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Thursday, July 3, 2014
Mavs to Melo: You can win here

By Ian Begley



Carmelo Anthony's free-agency tour hit Texas on Wednesday and left Jeremy Lin in its wake.

Anthony met with Houston Rockets stars James Harden and Dwight Howard, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki in separate meetings with the teams.

In trying to court Carmelo, the Rockets dissed Lin when they showed images of Anthony in a No. 7 jersey. Anthony wears No. 7 for the Knicks. Lin wears No. 7 for the Rockets.

Awkward.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey explained the rationale behind the display.

After a meeting at the Toyota Center and lunch in Houston, Anthony headed to Dallas to meet with Cuban, Nowitzki and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, among others, at Cuban’s home, sources told ESPN.com.

Here’s what the Mavs sold Melo on:

There was no pomp and circumstances from the Mavericks. Dallas' meat-and-potatoes pitch emphasized the opportunity to contend immediately with an elite coach in Carlisle, a selfless star in Nowitzki and a quality supporting cast featuring high-scoring guard Monta Ellis and defensive-minded center Tyson Chandler. The Mavericks also focused on the creativity and proven track record of the front office, stressing their plan to sustain a contender throughout Anthony's prime and ability to add at least one more major piece next summer.

Dallas has enough cap space to offer Anthony a maximum contract valued at $96 million over four years. But Cuban has said that he won’t offer Anthony -- or any other free agent -- max money this summer.

The Knicks can offer Anthony the most money of any of the suitors -- $129 million over five years -- though it is unclear if Knicks president Phil Jackson will offer Anthony a max contract.

Both the Rockets and Bulls would have to alter their rosters significantly to create enough cap space to offer Anthony a competitive contract. The more likely path for either to acquire Anthony is via a sign-and-trade. But it’s unclear if the Knicks will cooperate in such a transaction, which would make it easier for Anthony to leave New York.

One key player in Chicago’s pursuit of Anthony is Carlos Boozer. The Bulls would need to exercise their amnesty rights on Boozer and his $16.8 million salary or move it in a sign-and-trade. ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that the Knicks would not be interested in taking back Boozer in a sign-and-trade. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Wednesday night that the Bulls informed Boozer that he will be amnestied or involved in a sign-and-trade.

Anthony will head to Los Angeles to meet with the Lakers on Thursday. The Knicks expect to get the final meeting with Anthony, sources told ESPN New York. It is unclear if a date or time has been set for the meeting yet.

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