Although Carmelo Anthony currently has a five-year, $124 million contract with the New York Knicks, he once considered taking his talents to the Chicago Bulls earlier this year.
That's according to Anthony's own words in a documentary titled Carmelo: Made in New York. Ian Begley of ESPN reported that unless the team executed a sign-and-trade, the Bulls could have offered Anthony a contract worth approximately $74 million.
"There was one point in time I was like, 'Oh, I'm going," Anthony said in the documentary.
The documentary on the famous NBA player, which aired Dec. 2 on MSG Network, detailed how Anthony pondered over his free agency behind the scenes. During that period as a free agent, Begley noted that alongside the Bulls, Anthony visited the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote that Houston fell out of Anthony's consideration because of the "culture change" living in Texas. As for Los Angeles, that possibility also fell out of the running because like the Knicks, the Lakers were in a rebuilding process.
In addition, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson tried to recruit Anthony, according to Bay Frazier, a member of Anthony's management team. However, Carmelo looked at the Lakers' roster and decided to pass on going to Los Angeles.
"It would have just been me and Kobe on that team, and then you would have had to throw in pieces in there until next year," Anthony said. "So I figured why pick up and leave when New York is in the same situation? I'd have to really want to get out of New York and come to almost the same situation."
The documentary showed Anthony being torn between playing for either the Bulls or Knicks. Begley noted that around the time the documentary was made, reports indicated that Anthony strongly considered going to Chicago.
"It came down to Chicago and New York. Chicago was the one that, from day one, was something that I was very impressed with," Anthony said. "They was looking for a person like me to come in and just take them to the next level, so it was perfect."
Even though Anthony thought the Windy City would be a good place to advance his basketball career, he also had to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks of moving there.
"It was a perfect setup, perfect fit for me in Chicago," Anthony said. "But then also I had to think about just living in Chicago. Do I want to live in Chicago? Do I want to take everything that I created in New York and move all of that? It came down to that."
Although Anthony decided in the end to stay with the Knicks, the team has faced struggles this season. Begley wrote that the Knicks have a 4-15 start along with the worst 20-game start in franchise history.
While Anthony encourages his fellow players to try out free agency if they have the chance to do so, he personally would rather not go through the process again.
"I would never do it again," he said. "I can say now I've experienced it. I would never do it again."