As each day gets closer to the NBA‘s free agency period, the more teams are lining up to get into the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes this summer.
First, it appeared that the Chicago Bulls were the clear locks to land Anthony after the relentless recruiting by Bulls center Joakim Noah all season. However, things have changed in recent days. The Dallas Mavericks have joined the Bulls and the Houston Rockets as the three teams that Anthony would consider. Not to mention that the New York Knicks, Anthony’s current team, can offer him more money than any team in the league.
If Anthony opts out of his Knicks deal and re-signs with the team, he can sign a contract worth up to $129 million over five years. Any other team can only offer Anthony a contract worth up to four years and around $96 million. Basically, Anthony has 33 million reasons why he should be a Knick over a Bull, or any other NBA team in general.
Also, it’s been reported by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the Miami Heat could try to make a run at Anthony as well. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt-in with the Heat and take significantly less money in order to sign Anthony next summer. If Anthony was to opt-in to the Knicks for one more season in order to become a free agent next year, such a scenario would be possible. However, the Heat’s big three would have to start their multi-year deal around $14 million, and it’s unclear if James, Wade and Bosh would all be willing to do so.
Nevertheless, this would be a nightmare scenario for the Bulls, who are in desperate need of another star this summer. To lose out on James, Bosh and Wade during the summer of 2010, and to possibly lose out on Anthony, would be a crushing blow to Chicago, especially if all four players were to go to Miami. The Bulls need to do whatever it takes in order to get Anthony to Chicago.