And then there were seven.
Since Carmelo Anthony officially decided to opt out of his contract with the New York Knicks and test the free-agent waters, seven different franchises have emerged as prominent suitors for his high-scoring services. The first five are the fairly obvious ones, as revealed by an ESPN.com report from Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne:
Carmelo Anthony has yet to publicly reveal the process by which he plans to entertain other teams in free agency now that he has opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks, but the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that expect to have the opportunity to make their pitch to him starting July 1, according to sources close to the situation.
Some options are more realistic than others, but each of the seven has the combination of appeal and ability necessary to remain a legitimate suitor for Melo's talents at this early stage. And, of course, each has one aspect to its pursuit that will be particularly appealing to the offensively dominant forward.