Thursday AM update: Still waiting on Melo, LBJ decisions
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 Bulls remain heavily involved with Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday morning that San Antonio continues to push for Gasol. Without a trade, the Spurs can offer the mid-level exception of $5.3 million. If the Bulls miss out on Anthony, they could go much higher.
NBA free agents could officially begin signing contracts at 11 p.m. Central time Wednesday. The clock is also now ticking on the Bulls' decision to amnesty Carlos Boozer. There's a seven-day window to use the amnesty provision, so it has to be done by July 17.
Could the Bulls swing a sign-and-trade with the Lakers for Gasol? The Lakers have plenty of cap space to take on Boozer's $16.8 million contract, but may want the Bulls to take back Steve Nash($9.7 million) and would certainly require a first-round draft pick, at the least, to agree to such a deal.
While the Bulls wait on Anthony and Gasol, some NBA free agents are sitting patiently. Others have moved on.
Two players signed offer sheets early Thursday morning. Houston's Chandler Parsons signed an offer with Dallas for a reported three years, $45 million. Utah's Gordon Hayward accepted an offer sheet from Charlotte worth $63 million over four years.
The Jazz is expected to match Hayward's offer. Houston's situation is more complicated. They have 72 hours to match Parsons' offer, but are also hoping to sign Miami's Chris Bosh. If the Rockets match Parsons first, they lose their chance at creating cap space. They also need to unload Jeremy Lin and make Omer Asik's trade official to even have the cap space. It will be a busy three days in Houston, especially since Bosh is still waiting for James to decide.