​Carmelo has visits planned; which NBA team fits best?

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​Carmelo has visits planned; which NBA team fits best?
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in New York. The Knicks won the game 110-81. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, passes the ball past Chicago Bulls' D.J. Augustin during the first half of the NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 13, 2014 in New York. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 100-89. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah, right, shoots over New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony during the second half of the NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 13, 2014 in New York. The Knicks defeated the Bulls 100-89. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) gets a pass from Tim Hardaway Jr. (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) passes as Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic, of Slovenia, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 28, 2014, in Phoenix (AP Photo/Matt York)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, shoots the ball against Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at New York's Madison Square Garden, Saturday, March 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) defends Philadelphia 76ers' Thaddeus Young (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 10, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, left, knocks the ball away from New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) as Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrates after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The Knicks won 98-91. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony drives past Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR JORDAN BRAND - Jordan Brand athlete Carmelo Anthony attends the Jordan Brand Take Flight Celebration on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in New Orleans. (Photo by Omar Vega/Invision for Jordan Brand/AP)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers' Robin Lopez (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) drives against Miami Heat's Shane Battier (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in New York. Miami won 106-91. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Miami Heat's LeBron James, right, is defended by New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in New York. Miami won 106-91. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, left, shoots over Indiana Pacers forward Paul George during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony dunks the ball as Philadelphia 76ers' Thaddeus Young watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Knicks win 102-92. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Dallas. The Knicks won 92-80. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots against the Washington Wizards during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, in New York. The Wizards won 102-101. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) goes up to shoot as Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler covers in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony smiles against the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 09: (L-R) Carmelo and LaLa Anthony attend the Los Angeles Premiere of 'Think Like A Man Too' at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: Carmelo Anthony, Swizz Beatz and Nas attend Carmelo Anthony's 30th Birthday Party at Up & Down on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: Carmelo Anthony attends Carmelo Anthony's 30th Birthday Party at Up & Down on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (L-R) La La Anthony and Carmelo Anthony attend Carmelo Anthony's '30 for 30' Birthday Dinner at The NoMad Hotel on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Haute Living)
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BY SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

The Carmelo Anthony free-agent tour is set to get underway this week, with meetings planned with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Anthony said he hopes to pick a team by the second week of July, and that he has not ruled out returning to the New York Knicks.

Of the five potential landing spots, where does 'Melo fit in best? Here's the scoop:

Chicago Bulls

Should we read into the tea leaves that he'll be visiting Chicago first? Maybe.

The Bulls seem like the perfect fit: a team lacking an elite scorer. But at the same time, this is a team based on defense, something over the course of his career Anthony has failed to show on a consistent basis.

The biggest pitfall here is what Chicago's roster would look like if it signed Anthony. Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, and Taj Gibson may be kicked to the door, then you have to wonder if losing those weapons is worth it.

Not to mention Derrick Rose hasn't been overwhelmingly warm about the prospect of playing alongside 'Melo.

Houston Rockets

Wow, a trio of Anthony, Dwight Howard, and James Harden. That's major.

The Rockets already sent Omer Asik packing and reportedly have deals to do the same to Jeremy Lin in order to make salary cap space for Anthony. The offense - it would be unstoppable. Two elite wing scorers plus Howard dominating in the paint.

But again, 'Melo's drawback - defense - comes into play. Harden is also a terrible defender, so who is going to be the Rockets' stopper in crunch time? That's what cost Houston its opening-round playoff series against Portland, and it'll bite them on the backside again in 2014-15, even with Anthony.

Dallas Mavericks

Anthony can reunite with Tyson Chandler in Big D, and play alongside another full of Hall of Famer in Dirk Nowitzki.

How much more does Nowitzki have in the tank, though? He's already on the downslope of his career, so a championship window with Dirk is probably smaller than you'd think.

Dirk and Anthony have a similar skill-set, and although Nowitzki has stated he'd be fine with a lesser role to make room for Anthony, you have to wonder what the value of joining the really Mavs is.

Los Angeles Lakers

By going to Los Angeles, Anthony would be entering a unique - and sort of risky - situation. On one hand, he can try to compete alongside Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and potentially Pau Gasolin Year 1. And eventually, he can become the cornerstone of the historic organization.

But when Nash and Kobe hang up their cleats, Anthony will have to trust Lakers management to reassemble a roster catered around him. That may include a year or two of being stuck on a non-competitive team like Kobe went through.

There have been indications Anthony is interested in joining up with Gasol, who is also rumored to want to reunite with Phil Jackson in New York.

New York Knicks

No team can pay Anthony more than the Knicks, and money is the second-most important factor to Anthony other than a chance to win titles.

It has been suggested Anthony was a fan of the recent trade to acquire Jose Calderon, which gives the Knicks a true perimeter threat and pass-first point guard. Reports have also indicated Anthony loved playing at Madison Square Garden.

So far, Jackson has made some nice moves to revamp the roster, and returning Anthony is a major piece of the puzzle.

Financial Fit For Carmelo


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