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updated: 6/30/2014 11:08 PM

Bulls get their chance to sell Anthony on Chicago

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Back in 2010, the Bulls asked to be the last of six teams to make their pitch for free agent LeBron James.

Everyone knows that didn't work so well for the Bulls. James went to Miami and won the Eastern Conference four years in a row.

The Bulls will try again to strike it rich in free agency, this time chasing New York's Carmelo Anthony. Rather than make the final pitch, they'll go first. Anthony is expected to meet with the Bulls on Tuesday, before moving onto Dallas and Houston on Wednesday.

It's not clear what the Bulls have in mind. No doubt, coach Tom Thibodeau will give a presentation on how the Bulls will become championship contenders with Anthony in the lineup. Scottie Pippen figures to be involved; his wife, Larsa, is said to be friends with Anthony's wife, La La. Anthony was seen posing with Pippen's children in an Instagram photo posted last week.

Derrick Rose told he doesn't plan to recruit Anthony. Thibodeau addressed the issue during Monday's news conference to introduce draft picks Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow.

"What we're selling is our team," Thibodeau said. "I'm sure free agents are well aware of our team, guys that we do have. Our players will be available to talk. We think we have a lot to offer. We think we have great depth, we have great tradition, and we're positioned well to move forward. We think we do have a lot to sell."

Joakim Noah will almost certainly meet with Anthony. It's possible Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Rose also are on hand. That's the potential starting lineup the Bulls are hoping to use with Anthony next season.

The Bulls are hoping to sell Anthony on Chicago, then work out a sign-and-trade deal with New York to pay him the maximum salary or close to it. The most he could get from the Bulls -- if they can give him the max -- is $96.6 million over four years.

The Knicks can give Anthony an extra year and better raises. Many NBA observers think Anthony wouldn't pass on a maximum deal from the Knicks, which could be as much as $129 million over five years.

Knicks president Phil Jackson has said publicly he hopes Anthony will take less than the max, but New York owner Jim Dolan has a history of being a big spender.

Rose waiting on Team USA:

The Bulls shrugged off a quote from Derrick Rose saying he's not sure whether he will play for USA Basketball this summer.

"It's not anything different from we've said all along," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "If he's ready to go, he's going. He wants to go, that's what he's told me, that's what he's told USA Basketball.

"But it's a step-by-step process. He's coming along fine. The next step is to participate with summer league. If that goes well, he'll go to USA. If that goes well, he'll play in those games. From what we're seeing, he's making good, steady progress. He looks great. That's what we'll go by."

Thibodeau is expecting Rose to practice with the Bulls' summer-league squad in a few weeks. Team USA training camp opens July 28, where a roster will be selected to play in the World Cup of Basketball, which begins about a month later in Spain.

Bairstow excels without Snell:

Bulls second-round draft pick Cameron Bairstow made remarkable improvement between his junior and senior year at New Mexico. The Australian center went from averaging 9 points per game as a junior to more than 20 as a senior.

One interesting sidebar to those numbers is he played with Bulls guard Tony Snell during his junior year.

"We had almost too many options at times last year," Bairstow said Monday. "So definitely when Tony left there was a bunch of points up for grabs.

"But I think with the coaching change, we were a better offensive team this year in terms of our shooting percentages. We just generated a lot more points and we played up-tempo a lot more and that sort of thing.

"I definitely played really well with Tony. I think he definitely helped my game. I think there was just more of an opportunity this year to do a lot more things just out of necessity because he was gone."

Steve Alford left New Mexico for UCLA after Bairstow's junior year, replaced by Craig Neal.

Bull horns:

Doug McDermott on playing with Derrick Rose: "I'm just excited to meet him right now," he said. "I'll be like a little kid meeting him. Couldn't ask for a better point guard." … Cameron Bairstow was asked if Tony Snell was this quiet in college. "He was actually far more quiet. He's actually opened up a lot. Coming in as a freshman, he would be in the back seat and you'd get scared sometimes. He'd say something and you didn't know he was back there."

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