Bulls, Rockets Among ‘Melo’s Top Alternatives

March 18 at 9:06pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

If Carmelo Anthony ultimately decides to leave New York this summer, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski identifies the Bulls and Rockets as two free agent destinations that have emerged above all other alternatives. Wojnarowski notes that while Chicago may have an easier time clearing enough cap space to sign Carmelo outright, Houston believes that they can shed the necessary contracts to be able to offer a near-max deal. One source tells Wojnarowski that the Knicks star “will give New York every option (to convince him to stay)…But he has options – and he’s going to explore them all.”

Should Anthony and the Knicks eventually decide to part ways, it’ll be very interesting to see how the two sides will get to that point. During his introductory presser today, Knicks president Phil Jackson made it clear that Anthony is in his plans for the team’s future. Coincidentally, Anthony indicated yesterday that he’s intrigued with the direction the Knicks can go now that Jackson is at the helm of the front office:

“The big picture, absolutely, for the big picture this is definitely more attractive…I’m willing to do whatever. As long as it’s gonna put me in a situation to win, I’m willing to do whatever. I’m not sold or stuck on my play. What I’ve been able to do these past 10-11 years has gotten me to where I am right now…If Phil wants to come in and change that this late in my career, if it’s going to help me out to win a championship, I’m with it…I’ve said numerous times what (Phil’s) been able to bring to the game of basketball is unprecedented. So hopefully we can work it out and he can build something here as well” (Peter Botte of the New York Daily News).

A few weeks ago, Bulls center Joakim Noah apparently tried to sell Anthony on the idea of playing for Chicago during a conversation on All-Star Weekend, with the Knicks star reportedly inquiring about what it’s like to play for Tom Thibodeau. The Rockets – with James Harden and Dwight Howard in place – would undoubtedly garner championship expectations immediately if Carmelo were to jump on board in Houston. While there’s still quite some time before Anthony can exercise his early termination clause in July, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for the pitch that Jackson will make in order to convince New York’s prized forward to stay in place.

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