As the Bulls prepared for their Tuesday meeting with Carmelo Anthony, some members of the team’s hierarchy were pessimistic about Chicago’s chances of landing Anthony.
“They’re worried that he’s headed back to New York,” a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said of early Tuesday morning. “They’re more pessimistic than optimistic.”
The source wasn’t speaking for the entire Chicago front office, just a small segment. So there is reason to believe that not all members of the team’s hierarchy shared this opinion.
Also, the Tuesday meeting between Anthony and the Bulls may change this perception among Chicago decision-makers.
But the idea that a portion of the team’s front office was pessimistic about its chances to land Anthony bodes well for New York.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported over the weekend that the Knicks were quietly confident about their chances of re-signing Anthony due in part to the idea that Anthony and team president Phil Jackson have “connected” somewhat.
Anthony has also stated that it will be difficult for him to uproot his family from New York to another city. And the Knicks, as we all know, can offer Anthony a max contract worth $129 million over five years. It is unclear at this point if the Knicks will offer Anthony a maximum contract.
Other teams can offer Anthony a max deal of $96 million over four years.
Anthony is expected to meet with Dallas and Houston on Wednesday and Los Angeles on Thursday.
Chicago doesn’t currently have the cap space to sign Anthony to a maximum contract. The Bulls can create that cap space by moving players but the more likely scenario to obtain Anthony is via a sign and trade. The Rockets are in the same position.
The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers have enough money to offer Anthony a max contract. But Dallas owner Mark Cuban said last week that the Mavericks were not planning on offering any max deals.
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