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Anthony to meet with Bulls first

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Despite an ESPN report on the Knicks increasing optimism on re-signing free agent Carmelo Anthony, the All-Star small forward is planning to meet with the Bulls in Chicago on the opening day of free agency, which is Tuesday at 12:01 pm.

ESPN reported that Anthony is in the process of arraigning a trip to Chicago to meet with Bulls' management and then will head south on Wednesday for meetings with both the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.

Anthony is also expected to have a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, where he owns an offseason home.

No team can match the five years and $129 million that New York can offer Anthony, if they choose to extend a maximum deal, but Knicks' President has made it known that he's challenged the free agent to accept the challenge in taking less money so the team can add more talent.

While Anthony loves the bright lights of New York, the thoughts of contending in a weak Eastern Conference alongside Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and the Tom Thibodeau-led Bulls is an intriguing possibility for him.

Yahoo Sports reported on Friday that Anthony hopes to make a decision on where he'll be playing next season in the second week of July. The report also indicated that there was no clear frontrunner in attaining his services.

The Knicks' and Anthony met earlier this month in Los Angeles where the free agent was given the layout on plans for the future of the franchise.

The Bulls would be hoping to sign Anthony via sign-and-trade, which would allow them to keep their salary-cap exceptions, which they could then use to negotiate a deal to bring Nikola Mirotic over.

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