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Report: Joakim Noah encouraged Carmelo Anthony to sign with Bulls

Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, attempts a shot as

Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, attempts a shot as Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah defends during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden. Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun

Joakim Noah had 14 assists against the Knicks on Sunday afternoon and he could get credit for another one if Carmelo Anthony signs with the Bulls this summer.

According to, Noah had a conversation with Anthony over All-Star Weekend and told him, "If you want to win a ring, come to Chicago."

Anthony has said he will opt out of his contract this offseason and test free agency. The Knicks can offer him a five-year deal for about $129 million, about $34 million more than any other team.

But the Knicks' disappointing season, which could end with Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, could make him shun the extra money for a chance to win.

Chicago is a logical destination, and the Bulls could have the cap space to sign Anthony if they make other moves, including amnestying Carlos Boozer. Playing with a healthy Derrick Rose and Noah and for coach Tom Thibodeau could be Anthony's best chance to win a championship.

"Melo is still wearing a Knicks uniform," Mike Woodson said Thursday on ESPN New York radio. "I hope he stays with the Knicks for the rest of his career. Whatever was said between Noah and the Chicago Bulls, that's on them."

As it stands now, the Knicks will have ample cap space to be major players in free agency in the summer of 2015, when Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge could hit the open market.

Anthony has to decide whether he is willing to wait a year. He plans to sit with Knicks officials after the season to see what the plan is to build a contender. He has said he would take less money if it helps the Knicks, but he didn't rule out taking less to go to a team that has a chance to win.

New York Sports