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With Anthony deal gone, Bulls need to scramble

In this March 19 2014 file phoNew York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony left tries move around IndianPacers' Paul George during first

In this March 19, 2014, file photo, New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, tries to move around Indiana Pacers' Paul George during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Updated: July 12, 2014 3:54PM



Ultimately for Carmelo Anthony, winning wasn’t worth the some $54 million he would leave on the table by signing with the Bulls.

According to multiple reports, Anthony has informed the Bulls and Knicks of his intent to return to New York. There are some reports that Anthony will take less than the maximum five-year $129 million contract offered by New York Saturday.

So where does that leave the Bulls? Scrambling somewhat.

With Anthony vacillating for some time now, the Bulls have pursued their Plan B. That included signing free agent forward Pau Gasol with whom the Bulls are nearing a deal, according to sources.

In getting the deal done, the Bulls have talked with the Lakers, Gasol’s team the past six seasons, about the possibility of a sign-and-trade. However, according to sources, Los Angeles has been uncooperative, which has forced the Bulls to seek a third team to be involved in a possible sign-and-trade scenario.

Whether the Bulls can get that accomplished or sign Gasol outright, there is urgency for the organization to get the deal done. According to sources, the Bulls are interested in heavily pursuing free agent small forward Trevor Ariza who has also drawn interest from the Rockets.

This signals a similar philosophy to that of the summer of 2010. After the Bulls lost out on LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, the organization signed Carlos Boozer and looked to add depth.

Email: sgruen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SethGruen



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