Melo had reportedly opted to re-sign with Knicks, but Knicks haven’t heard anything.
The Chicago Bulls are still in the running to sign New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and are ready to make the necessary cap moves if needed.
Knicks team president Phil Jackson revealed on Wednesday that he had not heard from the 30-year-old after it was expected that he would make his free agency decision on Monday.
However, Melo has continued to evaluate his options and it had appeared over the weekend that both the Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers were the front-runners in securing his signature.
That situation has now reportedly changed, with Stephen A. Smith telling ESPN Chicago that a trusted source close to Anthony has told him that Melo is having second thoughts and that the Bulls are still in the mix.
Although Chicago are at a disadvantage financially in that they are unable to offer the level of money that Anthony can attain either in New York or Los Angeles, they have perhaps the most telling factor in their favour.
The Knicks are able to offer their superstar a five year deal worth $129m, while the Lakers have offered their max which is $96m over four years.
Unless the Bulls enter into a sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks involving Carlos Boozer, it is unlikely that they will be able to offer much more than $16m per year without sacrificing their depth significantly which would in turn put them in a weaker position to win a championship.
As it stands, the Bulls would be able to add Anthony with that deal and put him alongside Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.
Given Anthony’s desire to compete immediately for a championship, that team would undoubtedly be the strongest that he could hope for at this stage, with the Knicks going through a rebuilding process under Jackson and the Lakers similarly attempting to piece together a new roster to play alongside Kobe Bryant.
As a result, the decision for Anthony ultimately comes down to whether or not he is willing to sacrifice a significant amount of money to move to the Windy City, and whether or not his family is willing to move home and begin a new life elsewhere.
Melo has made no secret of his love for playing at Madison Square Garden and how happy his family is in New York, however, if his ambition is the overriding factor over money, then Chicago appears to be the best option and it is seemingly still playing on his mind ahead of his big decision.