Speculation had linked the Bulls with a possible trade move for Anthony.
Chicago Bulls executive vice president John Paxson has revealed that it is “unlikely” that the franchise will make a move for any player before the February 20 trade deadline.
Speculation has been rife over the past few weeks regarding a possible trade for the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, but neither Paxson nor general manager Gar Forman hinted at a deal for any player.
With the deadline just a week away, Forman revealed that 29 teams are in contact in case a deal presents itself which benefits both parties, but neither official expect any movement for the Bulls prior to next Thursday.
“We’ve got the trade deadline a week from now,” Paxson said, according to ESPN.
“You have to put yourself in the other team’s position — people don’t just give up great players. So we obviously talk and keep our eyes and ears open, but to anticipate something’s going to happen, I don’t think that’s likely, to be honest with you.”
It is believed that Chicago will now wait until the summer before continuing to make changes to their roster. Many expect them to amnesty Carlos Boozer’s contract which is in its final year, they have a first-round pick and potentially another from the Charlotte Bobcats depending on final standings, while a trip to the playoffs could see them have around $11m in cap space.
“With that said, we do think we’re well-positioned going into the summer,” Forman said. “We’ve got the possibility of a couple first-round picks. We’ve got the possibility of some flexibility. Like I’ve said all along, the core of guys that we have we like, so we think we’re well situated going into the summer and into the future.”
Having traded Luol Deng, the Bulls envisage that Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson will form the core of their new team moving forward.
While a trade with the Knicks for Anthony was always impossible, it remains to be seen whether or not they can persuade one of the NBA’s biggest stars to move to the United Center, while also ensuring that they are able to maintain a competitive roster.
It is understood that significant cuts will have to be made in order to make the move happen, while there is also the possibility of bringing Nikola Mirotic across from Real Madrid in the summer.