.
Let's take a tour of Saturday's NBA free agency news:
One interesting development today was Pat Riley reportedly arriving in Chicago to meet with Luol Deng and his representatives. Deng, the long-time Bulls forward, is not expected to re-sign with Cleveland, especially after the Cavs drafted small forward Andrew Wiggins.
Deng would make a good LeBron James replacement in Miami, but how would he fit with the Power Trio? Maybe not so bad, considering the Heat uses a small lineup so often. If Riley can keep the core together, Miami's primary lineup could include Norris Cole, Dwyane Wade, Deng, James and Chris Bosh.
The Internet world seemed to think New York promising to give Carmelo Anthony a full max contract is the microphone-dropper. The Knicks reportedly did that Thursday night.
Maybe it is. Plenty of people thought Anthony's free-agent tour was designed mostly to coax a five-year, $129 million deal from the Knicks,
While Anthony mulls his options over the holiday weekend, the Bulls have a few angles of hope they can carry.
There doesn't have to be a huge difference in money, for one thing. If Anthony joins another team, he's limited to four years and smaller raises. But if the Bulls can find a way to get to their max of four years, $96.6 million – either through a sign-and-trade or by clearing enough salaries – they'll be in the ballpark.
Doug McDermott sounds like Chicago's kind of guy.
According to Omaha.com, McDermott called the Blue Jay Bar and Grill near the Creighton campus last Thursday and bought a keg for patrons and a shot for anyone who wanted one.
The high-scoring forward was in a celebratory mood after finding out he was headed to the Bulls in a draft-night trade. Here's the full story: