(far left) reportedly did a little recruiting while in New Orleans. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony's patience with the Knicks is reportedly wearing thin, leading him to eye the summer of 2014 as a potential opportunity to leave New York and join a title contender.
Could the Chicago Bulls be preparing to make a run at Melo?
Joakim Noah is already starting to do some legwork. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, Noah approached Carmelo in New Orleans during All-Star Weekend and made his pitch to the Knicks' superstar about coming to Chicago to win a title:
The sources said Noah told Anthony something to this effect: You can go to Los Angeles, but if you really want a ring, if you really want your legacy to be about winning, you should come to Chicago.
Anthony responded by telling Noah that he admires how hard the Bulls play and how hungry they are. He also told him, according to the sources, that Derrick Rose is his son's favorite player.
Carmelo has the option of entering free agency this summer -- via an early termination clause in his contract -- or waiting until 2015 when his deal with the Knicks expires. As Broussard reports, the Bulls would have to make some cost-cutting moves in order to acquire Carmelo.
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If the Bulls choose to amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer, that would remove $16.8 million from their cap for 2014-15. In doing so, they'd have roughly $15 million to offer Carmelo, according to the report. But several other smaller deals could be made to free up even more room.
That likely would be necessary, as the Knicks can offer Anthony a max contract with a starting salary of $22.4 million. But with Anthony set to turn 30 in May, the window to win a title in his prime is slowly starting to close. A move to Chicago -- where he would be surrounded by Noah, Derrick Rose (in theory), Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson -- could present him the best opportunity to contend next season.
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