It looks like Carmelo Anthony’s tenure with the New York Knicks is coming to an end. Just one season after winning the NBA scoring title and immediately following a season where he averaged 27.4 points a game, Anthony has decided he wants a change of scenery. This isn’t even about wanting to leave a losing team. While the Knicks had a horrible season this year, they were in the postseason in 2013 and just hired Phil Jackson to help them improve even more.
However, Anthony wants out and just turned in his paperwork informing the Knicks that he is leaving as an unrestricted free agent. This means that he can sign with whoever he wants in the offseason and there are even rumors that he will take less money than what the NBA allows a player of his stature to make. The Knicks could re-sign him to a five-year, $129 million deal and all other teams in the NBA can sign him to a four-year deal worth $96 million.
With that in mind, here are the teams that Carmelo Anthony is most likely to consider as he becomes a free agent.
The number one team rumored for Anthony to sign with is the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have a superstar point guard in Derrick Rose, if he can ever stay healthy, and a solid nucleus of players led by center Joakim Noah. Anthony has inquired about what it is like to play in Chicago and Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau has been asking around about Anthony. He would give the Bulls a trio that could challenge anyone in the league, including the superstar trios in Miami, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
Speaking of the Miami Heat, they just lost in the NBA Finals to the Spurs and have to be looking at what might have gone wrong. The big problem here is that LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony play the same position, but the Heat could play both men on the court, which might be an improvement over Rashard Lewis, who played in 2013-14. The problem here is that are only so many baskets to go around, and with Dwayne Wade and James looking for theirs, this might be a case of too many cooks on the court.
Heading to Texas, the Houston Rockets have been building a solid nucleus of talent and are now legitimate contenders. With James Harden as the leader at shooting guard and Dwight Howard always dominating as the power forward, Anthony could give them the weapon that could finally push them from scrappy contenders into an elite squad. Houston could win a championship with Howard, Harden and Anthony on the same team.
Finally, Mark Cuban is always willing to spend money to build a winner. With Shawn Marion at 36 and Vince Carter at 37, Carmelo Anthony would bring some youth to the position, making one of those men expendable. Paired with Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks could have one of the top front courts in the NBA and move one step closer back to the level they once competed at year in and year out.