As Carmelo Anthony searches for his future NBA destination, he has finalized a list of teams he will be meeting with other than the New York Knicks. Those teams are the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony began his schedule with a meeting in Chicago today. Of the teams being considered, the Bulls are likely to be the best fit for Anthony. First, the Bulls have pieces. While Derrick Rose runs the point and Joakim Noah roams, Carmelo would be expected to score. He essentially would join a solid defensive team who desperately needs a scorer. Further, the Bulls plays in the Eastern Conference, which is clearly weaker than the West and thus easier to win.
The Bulls may try to bring Carmelo in with a trade involving Carlos Boozer. The Bulls want to make sure they do not lose Taj Gibson as he would have a more significant role with Boozer gone.
After Chicago, Anthony will travel to Texas for meetings with Houston in the morning and Dallas in the afternoon. Houston has made some noticeable moves already, indicating their efforts to clear up enough cap space for Anthony. Center Omar Asik has already been dealt to New Orleans for a future draft pick, and there is word the Rockets have a deal to move Jeremy Lin.
The Rockets hope neither Dwight Howard nor James Harden are involved in getting Carmelo. However, if need be, Harden would be the likely candidate to leave Houston.
With their great amount of cap space, the Mavericks will make a push for Carmelo. Dallas has a total of $26 million to spend. However, it is expected they will re-sign Dirk Nowitzki who will take a pay cut. The Mavericks made a trade to bring in Anthony’s former Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler as a possible lure for Carmelo. Chandler protected the rim when the Mavericks won the championship in 2011. Offensively, Carmelo would play alongside Nowitzki and Monta Ellis giving Dallas a trio of excellent shooters who can also finish inside.
Anthony reaches his last stop on his trip out West when he visits the Lakers on Thursday. The Lakers seem to be a longshot in receiving Carmelo’s services. The Lakers currently have Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre, and that’s it. They will most likely sign Julius Randle, their first round draft pick from this year’s draft. The difficulty of playing in the Western Conference also makes it unlikely to see Anthony in Los Angeles. The Lakers’ performance last season alone may drive Anthony away.
Finally, Anthony returns to New York to meet with the Knicks. It seems that Anthony has better opportunities to win outside New York, so it is likely we will not see Anthony in a Knicks uniform next season. Regardless, Anthony will have a huge impact no matter where he signs.