(CBS) As NBA franchises and free agents anxiously await for the lead dominos to fall in the open market, star forward Carmelo Anthony is “torn” between the Lakers, Knicks and Bulls as he continues to mull his decision, New York Daily News beat writer Frank Isola reported Monday afternoon.
Anthony was originally expected to have a decision by weekend’s end, per reports, but the decision is clearly weighing heavily on him — and with good reason. At 30, this could be his last chance to get a huge contract, but it could also be his last and best chance to chase championships.
New York and Los Angeles have both been reported to be willing to offer Anthony a max contract. The Knicks can offer a five-year, $129-million contract. The Lakers, like all the other suitors with ample cap space, can offer Anthony a four-year, $96-million deal.
The Bulls, however, can’t offer a maximum contract unless they were to totally gut their roster.
If Chicago used the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer and traded Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler, it could offer Anthony a contract beginning around $16 million-$17 million next season. If the Bulls used the amnesty provision on Boozer and traded Gibson and either Butler or Dunleavy, they could get close to offering a max or near-max deal, but they view Gibson as part of their core along with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
Anthony can command a deal starting at $22.5 million next season.
A sign-and-trade would be beneficial for Chicago, as would retain its mid-level exception by remaining over the salary cap, but New York has shown no willingness to engage in such a deal to date.
Also on Monday, beat writer K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls’ other free agency plans are simply on hold until Anthony decides. Chicago has talked with the agents of Chandler Parsons, Paul Pierce, Shawn Marion, Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, Johnson reported late Sunday.
Until told otherwise, Bulls obviously operating as if they're still in Carmelo sweepstakes. Other plans in limbo until Carmelo decision.—
K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 07, 2014