Carmelo Anthony will opt out of his contract with the Knicks and become an unrestricted free agent. In a week and change, it will become July 1, and some teams who aren't the Knicks will be allowed to flirt with Melo. The Bulls, from the sound of things, will be banging on his window the hardest, and the Bulls, from the sound of things, are already banging.
According to one of Anthony's former coaches, Thibodeau has reached out to him and to several other coaches who have worked with Anthony with numerous calls.
That the Bulls are in full-court-press mode on Anthony comes as no surprise, considering center Joakim Noah courted him during All-Star Weekend in February and continued the recruitment throughout the second half of the season.
And it would seem Noah isn't alone. Point guard Derrick Rose reportedly has gotten involved, too, and Thibodeau has used back channels to let Anthony know his addition could mean big things for everyone involved.
According to Ian Begley's sources, Melo's been doing homework in the direction as well.
This rumor from the Tribune weirds up the previous rumor: The Bulls reportedly want Arron Afflalo. Afflalo's owed $7.5 million each of the next two seasons, the second of which is a player option, so adding him would almost certainly inhibit Chicago's quest to clear space for Melo (or retain assets to trade for him). So I don't know if the Afflalo stuff is: 1. Wrong 2. An intentional leak to throw people off 3. Plan B or 4. Plan A and the Bulls aren't as interested in Melo as everyone else is telling us. Probably a combination of numbers 1 through 3.
And here's a strange bit at the end:
However, league sources continue to indicate that despite Boozer's expiring $16.8 million deal dovetailing with the Knicks' plan for massive salary-cap space in 2015, the Knicks have no interest in acquiring Boozer as of now.
That's the kind of rumor the Knicks would leak to pump up leverage if they were into that kind of thing, which is possible. Otherwise, pretty much any sign-and-trade with the Bulls would have to include Carlos Boozer. That or the Bulls punt him elsewhere to clear space.
That's about where things stand pre-opt-out. More Melo stuff to come.