By K.C. Johnson Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO—Carmelo Anthony is staying home.
The All-Star forward will re-sign with the New York Knicks for five years and more than $120 million after strongly considering joining the ready-to-win roster in Chicago.
The Chicago 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, finalizing an agreement with Pau Gasol. The Los Angeles Lakers’ All-Star center tweeted: “It hasn’t been easy. After meditating it a lot I’ve chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career.”
After multiple attempts to acquire Gasol via a sign-and-trade transaction, including trying to pull a third team into the equation, the Bulls weren’t able to do so.
With Anthony out of the picture, the Bulls must now address wing depth and possibly sign Nikola Mirotic with other limited resources.
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.