(CBS) The Knicks made the expected move by firing coach Mike Woodson on Monday. Now, the question turns to what the future holds for star Carmelo Anthony, who can hit the open market this offseason if he chooses.
From the early indications, it doesn’t sound like today’s move will have much effect. The firing of Woodson “will not have any impact on how he will go about making his decision on where to play next season,” the Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reported. “Anthony has a player option worth $23.5 million next year, but he will opt out of that contract and hit free agency.”
The Bulls have long been rumored to be a suitor of Anthony’s, and if he’s willing to take a pay cut of some sort, he could end end up in Chicago with a championship-caliber roster still intact. Still, there’s much to play out, and the Sporting News reported that Anthony would like to hold formal presentations for teams to make their pitch.
Anthony has not finalized any list of teams, but the Knicks and Bulls are certain to be on it. Chicago would have to shed salary to accommodate Anthony, but the Bulls will make Anthony their offseason priority. Chicago has its amnesty provision available and could use it to dump the contract of forward Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls also have the 16th and 19th picks in the draft and could use those to entice a team to trade for Boozer’s contract.
Either way, going to Chicago would require Anthony to take a pay cut to leave New York, but — as Howard did when he left the Lakers to sign with the Rockets —Anthony would be willing to do so. Also, while nothing has been set, the Lakers, Rockets and Clippers could be among the teams to pitch Anthony in July.