Well, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming… Carmelo Anthony has revealed his final decision and he is re-signing with the New York Knicks.
I’m really not surprised. I don’t know how anyone can turn down a chance to be part of a team that is being built by Phil Jackson. Jackson must have given Anthony a great vision for the future because the Knicks are definitely not going to be very good next year.
In addition to being part of the Phil Jackson era in New York, Anthony will also receive a max deal from the Knicks (still in negotiations). He will be joining head coach Derek Fisher and Amar’e Stoudemire next year to see if the Knicks can be competitive with their current roster for one more year before they come into a massive amount of cap space and spend a huge amount of money in the summer of 2015.
Good luck in New York Carmelo! I hope that big contract helps him buy a bunch of cool stuff; because there’s no way it’s going to buy him an NBA Championship… at least not for the foreseeable future.
So where does this leave the Chicago Bulls?
As far as the small forward position is concerned, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng, LeBron, and Carmelo have all made their decisions, so who’s left for the Bulls? Essentially every quality small forward has signed with a team. The best still available would be Evan Turner or Shawn Marion but I don’t see the Bulls pursuing them in any way.
Luckily, the Bulls did draft a solid small forward prospect in Doug McDermott. His role will now be more important than ever. I hope he’s ready to make a serious commitment to play hard for the Bulls because his development could have a huge impact on their success next season. Currently he’s getting ready for the NBA by playing in the summer league. I’m excited to see what he’ll bring to the table next season.
Despite missing out on Anthony, reports keep surfacing about the Bulls making moves that remain unofficial but are beginning to reveal a more accurate picture of what their roster will look like next season. The Bulls are still gauging league interest for Carlos Boozer and if no offers for him arise he will have to be amnestied by Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the Bulls have failed to re-sign D.J. Augustin. Because of the loss of Augustin, it’s going to be more important than ever that Rose stays healthy next season. According to Yahoo Sports, Augustin is close to signing a two-year deal with the Detroit Pistons.
I had a feeling Augustin wouldn’t be sticking around for another year. He just played too well last season. Teams saw what he can do and now he’s going to get the contract he deserves. I wish him luck in Detroit. He’s joining a talented young team with a lot of potential under new coach Stan Van Gundy.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls will re-sign Kirk Hinrich to a two-year deal. It seems Hinrich enjoys playing for the Bulls and he’s a great fit in the system. He is loved by the Bulls entire organization and coach Thibodeau. Hinrich is a great backup to Rose because he can contribute points as well as lock-down defense.
Via his twitter account, Pau Gasol announced he will be joining the Bulls. Gasol was courted by a few contending teams but the pitch from the Bulls must have looked good to him considering the Lakers don’t seem to be putting forth much of an effort to improve their roster for next season. Gasol is an experienced player who can contribute to the Bulls in many ways. He’ll be an excellent leader and his defensive abilities will help him be a great fit in Thibodeau’s system.
Also on Twitter, Real Madrid power forward, Nikola Mirotic tweeted that he will be leaving the Euro League and coming to America to play for the Bulls next season. Neil Diamond would be proud.
This is some extremely exciting news for Bulls fans. Mirotic is regarded as arguably the best player in all of Europe. Mirotic’s future was uncertain after the Bulls acquired his draft rights in the 2011 draft. I was unsure if he’d ever develop to the point of being NBA ready, but it looks like that day has finally arrived.
The addition of Mirotic tells me the Bulls are partly modeling themselves after the best team in the NBA; the San Antonio Spurs. They are creating a championship squad by combining international talent, experienced leadership, great coaching, excellent defense, an explosive point guard, and a deep bench of role players.
I’ll admit it; I’m disappointed that Carmelo didn’t sign with the Bulls. But with more news coming out about the Bulls’ roster, I’m beginning to think the Bulls will be better off without him. Because the Bulls aren’t going to be signing any max payers like Carmelo or Kevin Love, they aren’t going to have to trade away any of the vital pieces they currently have. As much as the hype of Carmelo would have been fun and exciting, I’d much rather keep Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.
The addition of Gasol, McDermott, Mirotic, plus the return of Rose, Noah, Hinrich, Gibson, and Butler is an encouraging thought. The dismantling of the Miami Heat has left the eastern conference more wide open than is has been in quite some time. Sure LeBron has a promising cast of young talent in Cleveland but he’s one of the only players on the team with serious playoff experience.
I figure that unless the Indiana Pacers finally decide they want to be a good basketball team or this newly forged Cleveland Cavaliers team makes some huge progress in their first year playing together, the Bulls will be the team to beat next season in the Eastern conference. And of course, next year’s run to the NBA Championship still relies solely on the success of the second return of Derrick Rose. At least at this point, it’s hard to argue that the Bulls aren’t doing their very best to surround Rose with some excellent talent.