Noah makes Bulls pitch to Anthony
That's why Noah, Chicago's center, approached Anthony over All-Star Weekend last month about joining the Bulls, according to sources with knowledge of the conversation.
The sources said Noah told Anthony something to this effect: You can go to Los Angeles, but if you really want a ring, if you really want your legacy to be about winning, you should come to Chicago.
Anthony responded by telling Noah that he admires how hard the Bulls play and how hungry they are. Anthony also told Noah, according to the sources, that Derrick Rose is his son's favorite player.
Sources said Rose also wants the Bulls to add Anthony and would be willing to help recruit him if he is asked to do so.
The conversation between Anthony and Noah started as a discussion about what it's like to play for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. With rumors about Chicago going after Anthony as well as about Thibodeau possibly coaching the New York Knicks next season, Anthony wanted to know about Thibodeau.
From there, the discussion turned to Noah telling Anthony he should join the Bulls.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson steered clear of the recruitment talk.
"I'm not going to get into all of that," he said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" Thursday. "You know legally nobody can recruit anyone. You can't do that at this point. Melo is still wearing a Knicks uniform and I hope he stays with the Knicks for the rest of his career. I've always said that. So whatever was said between Noah and the Chicago Bulls, that's on them."
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To sign Anthony, the Bulls would have to use its amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer. By removing Boozer's $16.8 million from their cap figure, they will have roughly $15 million to offer Anthony next season. If the Bulls can trade Mike Dunleavy and his $3 million salary, they could start Anthony's deal at about $18 million.
Signing with the Bulls would mean taking a pay cut for Anthony, whose maximum contract with the Knicks would start at $22.4 million a season.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley was used in this report.