NBA News 2014 - Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets Emerge as Top Carmelo Anthony Destinations

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By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | June 16, 2014 12:48 PM EST

Do not mistake the rumours as coincidental with Miami's troubles in the NBA Finals.

The past week has been abuzz with Carmelo Anthony to Miami scenarios with Anthony's potential to decline his player option with the New York Knicks, and become a coveted free agent. Well that scenario was crushed lately by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reports that Anthony wants an opportunity for a "chance to win now" and has concerns on the ability of new president Phil Jackson to immediately turnaround the New York franchise and for the Knicks to contend for a championship. The Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls have now emerged as his top choices.

With this report, sources say that the Bulls and Rockets are calculating strategies to clear out as much cap room as possible to land the sweet shooting all-star from New York. Anthony is reportedly willing to take less than the maximum salary on the condition that he will be surrounded by all-star talent that can compete for the Larry O'Brien trophy. The 30-year-old will opt out of the deal with New York that promised him $23 million for next season and hit the market July 1.

The Houston Rockets boasts a roster of two formidable all-stars in Dwight Howard and James Harden and he fits the bill of either a starting small forward or power forward. It can be recalled that the Rockets declined the fourth year option on Chandler Parsons which will make the sweet shooting forward a restricted free agent. Observers assume it is also a ploy to land a bigger name in free agency such as Anthony.

The Chicago Bulls have long been attached to various free agents even dating back to the LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade free agency. They have 2014 first team all-star Joakim Noah and former league MVP Derrick Rose who is coming off another knee surgery.  

While the Rockets have bigger names to pair with Anthony, the Western conference is stacked top to bottom and to get out as conference winners hopes on a lot chips to fall in their right places. Chicago, while having dark clouds over Derrick Rose's health is in the East and has competent coaching in Tom Thibodeau. Anthony can be the solution to the scoring it badly needed as evidence in its first round exit this year against the Washington Wizards.

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