Jim Boeheim: Thibodeau loves Melo

Last week, we learned Carmelo Anthony had been quizzing famous Chicagoans about what it’s like to live under the microscope in the Windy City.

Now comes word that Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau would love to coach Carmelo.

Yes, the signals keep getting stronger that the Bulls will be a front-runner in the Carmelo sweepstakes.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who coached alongside Thibodeau at the Team USA training camp last summer in Las Vegas, said in an interview with the New York Post that Thibodeau is smitten with the idea of coaching Anthony.

And, Boeheim says, Carmelo would be excited about playing for Thibodeau.

“I’ve talked to Tom about Melo, his name has come up," Boeheim said. “I think Tom is very excited about the possibility of getting Carmelo. He likes him. He likes how he plays. He feels he’s coachable. I think Tom Thibodeau is one of the better coaches in the NBA. Carmelo would be happy playing for him. It would be a good fit -- the coach-player relationship."

The Bulls are expected to come hard after Anthony once he hits the market July 1.

Chicago doesn’t have the cap space to sign Anthony as a free agent but could acquire him via a sign-and-trade, provided the Knicks are willing to cooperate.

The Bulls can offer a package including Carlos Boozer -- whose contract expires after the 2014-15 season -- draft picks and a young, cheap player such as Jimmy Butler or Tony Snell.

The Knicks will likely be opposed to taking back players whose contracts extend beyond the 2014-15 season because they want as much cap space as possible to chase free agents that summer. That's why Boozer makes sense financially, even though acquiring the veteran may not make a ton of sense from a basketball perspective.

Why should we put stock into Boeheim's thoughts on Carmelo?

Boeheim’s opinion on all things Melo is relevant because the Syracuse coach led Anthony and the Orange to a national title in 2003 -- Carmelo’s only season at Syracuse.

Anthony said last season that he still speaks regularly with Boeheim and seeks his advice often.

So when Boeheim speaks about Anthony, it’s worth listening to.

As far as free agency goes, Anthony has said that he would like to remain in New York but that he also wants to put himself in a position to win titles. The Bulls -- provided Derrick Rose is healthy -- give him a better opportunity to chase a title next season than the Knicks would.

But Anthony has also said that it would be difficult to uproot his family from New York and bring his young son, Kiyan, to another city.

Chicago, Houston, Miami, the Clippers and Lakers are the main suitors expected to come after Anthony. The Mavericks, Hawks and Cavaliers also are expected to have interest.

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