Hawks could join Carmelo Anthony free agent frenzy

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Getting Carmelo Anthony would be a boon for any team chasing the free agent.

Apparently, even just getting an interview with Melo would be a boon.

Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN:

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 ESPN.com 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.

In the end, I expect Melo will let practically any team willing to shower him adoration and a large-contract offer meet with him. Why not?

Most of that list is standard fare, but the Hawks are a newly reported suitor. Atlanta will have significant cap room, though not quite enough to make a max offer. The Hawks could easily get there by trading players like Jeff Teague ($8 million), Kyle Korver ($6,253,521), Lou Williams ($5.45 million) and DeMarre Carroll ($2,442,455).

I’d imagine they’d keep Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Millsap is more expendable of the two, but Horford and Melo would make a dreadful 4-5 defensive combo. So, Millsap is necessary to keep Melo at small forward.

Creating cap room is not the problem. The ability to make a max offer without involving the Knicks in a sign-and-trade actually gives the Hawks an advantage.

Convincing Melo to join a smaller marker like Atlanta would likely be a bigger issue. Maybe the Hawks can do it, but first they have to get their foot in the door.