The Chicago Bulls are interested in trading for the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, a league source told ESPNChicago.com on Thursday.
And while the source said that the team is holding internal discussions as to whether the Bulls would allow Joakim Noah to be part of any deal, Chicago has not reached a consensus. Another source close to the situation told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell that Noah would not be part of an Anthony deal.
The Nuggets are hesitant to take back Luol Deng as part of a deal with the Bulls because Denver is leery of taking on long-term contracts with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on June 30, 2011. Deng is two years into a six-year, $71 million contract, the initial source said.
Noah will make $3.1 million this season in the fourth year of his rookie deal. The center would become a restricted free agent next season unless the Bulls extend his contract.
Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that an NBA source with knowledge of Anthony's wishes told him Anthony still hopes to convince Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri to trade him, and he prefers a move to the New York Knicks or Bulls.
The Nuggets offered Anthony a three-year, $65 million extension through 2014, but if he rejects it, the team will have to consider trading the forward who has guided them to seven straight playoff berths.
"I think I'm going to convince him to be a Nugget," Ujiri said on Aug. 31. "No, I don't know, I can't make a judgment on that. Like I said, it's a process and until he tells me that ... we want him back, the city wants him back, ownership wants him back."
Anthony has never come out and said he wanted to be traded, however.
At his basketball camp this summer, Anthony dismissed all the speculation of his impending departure from Denver: "I've been hearing that for five years. I'm a Denver Nugget. I'm here, I'm with the Nuggets. I don't become a free agent until next year, if I decide not to take that extension."
Anthony, 26, has averaged 24.7 points per game in his career, including 28.2 last season.