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updated: 7/6/2014 10:37 PM

Answers to questions about 'Melo's quest for happiness

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  • In this March 5, 2014, file photo, New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, leaves the floor as he drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The wait continues on Anthony's decision. Though some say we could find out Monday if he'll be a Bull.

      In this March 5, 2014, file photo, New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, leaves the floor as he drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The wait continues on Anthony's decision. Though some say we could find out Monday if he'll be a Bull.
    Associated Press

 
 

It was a news-free Sunday for anyone on the Carmelo Anthony watch.

The only thing approaching real news was a tweet from a UCLA associate athletic director claiming Anthony was at the school playing pickup basketball with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Love. Those who checked out the story later reported only Bryant was there Sunday.

Some expect Anthony's decision to arrive Monday, but no one knows for sure. The wait may continue.

At this point, the Bulls are still in contention to land Anthony. Some reports suggested the high-scoring Knicks forward will choose between the Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. But it's also reasonable to think Anthony's representatives are exploring every option, including a potential sign-and-trade with the Bulls.

So in the absence of hard news, let's try to address some questions about Anthony's quest for happiness.

Is the ball in Phil Jackson's court?

One clue to emerge over the weekend was two prominent NBA reporters, Bill Simmons and Adrian Wojnarowski, sending tweets roughly five minutes apart claiming the Lakers had emerged as a top contender in the Anthony sweepstakes.

The pair mentioned above have a combined 3.3 million Twitter followers, so this appears to be a strategic news leak on someone's part. But what does it mean?

Theory West Coast is that Anthony's admiration for Bryant has convinced him to form a Hollywood version of the Power Trio with Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Theory Midwest is that Anthony would prefer to play for the Bulls and is essentially telling Jackson to trade him to Chicago or he'll sign with the Lakers, leaving the Knicks with nothing in return. The Lakers have enough cap room to sign Anthony to a maximum contract, while the Bulls need some maneuvering.

The second version is an interesting scenario. Should Jackson, the Knicks president, send his star player to the team he used to coach -- or the other team he used to coach? There are plenty of sign-and-trade scenarios with the Bulls that would work, with or without Carlos Boozer.

The obvious drawback to the Lakers' plan is age. Bryant turns 36 in August, while Gasol celebrated his 34th birthday Sunday. There would also be limited means to add additional players.

Could Anthony still re-sign with Knicks?

This scenario was the favorite going into this process because New York can offer the most money. Reports say Anthony has built a good rapport with Jackson, but there's no getting around a couple of roadblocks -- the Knicks will have a hard time fixing the team by next season and anything that happens in 2015 is a mystery.

It's all about the money, right?

Yes, but the jury is out on this one. New York can give Anthony a five-year, $129 million deal, but the size of that contract will help limit the Knicks' cap space in 2015.

If he went to Los Angeles or Chicago, he could make a similar annual salary, but those teams are allowed to give only a four-year deal. Looking ahead, Anthony will probably re-sign for that fifth season. Also, if things don't work for the Knicks, he might opt out of that fifth year anyway.

Are family concerns keeping Anthony from Chicago?

Anthony's wife, La La, has stayed out of the public eye this week. The couple lives in New York during the NBA season and Los Angeles during the summer, so it's possible Anthony will stick to one or the other.

But no one really knows for sure. If winning is the most important factor for Anthony, the city shouldn't matter. After all, Anthony won't be a true A-list NBA star without more team success.

Get the latest Bulls news via Twitter by following @McGrawDHBulls.

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