It sounds like Carmelo Anthony is very serious about leaving New York.

With the deadline for him to opt out of the final year of his current deal looming, Anthony has begun doing his research into what life would be like for him as a Chicago Bull. An ESPN report cites sources saying that he has reached out to “one high-profile person…about what it's like to be famous in the Windy City.”

On an unrelated note (just kidding, totally related), Anthony is repped by the Jordan brand. Just saying.

In any case, it’s clear he’s taking a potential switch to Chicago seriously. And the Bulls seem pretty serious about him, too. Coach Tom Thibodeau has begun reaching out to some of Carmelo’s former coaches, likely gauging just how much Anthony hates playing defense. The answer is: a lot.

Having Anthony and a healthy Derrick Rose to go with All-NBA center Joakim Noah would instantly make the Bulls a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, so it’s safe to assume they’ll be making a hard push to bring him to town. Of course, money will be an issue; Melo can sign a five year, $129 million deal to stay with the Knicks or get four years and $96 million somewhere else.

The clock is ticking on a decision, as the deadline for Anthony to opt out is tomorrow. Even if he ends up staying in New York, it seems a certainty he’ll opt out; after all, $129 million/$96 million > $23.5 million.

RELATED: Carmelo Anthony Will Reportedly Still Opt Out Even After Meeting With Knicks Brass

[via ESPN]