Rockets show image of Melo in No. 7

"At the end of the day we all want to win a championship.That's why I came here. He would be a big part of that," Howard told KRIV-TV.

Most expect Lin to be moved in a trade to help the Rockets clear enough cap space to offer Anthony a near-max contract. There's an irony here because Anthony, according to reports, wasn't too thrilled when Lin garnered so much attention during his "Linsanity" run in 2012.

Several reports state that Houston already has a deal in place to move Lin if the Rockets get a commitment from Anthony. Houston will likely have to move Lin and the $8.3 million that his contract counts for on its books to acquire Anthony.

However, the Rockets have potentially created an awkward situation for next season if they fail to sign Anthony and Lin ends up back with the Rockets to fulfill the final season of his contract.

The Knicks are the only team that can offer Anthony a max contract worth $129 million over five years, but it's uncertain whether the Knicks will offer him a maximum contract.

The Bulls also greeted Anthony with an image of him in their team's jersey.

Chicago's rising interest in Gasol, sources said, is indeed a reflection of the Bulls' concern that -- despite their recruiting efforts Tuesday when Anthony came to town -- they will be unable to pry the All-Star forward away from the Knicks.

On Tuesday, the marquee in the front of the United Center showed Anthony as a Bull with the Larry O'Brien Trophy as the organization clearly tries to appeal to his stated desire to win, possibly even taking less money to do so. 

Derrick Rose, who had previously said he wouldn't help recruit Anthony, was part of the Bulls' pitch meeting Tuesday. Rose declined comment as he left the United Center on Tuesday afternoon, but a source described the meetings, which included appearances from Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Rose, as "good" to ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell. 

Anthony is scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in L.A.

The Knicks, meanwhile, expect to meet with Anthony after he concludes his visits with the Mavericks, Rockets and Lakers, sources told ESPNNewYork.com. The date and location of the Knicks meeting are unclear at this point.

Houston got the biggest prize in free agency last offseason when it signed Howard away from the Lakers, with designs on making a deep run in the playoffs this year. But the Rockets were bounced from the postseason in the first round just as they were the year before. So they started looking for more upgrades to the roster.

They made the first move to free up money for adding players by agreeing to a trade that will send Asik and cash considerations to the New Orleans Pelicans for a protected future first-round draft pick.

ESPN senior writer Marc Stein, ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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