Carmelo Anthony is staying home.
The All-Star forward will re-sign with the Knicks for five years and more than $100 million after strongly considering joining the ready-to-win roster in Chicago.
The Bulls all along knew their pitch to Anthony resonated but that attempts to orchestrate a sign-and-trade to get Anthony closer to a maximum salary were a long shot. Their best offer without a sign-and-trade and with keeping Taj Gibson checked in at four years and $73 million.
The Bulls quickly moved on, working to finalize an agreement with Pau Gasol. League sources said a sign-and-trade acquisition has been discussed with the Lakers in order for the Bulls to land the All-Star center from Spain.
Though the Lakers would have to nimbly execute several transactions that started with Friday’s agreement to trade for the Rockets’ Jeremy Lin, a league source indicated the Bulls have discussed sending Mike Dunleavy and the non-guaranteed contracts of Mike James, Lou Amundsen and Ronnie Brewer to the Lakers.
With Anthony out of the picture, the Bulls can now address wing depth and possibly sign Nikola Mirotic with other resources. Of the remaining free agents at wing that are most intriguing, the Bulls have talked to Trevor Ariza and Shawn Marion. But Ariza is advancing on a deal in Houston.
The Spanish national daily newspaper Marca said Gasol could take a physical within the next few days.
The Bulls have until July 16 to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer but are keeping that contract for now in case they are able to engage any team in a sign-and-trade transaction.