Lakers, Bulls, Clippers Reportedly Carmelo's Top Options If He Leaves Knicks

Joe Flynn@@ChinaJoeFlynnContributor IMarch 31, 2017

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 23: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks dribbles up the court against the Orlando Magic during the game on December 23, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE  (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony played on Thursday night in San Antonio after missing the previous three games with an ankle injury. That should be all the news Knicks fans need to hear for the moment.

But never a day passes without some other, more troubling news for the Knicks organization, and Melo is right in the middle of this latest bit.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Melo might be ready to hightail it out of New York when he becomes a free agent in the summer. He already has a list of potential teams, and that list includes the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Per Berman:

Anthony wants to play for a winner, but desperately wants to play in a big market because of his business ventures — his Jordan Brand sneaker line, his PowerCoco energy drink, his watch deal.

That is why New York, Los Angeles, where he has a home, and even Chicago are on his short list, according to a source. 

So his priorities are winning, energy drinks and watches...but in what order?

Some of the destinations on that list are far more feasible than others. The Lakers will have the salary cap room needed to sign Melo to a max deal. But even with Melo joining a fully rehabbed Kobe Bryant, the Lakers would not be a viable title contender.

If money was no option, the Bulls or Clippers might prove a more preferable landing spot. But both teams will likely be over the salary cap. So unless Melo is willing to take the biggest voluntary pay cut in NBA history, the odds he signs with either team is slim.

As for the Knicks, they can still offer Melo the most money. But if their star player—the player they traded their precious 2014 draft pick to acquireis seriously considering a move out of town, then perhaps the Knicks should take a proactive approach.

With the playoffs a long shot, the Knicks need to properly gauge Melo's intentions. If they think he's going to bolt, they need to trade him.