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updated: 3/1/2014 7:54 PM

Speculation swirls about Melo's future

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  • How long will Amar'e Stoudemire, left, and Carmelo Anthony be teammates? Anthony will be a free agent at the end of this season.

      How long will Amar'e Stoudemire, left, and Carmelo Anthony be teammates? Anthony will be a free agent at the end of this season.
    Associated Press

  • The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, has been on a tear, averaging 35 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 48 percent over the last five games. But the Knicks lost every time.

      The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, has been on a tear, averaging 35 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 48 percent over the last five games. But the Knicks lost every time.
    Associated Press

 
 

Including Sunday's afternoon game at the United Center, the New York Knicks will be playing on national television for the third time in four days. So far, they've lost to Miami by 26 and Golden State by 23.

You're welcome, America.

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As long as the Knicks continue to be a Midtown train wreck -- they posted a 2-11 record in February -- there is bound to be speculation about Carmelo Anthony wanting out, perhaps with an eye on the Bulls.

This all boils down to two questions to be answered this summer: First, does Anthony want to join the Bulls? He can opt out of his contract and become a free agent, so it's his choice. And there are other attractive teams with cap room, such as Dallas and the L.A. Lakers.

The second question is whether the Bulls would be willing to pay the price to add Anthony. He would join Derrick Rose in making close to $20 million per season, which may not be ideal in a salary-capped world. They would almost certainly have to give up Taj Gibson and give up on Real Madrid star Nikola Mirotic in order to add Anthony.

Anthony has been on a tear, averaging 35 points and 9.4 rebounds, while shooting 48 percent over the last five games. Of course, the Knicks lost every time.

Anthony admitted he'll have plenty of factors to consider this summer.

"A lot of things (are) going to be thought about when that time comes," Anthony said Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. "Off the court, on the court, just a lot of things (are) going to have to be put all on the table."

Some would question why Anthony would tie his future to Rose, who's played in just 10 games over two season. The answer should be obvious. Even without Rose, the Bulls are 11½ games ahead of the Knicks. A combination of Anthony, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Tom Thibodeau and a presumably healthy Rose would be a good start to a team, although the Bulls would surely miss Gibson and Carlos Boozer.

On the other hand, if Anthony can endure one more miserable season in New York, the Knicks will have loads of cap room in 2015 after the contracts of Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani expire. That brings some hope, although those Knicks fans expecting Kevin Durant to jump on board are way too optimistic.

Anthony has a personal record of 3-10 in playoff series during his career, but he has made the postseason every year. The streak will end unless New York can find a way to turn it around soon.

"Unfortunately, we're in this situation we're in right now, fighting for our lives, fighting for a playoff spot," Anthony said. "But us making the playoffs ... doesn't even have anything to do with (his decision this summer.)"

Meanwhile, the Bulls are on a roll, winning eight of the last nine games, including an impressive 100-91 win at Dallas on Friday. They have scored 100 points in three straight games for the first time all season.

"I think there's a commitment by each player to each other to not let the group down," Thibodeau said after Friday's win. "And that's when something special can happen. Who knows where the ceiling is with our team?"

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