Last month the Bulls and Houston Rockets were considered frontrunners for free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony's services.
Last week the Bulls were Anthony's first stop on the free agency trail, and they set the bar for other teams to match later in the week.
Of all the teams Anthony is considering in free agency, the Bulls may have the easiest path to a championship the 30-year-old Anthony is coveting.
And yet, there's a "growing sense" around the NBA, according to ESPN, that Anthony likely will choose between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
The report goes on to say that Anthony has not notified any of his suitors that they are out of contention, including the Knicks, Bulls, Lakers, Rockets and Mavericks, all of whom had sit-downs with Anthony this past week. Plenty could change between now and when Anthony ultimately makes his decision, and as seen in the summer of 2010 various reports from league sources can prove to be incorrect, so it'd be premature to label Anthony a two-team race at this point.
But it makes sense that these rumors have stirred. Whether Anthony is really about money or championships (or whether the two have to be mutually exclusive), the Knicks are able to add an additional year to their contract offer, which would be for five years and $129 million. All other teams involved may offer Anthony just a four-year deal, which would reportedly be around $97 million in Los Angeles. It should be noted that the Lakers' are able to offer Anthony a maximum deal, something the Bulls cannot do.
And the Lakers and Knicks have something else in common: they're located in the two largest cities in the United States, are the two franchises worth the most money and would give Anthony the large city destination he's always preferred. And while it's true Chicago and the Bulls come in third in both categories (population and team worth) they still trail the apparent frontrunners.
Various outlets have reported that Anthony may make a decision as soon as Monday, so it shouldn't be long before "Melodrama" is resolved. But for now, the Bulls may be trailing New York and Los Angeles.