Free-agent forward Carmelo Anthony will visit the Chicago Bulls on July 1 -- the first day of free agency -- and then proceed to talk to the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets in Texas. He will also talk to the Los Angeles Lakers, per multiple sources.
Carmelo Anthony will talk to the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported on the development on June 30:
"Carmelo Anthony is planning to meet with the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on the opening day of free agency after the NBA's offseason market officially opens Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., according to sources familiar with Anthony's plans.
"Sources told ESPN.com that Anthony is in the process of arranging a trip to Chicago to meet with the Bulls, then intends to travel to Texas for Wednesday meetings with both the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks.
"Sources say Anthony is likely to visit the Rockets first on Wednesday, followed by the Mavericks in the afternoon.
"Anthony, who maintains an offseason home in Los Angeles, is also expected to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers face-to-face next week.
"But ESPN.com reported Saturday that despite the fact that Anthony is about to be courted hard by the aforementioned suitors, the New York Knicks, are nonetheless increasingly optimistic about their chances of re-signing Anthony, stemming at least in part from what one source describes as the way new Knicks president Phil Jackson has 'connected' with Anthony.
"One source close to the process told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne that Jackson is planning to make a determined attempt to try to recruit his former Lakers center, Pau Gasol, to replace the freshly-traded Tyson Chandler alongside Anthony on the Knicks' front line, despite the fact New York is limited to offering Gasol less than $4 million for next season.
"Sources told ESPN.com this week that the Knicks swung their trade with the Mavericks to send out Chandler and the out-of-favor Raymond Felton to bring back a clutch of veterans in return -- headlined by point guard Jose Calderon -- in their belief that Anthony would relish playing with the Spaniard. Calderon has been a perimeter threat and a beloved teammate teammate everywhere he's played.
"Sources insist that the Knicks feel far better about their chances than Jackson is letting on. No team can match the five years and $129 million that New York can provide if it wishes to offer a maximum contract to Anthony, and while Anthony is undoubtedly intrigued by the chance to team with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, he also still loves the Madison Square Garden stage dearly.
"Anthony also said in an interview in early June that he would be hesitant to uproot his family -- 7-year-old son Kiyan in particular -- from New York to another city."
The New York Daily News' Frank Isola, citing his own league source, says Anthony hopes the Knicks can hammer out a max deal so the All-Star forward will remain in New York:
"Carmelo Anthony is confident the Knicks will offer him a 'max deal' to ensure that the free agent small forward re-signs with the club, according to a source close to the negotiations.
"Although Anthony has hinted at signing for less to give the Knicks salary cap flexibility and team president Phil Jackson publicly challenging Anthony to stay true to his word, the sense is that the Knicks will at least come close to offer the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement which (in) this case is $129 million over five years."
Anthony told the Knicks a week ago he will opt out of the final year of his deal to test the free-agent market, per Stein and his colleague at ESPN, Ramona Shelburne.
The 30-year-old Anthony averaged 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 asssits during the 2013-14 NBA season with New York, per ESPN stats.
For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today.