Mar 30, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) stands on the court against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Knicks won 89-84. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony to visit four teams during free agency

Now that the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes has officially begun, you have to wonder how many teams will start to chase Melo.

The reality of the situation is that there won’t be many as not many teams can afford Anthony, even with the realization that Melo will be making less money than the $23 million-plus that he just decided to walk away from with the New York Knicks.

So far it looks like Anthony will visit the four usual suspects- Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers- that have been linked to him for the better part of a year now.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein confirmed that and also confirmed that the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks could also find themselves in the race.

The duo wrote:

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.

Teams can’t formally contact free agents until 12:01 a.m. ET July 1, but sources told that the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are two more teams that could join the race for Anthony, depending on how things play out before, during and after Thursday’s NBA draft.

It remains to be seen how the Knicks fit back into the Anthony sweepstakes and when Phil Jackson will once again make his pitch to Melo, but the one thing Jackson wanted not to happen officially has and the Knicks now have a ton of competition in order to retain Anthony.

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