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NBA Free Agency: Carmelo Anthony Out of Time?

By Erik Lambert

Dec 11, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson (22) defends against New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the second half of NBA game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James went homes to Cleveland and it has predictably changed the landscape of NBA free agency.  What are the present and future impacts?

Bulls may be forcing hand of Anthony with Pau Gasol pursuit

James was the man to make his decision first, leaving All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony as the last man standing.  However, his delaying tactics may have finally worn out his suitors.  After Los Angeles dropped out of the race, it would seem the Chicago Bulls are ready to move on or force Anthony into a decision.  Rumors are picking up quickly that the team is approaching a deal for veteran center Pau Gasol.  Viewed as their primary backup plan in NBA free agency if they failed to land Anthony, such a move would likely take them out of the running, leaving only the New York Knicks as the place to go.  Either that is how it will play out, or the Bulls are hoping it gets him to make his choice to come to Chicago.

Lakers finally in rebuilding mode with Jeremy Lin deal

With Gasol on his way out and their own pursuit of Anthony at an end, it’s clear now that the Los Angeles Lakers can no longer ride their win-now strategy they’ve done for so many years.  Their cupboard of draft picks is barren and their salary cap needs reworking.  So to that end they’ve begun the rebuilding process.  It started when they accepted a trade with the Houston Rockets for point guard Jeremy Lin.  He brings immediate value on the floor but more importantly comes with an attached 1st round draft pick.  On top of it his contract ends next year, which will keep their salary cap clean for potential shopping.

Chris Bosh showed his view with Miami deal

When James left for Cleveland, nearly every expert with any credibility was convinced former teammate Chris Bosh would also depart the Miami Heat for a big contract offer from the Houston Rockets.  Then in a surprise twist, Bosh reversed direction and accepted a max contract to stay in South Beach.  Most will assume he simply accepted more money but the decision likely goes deeper than that.  Whispers dating back to last season hinted Bosh was not happy due to his not seeing the ball enough on offense.  If he had gone to Houston, he would’ve had to do it all over again with James Harden, Dwight Howard and maybe even Chandler Parson.  By staying in Miami, he not only gets the big pay day but also should see more of the action on offense.  Such is how NBA free agency throws a curveball.