What's next for Carmelo suitors?

How the five former hopefuls should refocus their efforts in free agency

Updated: July 12, 2014, 4:43 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

Well, that was fun.

For a breathless fortnight (give or take), these teams sat on the edge of their respective seats, waiting on word that they were the chosen ones. All that planning, salary shifting, tours, meetings and pitches to convince Carmelo Anthony that their city and their location was the place for him to fulfill his destiny as more than just a guy with a knack for scoring. And yet, all those pitches appear to have fallen short of New York's fame, fortune and legacy promised within the context of the triangle offense, as sources say Anthony is finalizing negotiations to remain a New York Knick.

The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and, to some extent, the Miami Heat have been left at the altar, apparently. Here's which direction each could go in next:


Chicago Bulls

On some level, Chicago's pitch was always going to be a long shot, as the Bulls didn't have the wherewithal to offer Anthony a deal approaching the dollar amount the other teams vying for his services could. Chicago was always going to be about having the best supporting cast and an easier path to the conference finals, if not the NBA Finals themselves. So it has turned its attentions to Pau Gasol.