The symbolism could be telling in the Bulls' pursuit of their top offseason target.
Jordan is the irrepressible force who led the franchise to six NBA championships and whose popularity played a major role in helping transform the city's West Side. He also helped revolutionize sports marketing, and his long-standing relationship with Nike continues with the profitable Jordan Brand subsidiary.
Anthony endorses that brand. And an association inside the Building that Michael Built, er, the United Center, could be a profitable endeavor beyond whatever the Bulls' recruiting team ultimately offers.
Failing to possess the cap space for a maximum salary that Anthony's current employer the Knicks can offer, the Bulls' pitch will appeal to Anthony's publicly stated desire to compete for championships with a ready-to-win roster that is screaming for his rare scoring talents.
"What we're selling is our team," coach Tom Thibodeau said in general fashion and not specifically about Anthony. "I'm sure free agents are well aware of our team and the guys that we do have. Our players will be available to talk. We think we have a lot to offer. We have great depth. We have great tradition. And we're positioned well to go forward."
Joakim Noah has been talking to Anthony since the All-Star break. Derrick Rose doesn't publicly recruit players, but sources told the Tribune last week word has reached Anthony's camp that Rose would welcome Anthony's arrival. If Anthony wants to talk to Rose, sources said an effort for that conversation will be made.
The new practice facility also will be a selling point.
The Bulls' means to acquire Anthony are twofold: Hope Anthony's camp says yes and convinces Knicks President Phil Jackson to engage in sign-and-trade discussions, which would get him either close to or at a maximum salary. Or sign him using salary-cap space, which would necessitate the amnesty of Carlos Boozer and jettisoning of other pieces for nothing.
Both avenues could be trumped by a Knicks financial offer or Anthony's desire to remain on the New York stage and not uproot his family. Unlike in 2010, the Bulls will not proactively gut their team for cap space but would be aggressive in making necessary moves if Anthony verbally committed, sources said.
Anthony is scheduled to visit the Rockets and Mavericks on Wednesday, with a possible trip to the Lakers ahead as well. Sources continue to indicate Anthony won't belabor his decision after his tour. Free agents can give verbal commitments before the moratorium ends July 10.
Like many teams, the Bulls are juggling multiple contingency plans in the musical chairs game that is free agency. Until Anthony makes his decision, most are on hold. But that didn't stop them from planning to contact agents for multiple players, including Chandler Parsons, Kirk Hinrich, D.J. Augustin and Pau Gasol.
The Bulls have been linked to Gasol seemingly forever, back to 2008, when the Grizzlies asked for Luol Deng, the Bulls said no and the Grizzlies traded him to the Lakers.