Reports say Carmelo will officially opt out

Reports say Carmelo will officially opt out

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 06/22/2014 - 22:22

Several outlets reported Sunday that New York forward Carmelo Anthony has officially informed the Knicks he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent.

Anthony indicated this was his plan long ago, so the news is no surprise. And Anthony could still re-sign with the Knicks, either long term or for a single season.

But since pursuing Anthony is part of the Bulls' summer plan, opting out is good news. They can't chase Carmelo if he's not available.

Everyone wants to know whether the Bulls will end up with Anthony. They have a legitimate shot, but there are plenty of unknowns. Is Anthony willing to leave New York? How much of a salary trim would he accept to join the Bulls? Would the Knicks be open to doing a sign-and-trade if Anthony is set on leaving?

Clearly, the Bulls are going to make a sales pitch based on offering Anthony a chance to win a championship. Logically thinking, those chances are better if the Bulls keep Taj Gibson at power forward.

On the Sunday reading list is this story in the New York Daily News which claims Anthony will be simply using the Bulls to get a max contract from the Knicks.

Maybe that's true, maybe not. If money is Carmelo's top priority, the Bulls don't have a chance. But if he wants to improve his legacy by getting to the Finals, the Bulls can make an offer he'll consider.

I don't buy the claim in this story that Derrick Rose prefers Kevin Love to Anthony. It was reported here long ago that Reggie Rose and crew pushed for the Bulls to trade for Anthony when he was departing Denver. Once Miami's Power Trio got together, it became clear that Rose needed scoring help.

Don't know if Rose will recruit Anthony, but Rose demonstrating good health will be a very big part of the Bulls' summer. Rose's uncertain future is probably the No. 1 reason Anthony would reject the Bulls, not salary complaints.

There were suggestions Sunday the Bulls could field a lineup of Rose, Anthony, Gibson, Joakim Noah and Orlando shooting guard Arron Afflalo.

Technically that's possible through sign-and-trade scenarios involving Carlos Boozer. Realistically it's a long shot because no team wants to take on Boozer's $16.8 million salary for next season. Using the amnesty clause on Boozer is still the most likely outcome.

Let's put it in Jerry Krause terms. It would take a lot of sweetener to convince the Knicks to do a sign-and-trade with Anthony. It would take a ton of sweetener to get Orlando to take on Boozer's salary. I'd argue there's not enough sweet treats on the Bulls roster to accomplish both those tasks.

The Bulls are interested in Afflalo, but I think that's an option if they don't get Anthony.

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