“Where’s Melo going” is one question I’ve received way too many times over the last few weeks. There’s no way I, or anyone, for that matter, could answer this question with any certainty. However, at this point in time, it seems like Carmelo Anthony has narrowed his suitors down to three teams: the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and the New York Knicks, according to a recent Yahoo! Sports report.
The Los Angeles Lakers met with Carmelo Anthony yesterday and verbally offered him a four-year maximum deal, valued at around $97 million. However, Melo doesn’t appear to be considering this offer and has been more focused on the three teams mentioned above.
As an outsider looking in, the Chicago Bulls appear to be in third place — from a purely financial perspective. Unless the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer, trade Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy, as well as withhold from signing draft pick Nikola Mirotić, the Bulls will be limited to offering Melo $16 million a year in a four-year deal. Assuming 4.5% increases year-over-year, a four-year deal from the Bulls will be worth roughly $68.5 million.
Now, while there are very few people in this world that would turn down $68.5 million to play professional basketball, Melo would be taking a severe pay-cut to head to the Bulls. Given the fact that Melo has expressed how important winning is, this pay-cut could be overlooked by Anthony, should he value the Bulls’ core of Rose, Noah, Gibson, and Butler, over salary. As a Knicks fan, I’m not going to lie: the Bulls scared me the most as a suitor to pull Melo out of the Big Apple. However, Joakim Noah, who has been very involved in the Bulls’ pitch to Anthony, has told several people he believes Melo will re-sign with the Knicks, which has renewed my faith.
Next team that Melo is interested in is the Houston Rockets. Up until this point, there have been no reports of potential deals that the Rockets would offer to Melo. Despite no financials surfacing, the Rockets are poised to offer Melo a lucrative deal and one that he should value much higher than the Bulls’ offer. The Rockets’ recruiting pitch included owner Les Alexander, general manager Daryl Morey, CEO Tad Brown, coach Kevin McHale, personnel director Gersson Rosas, Dwight Howard, James Harden and Clyde Drexler. The Rockets were said to have also pitched Melo on the opportunity to play alongside Chandler Parsons.
Lastly, the Knicks. After meeting with Phil Jackson yesterday, reports surfaced that Phil has formally offered Melo the max: five-years, $129 million.
Now, while I’m hoping Melo ultimately picks the Knicks, $129 million is a lot of money. With that said, it’s nice to see Phil go out and show Melo that he appreciate all he’s done for the city of New York by giving him such a large offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Melo ended up deciding to stay in New York, but went back to Phil and said “I’ll take $110 million. Go make the team better.” I also wouldn’t be surprised if he took all $129 million.
This Melo-mania should hopefully be wrapped up by Monday, so stay calm and enjoy your weekend!