At least, that’s according to ESPN’s Mark Stein. Earlier tonight, he sent out the following tweet about Carmelo Anthony’s itinerary:

While this may be a matter of convenience (it’s probably easiest, logistically, to go from Chicago to Texas to California), we’re going to read into this and deem the Bulls the early favorite for Melo’s services. And why shouldn’t they be? Teaming Anthony up with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah would make the Bulls the favorites in the East, doubly so if coach Tom Thibodeau can get Melo to play a little defense.

Just don't expect any help from Rose, who has said it's "not his job" to recruit players and that "my thing is if they want to come, they can come."

Stein’s report on ESPN’s website says that the Knicks are also feeling increasingly optimistic they can keep Anthony, as he has already formed a bond with new team president Phil Jackson. Jackson may have designs of bringing Pau Gasol to New York as well, giving Anthony a reliable contributor in the post (sorry, Amare).

Obviously, it’s way too early to make any big judgments or proclamations about favorites to land Carmelo. But, if anything, these meetings do tell us which teams have already piqued his interest, and allows us to start wrapping our heads around Melo being in a new uniform next season.

[via Twitter]