Speculation continues to link ‘Melo with switch to Chicago.
With just over two weeks remaining until the NBA trade deadline, the rumor mill is about to go into overdrive with Carmelo Anthony regularly involved in speculation ahead of free agency this summer.
According to ESPN reporter, Chris Broussard, most franchise executives that he has spoken to suggest that the Chicago Bulls will make a move for the Knicks star in free agency, while other sources suggest a trade deal may happen.
Marc Berman of the New York Post circulated a report that Chicago was ‘Melo’s preferred destination, before CBS’s John Schmeelk suggested that the Bulls were favourites to land the forward if he chose to leave New York.
In contrast, Anthony’s wife, La La, insisted that she believes that her husband will stay in the Big Apple, but perhaps only with the promise from the front office that they will make significant moves in the market to assemble a competitive roster.
Following their success last year, the Knicks have disappointed many this season as they continue to look for a way into the playoffs, with reports suggesting that Anthony is beginning to become disgruntled with no genuine championship prospects but is still captivated by shining at the Garden.
Meanwhile, the Bulls need scoring options to help them become an elite team again, and with Derrick Rose returning from injury next season as well as the possible arrival of Nikola Mirotic from Real Madrid, they appear to have a solid unit in mind.
Chicago perhaps now acknowledge that they can no longer build around Rose given his health issues over the past two years, and although Melo doesn’t fit with coach Tom Thibodeau’s ethos of defense first, he is arguably what the franchise is crying out for.
However, the Bulls must amnesty Carlos Boozer, potentially give Taj Gibson away for nothing and sacrifice their draft picks in order to land Anthony.
There is also the short-term doubt as to whether Anthony would remain beyond next season even though the Bulls would be at an advantage of being able to offer him more money, but then salary cap space and luxury tax become issues for the Eastern Conference giants.
Having traded Luol Deng, the front office have shown a desire to build for the future and they are expected to continue in that vein this summer with the long-term picture in mind.
Anthony would certainly compliment the pieces that they currently have and settle in on the court, but it is off the court where matters may make any potential move more complicated.
While it is unlikely that a blockbuster trade deal might happen with Anthony this month, the speculation will continue into the summer and if the Bulls grow impatient and adopt a win-now attitude, then Anthony may well be top of their list.
Whether or not they are able to entice him away from the bright lights of New York remains to be seen, and that is perhaps the biggest problem they face if reports of their interest are true.