Not surprisingly, Bulls out of Melo sweepstakes

Per CBS sports:

The Bulls are "out of it" for now, said one executive privy to Chicago's insistence on keeping Joakim Noah and the Nuggets' refusal to take back Luol Deng.

Six weeks after Anthony's advisers -- agent Leon
Rose, raconteur William Wesley, et Al -- first began making noise
that their client wanted to be traded, little of substance has
changed to push the story forward. Sources tell that
Melo's camp remains insistent upon a trade to New York, New
Jersey or Chicago. (Two executives expressed doubts Thursday about
Houston's level of involvement in the sweepstakes, saying
Anthony's people have not been pushing a Rockets deal.) There are
flaws with each of those scenarios, and Denver -- led by newly installed
GM Masai Ujiri -- has been trying to expand the playing field to
solicit more palatable offers.

The scenario
both sides are most comfortable with to this point remains New
Jersey, which can offer No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, the expiring contracts of Troy Murphy and Kris Humphries,
and multiple draft picks (with Golden State's 2012 first-rounder
potentially the most valuable). The Nuggets, for good reason, want
Brook Lopez,
whom the Nets don't want to trade -- and whom Anthony wants on
his team. So the Nets, according to sources, have been canvassing
the league for a trading partner, with the most likely result
continuing to be sending guard Devin Harris
to a third team that possesses a skilled wing player the Nuggets
would view as a decent replacement for Anthony.

So the one thing that strikes me most about this article is that Berger is flat out stating that Anthony is willing to go to New Jersey.  We've heard mixed messages about that in the past, but if Anthony is willing to go to NJ, then it's over for the Bulls and Knicks if NJ is willing to give up Favors in the deal. 

Neither Chicago or New York can add that kind of value, and if Melo is happy with the team left, then that deal seems like it's just too obvious for everyone involved to pass up. 

The Bulls apparently are unwilling to put Noah into the deal, and I don't blame them.  First, if they add Noah, they still don't beat the Nets offer.  So it really comes down to whether the Nets are in or not.  If the Nets are in play, then we're screwed either way.  If the Nets aren't in play, then I don't think the Bulls need to add Noah to get a deal done, because the other teams in play don't have all that much to offer.

Either way, agreeing to add Noah at this point is only a negative for Chicago, as it also screws with his mind in the (highly likely) event that Melo isn't coming here no matter what.  That being the case, the public face of "We're not trading Noah" is absolutely the right call even if when push comes to shove they are willing to. 

The article goes on to mention the Clippers as a sleeper team in the sweepstakes.  If Anthony is willing to go to the Clippers then I think they definitely have some value they could pass along to the Nuggets including Minnesota's unprotected 2012 1st round draft pick.  A pick that won't get tremendously worse due to the addition of Melo.   They also can save Denver more money (don't need to fully match salary) and could throw in a quality young player like Eric Gordon.

So far, the clips haven't appeared on any lists for Melo, but there's a lot about that deal which makes sense for both sides.  The Clippers could actually be quite good if they were able to trade mostly future assets and expirings for Melo.  They'd have Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Carmelo, Griffin, and Kaman.   Even if Griffin isn't the stud everyone hopes, that's a pretty great starting five, and the Clippers aren't as laughably bad on the court as their reputation already, so adding a star makes them a quality team.

Is it a championship caliber team?   No, probably not, but it's a team in a big market in a nice weather city where his wife would want to live, so it's got that going for it.

Either way, I expect the Bulls are out.  This isn't surprising, as I don't think the Bulls ever had the assets to pull something off.  The only way this works is if Melo simply demands Chicago and no where else, and even then, the Nuggets can merely call his bluff, because we don't have cap room to sign him next summer anyway.


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  • 1. Doug, you are guessing here on the Clippers. Your points are all correct in theory but in practice the Clippers are such a bad organization...they will screw it up. And don't think Melo who has 4/5 years to win a championship will not know that.
    2. About the Nets, it is the same thing as Clippers. If they get rid of Harris, Favors...Lopez alone will not cut it for Melo. I am not saying like MrHappy about Chicago having some advantage. But, this "Berger" obviously is NJ/NY based....I have seen enough bias on their thinking to ignore them...They print what they wish.
    He has no chance in NJ for the next 3/4 years with that roster.
    3. About Chicago, if Deng's contract is viewed badly as everyone says...then obviously it is not going to work. If the Bulls can pawn off Deng to somebody else in a 3-way trade...that's probably what Gar/Pax are probably working on...

  • The Bulls are NOT out of it.

    Report both sides of the story Doug!!!

    ESPN and YAHOO say that the Bulls are at the top of Melo's list. NY doesn't have the assets to get him and NJ can't win with or without him. The Bulls DO NOT have to give up NOAH to get Melo, because NJ isn't giving up Lopez.

    The MEDIA has an EAST-COAST biased to New York/New Jersey. Where is Ken Berger from? You guessed it...New York. The Bulls have the best ASSESTS to give up. We'll see how long Denver holds onto Melo.


    We are down by 10% points. Let's go Bulls' fans and show some PRIDE.

  • FYI:

    The Denver Post contends, just today, that the Bulls and Nets are in serious negotiations for the services of Carmelo Anthony.

    Neither wants to give up their BIG MEN (Noah or Lopez).

    * I could see NJ dropping out of the sweepstakes and staying young.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Chi definitely has a chance compared to NY/NJ if Deng can be used by a 3rd team. Why would Denver take an expiring contract to pay and suck for one year rather than keep Melo(make some money by selling out games and drama)..
    Giving up Noah or Lopez shows the disparity of NJ/Chi in terms of what Melo gets once he leaves Denver. If NJ gives up Lopez, even with Melo it is far-far away form contending while Chi can still contend. So, it sounds crazy if Melo goes to NJ

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I read yesterday that Avery Johnson said Favors wouldn't be included in any deal. And Lopez was a non-starter in trade talks as well. Deng/Gibson/Charlotte pick is better than Murphy/T. Williams/NJ picks. If any of that is true, bulls are still in it and Noah is safe.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    What about the contention about "the Nuggets' refusal to take back Luol Deng"? I mean, if that's the case we're out no matter what. We don't have a way to make salary room if we're not moving Deng.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    In the outside chance that Bulls are involved it will likely require a 3rd team to take Deng's contract. The rumored NJ deal has 4 teams involved.

    If Melo agrees to go to NJ that may show he cares more about location and money (extending under the new CBA), than winning. The only true contender for Melo is Bulls while keeping Noah and trading Deng, not very likely.

    Bur NJ will not be horrible, they have Jordan Farmar at PG, Terrance Williams and Anthoney Morrow at SG, Melo at SF and Lopez at C. PG Devin Harris is included in the rumored multi-team trade.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think the Russion billionaire will go aggressively for Melo. He wants to make a splash in the NBA and bring a superstar and Brooklyn hometown boy to the Nets.

    But Denver will not be able to pry away Lopez or Noah. They have no leverage, if they don't trade Melo in 4 1/2 months they lose him for nothing. Denver must get a deal done and they can probably get more in return before the season starts than in February. They don't want to end up like Toronto or Cleveland.

  • The thing is, I feel like if you do this deal then you're making the team worse right now in an attempt to get MUCH better in the future. I think the Bulls will be better this season with Noah+Deng than Melo. But it's a lot easier to build off of Melo in the future than with Noah+Deng.

    I guess that's a question I have for people: do you think that this trade would make the Bulls better or worse this season, and in either case by how much?

  • I'm with you MW.. You beat the heat by finding their weaknesses and exacerbating them. Not by trying to match them player for player.

  • Bulls have to keep Noah, cause without a good frontline teams go nowhere in the playoffs. But that said, if us Bulls fans are honest with ourselves, we realize Bulls must add all-star wing to truly compete for a title - and that's while keeping Noah!

    Problem is Bulls are at the cap and must make acquisitions through trade. Yet they have little in the way of assets they can afford to trade to add that necessary all-star wing. It may be a problem without a championship solution...

  • I'm probably in the minority on this, but my crystal ball says "Miami - three superstars, one ball." I'd wait for the deadline and see if they're as good on the court as they are on paper.

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