Apr 2, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson (7) guards New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks won 110-81. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors Carmelo Anthony Opts Out! Bulls Next?

Normally some websites would count this as breaking news. The only thing is this is the most widely known story for months. As Pippen Ain’t Easy pretty much figured and reported for weeks, Carmelo Anthony will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, according to sources.

I’m going out on a limb and say that this doesn’t make New York Knicks team president, Phil Jackson a happy camper. He and the Knicks had hoped that Anthony would opt in for his final year at $23.3 million dollars and try free agency out next year.

If Carmelo Anthony does decide to leave New York he will be in rare company. He will become the fifth player in the last 30 years to change teams in the offseason after averaging at least 27 points per game. The other four players are…

1) Kiki VanDeWeghe, who left the Denver Nuggets for the Portland Trail Blazers in 1984.

2) Adrian Dantley, who left the Utah Jazz for the Detroit Pistons in 1986.

3) Tracy McGrady, who left the Orlando Magic for the Houston Rockets in 2004.

4) Ever heard of that “Decision” thing back in 2010?  LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

The Chicago Bulls are one of five (including the Knicks) teams that  have a realistic shot at signing Carmelo. Obviously the Knicks have the most money to offer. The Knicks can offer up to $129 million dollars in their deal, but due to Phil Jackson wanting Anthony to take a pay cut, the word around the campfire is the Knicks are offering five years at $120 million.

Along with the Chicago Bulls, Carmelo Anthony has considered signing with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. The Miami Heat have recently tried to throw their hat in the ring  as well. Anthony is eligible under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement to get a max deal of 96 million dollars from these teams. However, Carmelo Anthony has stated that he will take less to attract other free agents to sign as well.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Chicago Bulls have the slight edge over New York in signing Carmelo Anthony  AT THIS POINT! This will change approximately 1.734 times before he signs sometime this summer.

Pippen Ain’t Easy has already gone over the scenarios facing the Bulls getting him in a uniform and what could potentially happen if he does in two articles…

1) NBA Rumors: The Carmelo Anthony Math Exam.

2) NBA Rumors: The Carmelo Anthony Chemistry Exam.

Now Pippen Ain’t Easy is going to try to delve into Carmelo Anthony’s head and see what is being considered in his decision to leave New York.

Nine Figures

It’s the only thing the New York Knicks can offer Carmelo Anthony at this point. If the numbers that are rumored are true, the Knicks still can offer almost $30 million dollars more than everyone else. Even with the pay cut. That’s about they can offer. With Amar’e Stoudemire opting in for $23.4 million dollars and Andrea Bargnani doing the same at $11.5 million, the Knicks have very little cap space. Check that, let’s add Tyson Chandler’s $14.6 million to the collection plate. Now the Knicks are over the salary cap.

In other words, there is no flexibility to improve on that disastrous 37 win team from last year. Carmelo wants to win now. Well next year, New York really don’t fit the description of a winning team.

New York City

Carmelo Anthony doesn’t have an issue with the city of New York. He has a problem with the fact that the Knicks based on their financial situation is nowhere near being a championship contender. Carmelo loves the city and is very familiar with his surroundings. Another thing to consider is that if New Yorkers love you, they really love you. This is the case with Anthony. For all of the ups and downs, Carmelo Anthony has done a good job of handling the pressure of playing in New York. The question is…Can the Mecca of basketball be alluring enough to keep him in New York?

LaLa Anthony

Ah, the wife. You know the term “Happy wife, happy life.” Well it might be the case here too. Understand that his wife does shoot a reality show in New York, LaLa’s Full Court life. She is trying to get a movie career off the ground. If you don’t think this is a valid point, why do you hear the Los Angeles Lakers rumors floating around? Plus she has various business ventures going on as well. If you want to show similarities  of Carmelo Anthony with Dwight Howard, I’d stop because Dwight Howard is not married. Carmelo has to sell a move to his wife. If you don’t think that’s something that Carmelo Anthony has to consider, you don’t know much about marriages.

The Bulls have to do some major house cleaning to make this happen.

Let me ask you Pippen Peoples something. Is Carlos Boozer still on the books? Until he goes away either in a sign and trade (not likely, New York does not want him or anyone else for that matter) or using the amnesty provision which if you’ve heard of Jerry Reinsdorf is touch and go. Let’s start with that. Then let’s all come to the realization that if you don’t give, you don’t get. That’s how it is in America. I’m assuming that Phil Jackson has to get something in value in a sign and trade, starting with those two first round picks and Taj Gibson to start. That’s probably the price JUST to take Carlos Boozer’s contract off the hands of the Bulls.

Everybody involved (which includes Anthony) seems not to want Taj Gibson to leave Chicago, but no one has a credible scenario to keep him in Chicago and clear up cap space at the same time.

Carmelo Anthony has seen this movie before. If the Bulls gut their squad to get him in a uniform, he gets back in the same boat he was in New York.

Carmelo Anthony is using the Bulls to up the price.

Everybody seems to get annoyed when I talk about why Carmelo will not be seen in a Chicago Bulls uniform. Truth be told, it has nothing to do with the Bulls. This is about Carmelo Anthony. This could be a negotiating ploy to pry a few more million dollars on the deal with the Knicks. It’s been done before by others. Don’t think it wouldn’t happen here too. Much to Joakim Noah’s chagrin.

Pippen Ain’t Easy will continue to monitor the rumors surrounding the “Melo  Drama” in the coming days. Keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy for a crazy week of Chicago Bulls news, previews and reviews.

Tags: Carlos Boozer Carmelo Anthony Chicago Bulls Phil Jackson Taj Gibson

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