- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
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The New York Knicks will not take back Boozer in a sign-and-trade deal, the sources said.
Despite their interest in Anthony, sources said the Bulls have not called the Knicks to gauge potential sign-and-trade scenarios.
The Knicks' top priority is, of course, to resign Anthony. But if Anthony decides he wants to play in Chicago, it would make sense for the Knicks to retrieve some assets via a sign-and-trade, and a source said they would perhaps do so as a last resort.
The Bulls would want to include Boozer in such a deal because it would allow them to avoid amnestying him and his $16.8 million salary and would also enable them to pay Anthony more money.
But the Knicks, according to sources, will not cooperate with any plan that involves them taking back Boozer.
While the Bulls could sign Anthony outright as a free agent, executives throughout the league believe their preference is to get him through a sign-and-trade.
That would keep the Bulls from having to amnesty Boozer and essentially pay him for nothing. Many executives question whether Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf would be willing to do that.
Chicago's impressive recruiting pitch to Anthony on Tuesday suggests that Reinsdorf will do whatever it takes to acquire Anthony, including using his amnesty clause.
But the amnesty route would also make it difficult for the Bulls to offer Anthony anything near the $22.4 million the Knicks can offer him next season.
By amnestying Boozer and trading away Mike Dunleavy for nothing, the Bulls could start a four-year deal for Anthony at $15 million in the first year. If they traded Jimmy Butler as well, they could start Anthony at $17 million.