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Report: Carmelo Anthony Is ‘Still Plan A’ For Bulls

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Carmelo Anthony. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(CBS) In their effort to add a superstar this offseason, the Bulls’ priority remains acquiring Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who can opt out of the final year of his contract with New York, Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Joe Cowley reported Sunday night.

Anthony is “still Plan A,” according to the report, but their pursuit of Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love is “more active … than initially rumored.”

More from Cowley:

According to several NBA sources Sunday, the Bulls have been actively looking to improve the starting lineup at almost any cost, with Derrick Rose the only untouchable player — and not by choice.

“They are looking to exhaust as many assets as it will take,’’ one source said of general manager Gar Forman and head of basketball operations John Paxson.

Over the weekend, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Chicago and Houston are the frontrunners to land Anthony in free agency and that he’s waiting for them to clear the necessary cap space to sign him.

The Bulls could potentially add Anthony by signing him outright as a free agent or through a sign-and-trade. Whatever the situation, much will depend on Anthony’s asking price. He can demand a five-year contract north of $120 million with the Knicks or a four-year deal worth around $96 million with other teams, though he’s said previously he would consider taking less money if it meant bolstering a roster to make a run at a championship.

Chicago has about $31 million committed to just Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah next season, and Taj Gibson is slated to make $8 million. The salary cap is projected to be set around $63 million.

If Anthony wants a max contract with the Bulls, they would need to gut much of their roster. If he accepted something in the $15 million-per-year range, it’s possible they could sign him and keep the Rose-Noah-Gibson core together if they got creative.

Read Cowley’s full story here for more details.

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