Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Rumors: Melo to Chicago?

By Ian Begley

ESPN's Chris Broussard has been working the phones, talking to GMs and executives in advance of the Feb. 20 trade deadline. He's got a great roundup of all of the trade rumors circulating around the league here (Insider).

Below, we'll take a look at some of the Knicks-related chatter Broussard is hearing. But we highly recommend checking out the piece in its entirety:

Melo to the Bulls?

Broussard: It's not unanimous, but most executives I spoke with think Chicago will go after Carmelo Anthony in free agency. Some are completely convinced of it. If the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer, they'll have the room to offer Melo the max.

Our take: The Bulls would have to do some maneuvering to create enough space to sign Anthony to a max contract. But it's certainly possible. And if rival GMs believe it's going to happen, then it's certainly worth keeping an eye on. Carmelo can make approximately $33 million more with the Knicks in free agency than he can with another team. Will Anthony be willing to leave that money on the table to play with Derrick Rose in the Windy City?

Rondo to N.Y.? Love to N.Y.?

Broussard: Rondo is looking forward to becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in the summer of 2015. It's not that he's dead set on leaving Boston, but he wants to keep his options open in terms of both winning and money. ... If Rondo does become a free agent in 2015, the Knicks think he'd be the perfect fit with Melo. As for the Kevin Love-to-New York rumors, most executives believe Love is destined for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in 2015. "That's a 100 percent certainty," one GM told me.

Our take: If the Knicks want Carmelo to re-sign, the front office needs to do what it can to assure him that it's committed to building a championship contender. Acquiring Rondo or Love is part of that sales pitch. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported earlier this season that the Knicks hope they can trade for Rondo before he hits free agency. That seems unlikely. So it's fair to wonder if Carmelo is willing to wait another year before the Knicks get a chance to fully rebuild with Rondo, Love or another big-name free agent.

Kyle Lowry still available?

Broussard: Word is (Toronto is) not sold enough on Lowry, who will be a free agent after this season, to throw big, long-term money at him. But he's playing so well that trading him now could upset the fan base. One GM told me that if the Raptors start losing, they'll likely trade Lowry. But if they keep winning, they won't move him for fear of the PR hit.

Our take: The Knicks showed an interest in Lowry earlier in the season, but they wouldn't offer a first-round pick to Toronto, which was a deal-breaker. It doesn't make much sense to send a first-rounder to Toronto for Lowry, because he is a free agent this summer. In essence, the Knicks would be sending a first-round pick to Toronto for three months of Lowry with no guarantee that he re-signs. Seems like the Knicks were wise to back off back in December. If Toronto lowers its demand here, maybe the Knicks revisit the possibility of landing Lowry.

Question: What moves do you think the Knicks should make before the Feb. 20 trade deadline?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.