I have a feeling some big news is big is about to break concerning the Chicago Bulls. I’ve heard more rumors about the Bulls acquiring players in the last week than I have in the last three years, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Many people now believe the most likely landing spot for Carmelo Anthony is the Chicago Bulls and without a doubt, the Bulls are in need of an upgrade at the small forward position. This week, Anthony made a definitive move and told the Knicks that he will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Anthony was set to make more than $23 million with the Knicks this year and I’m sure anywhere else he signs, he’ll be looking for a contract that will pay him a similar amount. The Bulls are expected to amnesty Carlos Boozer which would give them some more wiggle room with the salary cap, hopefully making the Anthony acquisition more financially reasonable.
Because Anthony will be an unrestricted free agent, there is even a possibility that the Bulls could sign him without having to give up too many players on the current roster. If the Bulls are willing to pay the luxury taxes, they can sign Anthony and retain Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. If the Bulls do sign Anthony, I imagine they will be looking to get rid of Ronnie Brewer and Mike Dunleavy’s contracts.
Anthony is a proven scorer and I think he would fit in well with the Bulls. There is nothing more frustrating than watching the Bulls struggle to score in big games. They can sometimes have 10 straight possessions where they look completely lost on offense and just continue to pass the ball around because no one has the green light or the confidence to take a shot. Anthony may not play the greatest defense but a defender is not what the Bulls need, they have plenty of quality defenders. Anthony will be a guy who will take the shot when the Bulls need offense and that will be invaluable to the team.
Anthony is sometimes viewed as a player who hasn’t accomplished much in the NBA. While it’s true he doesn’t have a championship ring or an NBA Finals appearance, Anthony’s career scoring numbers are impressive. He averaged 27 points per game last season and has a career average of 25 points per game.
Despite making the playoffs 9 of the first 10 years of his NBA career, Anthony has only once taken his team past the conference semifinals and only twice advanced past the opening round. The 2013-2014 season was without question, one of the most disappointing seasons Anthony has experienced in his career and he has to be getting tired of losing. But still, Anthony put up great scoring numbers this season. Imagine what he could contribute if he joins a team like the Bulls with a great coach, an established system, and a solid core of talented players.
He may not be the undisputed number one player if he joins the Bulls, but Bulls fans will embrace Anthony. If he is willing to take a slightly smaller paycheck, the Bulls can keep all the most important players they currently have and still have enough money to put together a solid bench.
So I guess it comes down to Carmelo. He has spent 10 years in the NBA and doesn’t have much to show as far as playoff success. He has to seriously analyze what’s more important for his legacy; making a bunch of money and winning season scoring titles or taking less money, joining up with a couple other great players, and winning an NBA Championship. The way I see it, Chicago is a great place for Anthony to earn his spot as one of the great players in NBA history.