Another possibility: the Bulls. It’s been a disappointing season in Chicago, and some of the young assets the Bulls hoped to developed have not blossomed. But the Bulls would be in position to make the Knicks an offer, and when he was a free agent in 2014, Anthony not only visited Chicago to take their pitch, he nearly decided to sign with Bulls. Should good friend Dwyane Wade decide against opting out this summer, there could be incentive on both sides to make a Bulls move happen.
The Cavaliers? “Longshot,” one exec said. Unless LeBron James pushes for such a move, Anthony landing in Cleveland is unlikely.
In all, it is not an enviable hand that Jackson is holding, trying to deal an expensive and aging star who has the right to veto any deal and is not much wanted by the rest of the league. Jackson was not wrong to say that Anthony might be better off elsewhere. The trick, though, is to pin down where that elsewhere is.
That was supposed to be part-and-parcel with this series, given two years of meetings between these teams that featured nose-poking (that was Wall’s nose being poked), a postgame police presence set up between the locker rooms, a broken nose, an ejection (that was Wall), repeated accusations of dirty play on both sides and a night spent in funeral attire (allegedly Wall’s idea). But Game 1 was mild when it came to such hijinks.
When the lack of fireworks was mentioned to Wall, he smiled. “We all had our back-and-forth, we are all going to talk trash, that’s just the competitive nature of everybody,” Wall said. “Nobody is trying to injure anybody out here. We’re just trying to have a clean-cut game. But there’s two teams who are trying to play hard, trying to win, but don’t like each other while you’re between those two lines. That’s how the game is supposed to go.”