Carmelo Anthony made it no secret that his priority this summer is to re-sign with the New York Knicks, but reports indicated that the Chicago Bulls are also in the running for the All-Star forward.
Knicks president Phil Jackson also intends to build the team around Anthony, but it remains to be seen whether or not the team is willing to pay the price to keep the 29-year-old forward.
Jackson recently said that he is hoping Anthony will be willing to take a significant pay cut this summer, but the scenario is highly unlikely especially if the Bulls put a lucrative offer on the table.
And if the Bulls do so, Basketball Insiders believe that the Knicks could consider a sign-and-trade deal that would send Anthony to the Bulls.
Sources said that the Knicks could trade Anthony to the Bulls in exchange for the expiring contracts of Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy along with two 2014 first-round picks and future picks.
Doing so could lead to another disappointing season for the Knicks, but it would put them in a good situation when the 2015 free agency comes wherein superstars like Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo would become free agents, while also getting young prospects from their picks.
"If the Knicks have accepted that the investment in Anthony is too limiting at the price, they're adding on multiple draft picks while taking on salary that doesn't hinder their goals beyond next season," Basketball Insiders' Ed Pincus reported.
The Bulls made it no secret that they will make a strong push to sign Anthony this summer, but they will have to make big roster moves to create cap space to acquire the 11-year veteran.
Previous reports indicated that the Bulls will likely use their amnesty clause to take Boozer's lucrative contract out of their books, but it won't be enough to create room for Anthony, which makes the sign-and-trade deal the Bulls' best option if they really want to nab Anthony from the Knicks.
"The NBA projects the salary cap will climb to $63.2 million for the 2014-15 season. Even if Chicago used their one-time amnesty on Carlos Boozer, the team will have just $11.3 million to spend," Basketball Insiders noted.