(CBS) The Bulls have missed out on their prized offseason target.
Carmelo Anthony is negotiating a contract to re-sign with the New York Knicks, according to an ESPN.com report, and the Bulls have been informed by the star forward’s representatives to move on. Multiple reports confirmed the same news.
Anthony is expected to sign a five-year deal worth just more than $122 million, ESPN.com reported. That’s not quite the max deal of $129 million but is far more than anyone else can offer.
Carmelo is officially a Knick...again—
Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 12, 2014
The Bulls have been notified that Carmelo Anthony is re-signing with the Knicks.—
K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 12, 2014
Without cap space for a max deal, Chicago could only offer a contract of four years and around $73 million if it kept Taj Gibson, who management and the coaching staff feel is an integral piece to a championship chase. With less money to offer, the Bulls were selling the idea of Anthony being the final piece to championships contention, and reports were that they made a good impression during a nine-hour pitch to him on July 1. That’s why Anthony mulled the decision for so long, with some reports saying he “agonized” over it.
In the end, the New York stage, the comforts of home for his family and the superior money won out for Anthony, a 30-year-old who’s ability to get baskets is rivaled by few in the league. He averaged 27.4 points per game last season.
After missing out on Anthony, the Bulls turned their full attention to big man Pau Gasol, who they agreed to a deal with late Saturday afternoon.
Chicago will also continue working on a deal to bring Real Madrid star Nikola Mirotic over from Spain, and the Bulls have expressed interest in re-signing guard Kirk Hinrich. Chicago could be in the market for another wing player as well.