Report: Anthony eyeing Bulls, Rockets
A story by Adrian Wojnarowski, posted today on yahoo.com, suggests New York's Carmelo Anthony is targeting the Bulls and Rockets as possible destinations, assuming he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent.
According to reports, Anthony needs to tell the Knicks of his decision by June 23 and he met with New York president of basketball operations Phil Jackson on Friday.
In order to make a run at Anthony, Houston needs to trade Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, who are both scheduled to make $15 million this season, thanks to those restricted free agent balloon payments the Rockets devised in 2012. Needless to say, that will be a challenge.
If Anthony decides he wants to play in Chicago, the two big questions are how much money would it take to sign him and would New York agree to a sign-and-trade deal?
If he doesn't opt out, Anthony would make $23.5 million with the Knicks this season.
The Bulls could clear enough cap space to make a competitive offer, but may try to sell Anthony on taking less so they could keep more pieces around him, mainly Taj Gibson.
Go ahead and do the math yourself. The salary cap is expected to be $63.2 million and this is what the Bulls have on the books assuming they amnesty Carlos Boozer:
Derrick Rose $18.863 million
Joakim Noah $12.2 million
Taj Gibson $8.0 million
Mike Dunleavy $3.0 million
Jimmy Butler $2.119 million
Tony Snell $1.472 million
Greg Smith $948,163
No. 16 pick: $1.469 million
No. 19 pick: $1.266 million
Minimum salaries: $507,336
The Bulls would have no problem trading any of those players or draft picks for future draft picks, so go ahead and erase whatever numbers you want, assuming Rose and Noah will stay. Just remember, you have to fill out the payroll to include 12 players, using the minimum salary for all vacant slots, before calculating cap space.
For example, if the Bulls kept Rose, Noah, Gibson, Snell and Smith, add in six minimum salaries and the Bulls could offer Anthony a starting salary of around $18.7 million.
More likely, the Bulls would use some of those assets to try to convince New York to do a sign-and-trade. That way, the Bulls could throw in non-guaranteed contracts of Ronnie Brewer, Lou Amundsen and Mike James, which would allow them to increase Anthony's salary.
If the Knicks know Anthony is leaving and are in rebuilding mode, they should be open to taking back draft picks or young players in a sign-and-trade.