Carmelo Anthony via Carlos Boozer, the only way to have a chance

Carmelo Anthony via Carlos Boozer, the only way to have a chance

While the Bulls have opened up some room under the cap this summer, I've noted several times that the bar to using this cap space to bring in a max player is so high that Chicago shouldn't even really consider the idea. However, using Carlos Boozer as a trade chip, technically remaining above the cap, and then having more exceptions might allow the Bulls to pursue big time free agents including Carmelo Anthony.

Prerequisites to a Melo trade

1: Melo had to tell New York he's not coming back and make them believe it.
2: Melo has to limit the destination to Chicago and one other team that can take him without New York's help in order to force New York to accept that he's leaving.
3: The Bulls have to outbid that other team.
4: The Knicks will have to be willing to stomach one year of Carlos Boozer
5: Melo has to ultimately choose the Bulls

How this could possibly work

First, looking at the top five things, it's a long list, but all of them are reasonable. I think New York probably expects Melo to bolt. A source recently came out and identified the Bulls and Lakers as two teams he'd be into going to, and listed the Bulls as favorites. The Knicks don't seem like a team scared of taking on some salary in order to improve themselves, they have massive, massive amounts of revenue.

The Lakers qualify as "the other team to apply leverage" as they have room to sign Melo to a max deal, however, L.A., while having cap room, won't have much of anything useful to give up for Melo unless they're willing to part with their draft pick in this draft (unlikely if it's a star potential player).

Chicago offers up Carlos Boozer, their first, Charlotte's first, and the 1st rounder from the Kings acquired as part of the Luol Deng trade for Carmelo Anthony. While none of the first round picks projects into a star player, New York is bereft of draft picks to build around if they get rid of Anthony, getting three firsts for him will allow the front office to hit the reset button and start building through the draft again.

They'll be able to fill in the cheap type of role players that will allow them to build a talented team and still have some cap room available to make a big splash the next chance they get or possibly get their own star through one of their own picks later or a surprise player from one of these selections.

It's not a great offer, but it's probably better than what teams will typically get for a star who's leaving as a FA either way where there isn't a ton of leverage. The trick to limiting the Knicks leverage is the threat of the other team to pry Melo away without the Knicks help.

What this leaves the Bulls

Player 2014/2015
Derrick Rose $18,862,876
Carmelo Anthony $22,000,000
Joakim Noah $12,200,000
Taj Gibson $8,000,000
Mike Dunleavy Jr $3,326,235
Jimmy Butler $2,008,748
Tony Snell $1,472,400
Richard Hamilton buyout $333,334
Nikola Mirotic $5,000,000
Vet min x5 $4,576,215
Total $77,779,808
Projected Tax $76,000,000

The Bulls are over the projected luxury tax line by almost two million dollars, probably not all that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. They could also potentially drop the minimum salary commitment by getting rookie 2nd rounders (I've slotted in 3rd year vet minimum players which is the amount any player going into his third year or longer would receive).

The Bulls could also offer D.J. Augustin the Bi-Annual exception which would add two a shade over a million dollars on top of this number. I think D.J. will demand more than that on the open market, and while I'm sure he's appreciative of his opportunity in Chicago, he'll likely be thinking that this window of opportunity won't look quite so good with Rose back next year. Certainly not good enough to take a smaller offer to stay.

The Bulls would still need to find a back up center and a back up point guard. However, if Mirotic translates this team might be the best team the Bulls have fielded in the post-Jordan era even if Rose never comes back to superstar levels. If he does, it's trivially the best team.

The Bulls could have three premier offensive threats in Rose, Melo, and Mirotic if all goes well. If they're still able to bring a similar caliber defense that they've done in the past, they'll finally have the multi-faceted offense to attack their opponents with multiple players that can create for themselves and multiple players who can shoot the three at the same time.

Shot creation, three point shooting, spacing, and depth... It could all be there for the Bulls.

It would remain to be seen if Rose could make a full come back, whether Carmelo can learn to be an effective team player, and whether Mirotic could translate, but it's a team that could potentially become a title favorite instead of a "puncher's chance" type of squad.

It won't be easy to pull off, but Carmelo Anthony via trade might be the Bulls best shot at a title in the next three seasons.

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  • This would be a bold move, but I like it. Not an Anthony fan, but this would be a lethal pick and roll with Rose. Or Mirotic. Lot's of options.

    If Melo wants to come here, why give up assets? I think that's what it comes down to - Where does the player want to play? If it's Chicago, the Bulls shouldn't have to offer much.

  • Great work as always Doug, in fact I was going to write basically this exact same article when I get home this afternoon, but you've saved me the trouble.

    However:

    Boozer alone won't get the deal done cap-wise, the Bulls would have to add Dunleavy or Hinrich to the deal. If it's Hinrich, the Knicks would need to include Udrih so the Bulls will have a back-up PG.

    While Dunleavy is obviously the better player at this point, the Bulls might actually be better off trading him instead- Hinrich is the better defender at SG, and Dunleavy's 3pt shooting isn't as important with Melo on the roster.

    And I'm not the least bit worried about Augustin coming back next year- if the BAE isn't enough, the Bulls will find a good replacement. People bitched about CJ being gone, until the saw Nate play. People bitched about Nate being gone, until they saw DJ play.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Don, do you think the Bulls are keeping Hinrich? He has a really lousy per and he can almost financially support a medical team by himself, given all his injuries! He is not the Hinrich of 5 years ago.

    I suspect the Bulls scouts can find a better G than Kirk -- they have been doing it for years, as you pointed out in your last paragraph.

    As for trading Dunleavy if the Bulls land Carmelo, I would not be in a rush to do that until the coaches see how the team fits together. A championship team needs a lot of good pieces. Now, trading him for a #12 or so in the coming draft, probably do that one.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Personally, I'd keep Dunleavy instead of Hinrich, I was just pointing out a reason why people might go the other way. I know Paxson loves combo guards, and Thibs loves Hinrich, so I could see GarPax choosing to keep him.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    If you use draft picks, you can do the deal with the picks after they sign their deals, and thus, they count against the cap as another 3 million in which case the deal work work out within the 25% rule easily.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My bad, I thought you were talking about doing the trade during the season.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    you have to wait 30 days before you can trade a signed draft pick. The earliest you can sign your draft picks is after the moratorium, so the Knicks and Melo would have to wait until approx. Aug. 8 for the draft picks to lose their trade restriction, they aren't going to wait a month, plus we'd have to draft the players the Knicks wanted us to draft and if for some reason the trade doesn't work out, we would have players they wanted not necessarily our own guys. We can't do the trade draft night (unless Melo waives his ETO prior to the trade deadline).

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Yea, I'm not sure how the draft pick thing works either. I too thought doug was talking about a trade before the deadline. But even if you wait until the summer, the Knicks would almost certainly want the picks before the draft, picks are always more highly valued before they are used. I don't see what the big deal is, you throw Hinrich in to make the money work. He isn't playing in NY or Chitown next season either way.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Hinrich cannot be thrown in unless the trade occurs prior to the deadline because his contract is expiring and we can't trade for Melo on draft night because of his early termination option on his contract. He would have to waive the option prior to the trade deadline to make a draft night trade possible.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Don Ellis:

    Yup, people bitch about the back ups way too much. it'd be dumb to had brought any back for what they ask once rose is expected to play 35+ mins a game in the position.

  • I agree with you Doug I think that of the players likely availible this is the move that gives us the best shot at becoming a true contender. Also would put lots of less pressure on Mirotic as he wouldn't be forced into a top two offensive option. As third option you can pick your spots and should have less attention on you.

    As for Melo I think most of us are kind of like he has tons of talent but he is a real loser. I think some of his lazy play would be corrected on a team with a strong coach and a hard working superstar. Rose, Noah and Thibs should keep him accountable and everyone looks better when they are winning. Plus you can't argue that he is one of the premier offensive players in the league.

    I think this trade is possible and would also give us a real shot at dethroning Miami.

  • I’ll say one thing for you Doug, when you get hold of an idea, you don’t let go. Here’s why it won’t work. James Dolan loves Carmelo Anthony, and will not trade him for anything short of another high profile player coming back in the deal. Also, when push comes to shove, Carmelo Anthony will opt for the money over winning. Thus, the Lakers won't get him either. IMO, he's not worth the trouble anyway.

  • In reply to RichG:

    You wrote, "Carmelo Anthony will opt for the money over winning." Is this true? Then why would he leave NY?

    However, if money is the thing, then Chi-town is the place for him! He can earn a lot more at $18 million per year here for one simple reason -- Huge endorsements for winning the Big One a couple of times! MJ had a salary of about $3 million for a while, but made ten times that on endorsements!

    The Bulls should stay under the tax so they can afford to go into it for a player that puts them over the top down the road!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    He won't leave NY.

  • In reply to RichG:

    Each person is different, and Melo would have to give up some money to leave NY. We'll see if he will or not.

    I think the Knicks will be willing to trade him though, it hasn't worked out for shit leading a team with him, and they haven't even been better than the team they had before he got there.

    The Nuggets haven't missed him either. If Melo will go to the Lakers, I think the Knicks will bite on the trade.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    We'll just agree to disagree on this one, and see how it plays out. I say Carmelo doesn't give up one red cent, and Dolan doesn't give up Carmelo.

  • In reply to RichG:

    I agree on Melo not giving up a penny, however, if the Bulls trade for him don't we own his bird rights, thus being able to give him the most money, should we chose to do so. Melo only loses money if he leaves NY as a free agent, and even then most of the money is not really lost, he just can't get a 5 year deal right away, but at his age he will certainly play ball beyond 4 years, so he will make some of that money back anyway.

    But as Doug, said, none of this happens unless Melo forces his way out of NY the same as he did Denver. NY or not to NY that is the question, for Melo at least.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You're right, if the Bulls trade for Carmelo, they own his Bird rights and can pay him that 5th year. But I don't think James Dolan is going to trade Carmelo, unless Rose is the player he is traded for. Dolan is in love with Carmelo, and is not trading him for Boozer and draft picks.

  • Plan B: Lance Stephenson. This kid is going to be another superstar and Indiana won't be able to offer more than 8M, unless they let all their bench go. With Paul George certainly selected to the all team, Indi will have to increase his pay by 3M, which will put them at 68M without including Stephenson and Granger. I believe Lance is more realistic than Melo with a higher ceiling.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    If you are correct about Lance, getting him could be like the Rockets getting Harden! But there seems to be a lot of disagreement about him. Talent evaluation!

    The Bulls could use Lance, however, to induce Anthony to sign for less salary, since he would make it up on advertising deals anyway.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    That's a pretty optimistic view of Lance Stephenson. Far more optimistic than I'd be.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am keeping my fingers crossed, Doug!

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    In order to offer Stephenson the $10 plus million that it would take to make Indy even think about not matching, we would have to forgo using our cap space on Mirotic this season. Under those circumstances, I am not sure if we even get to use the full MLE, I think we get a smaller exception. So it likely means delaying Mirotic for one more season, and whatever risk of losing him for good that entails.

    While that might even be good strategy basketball talent/cap wise, Is Stephenson worth that kind of risk, both financially and basketball wise"? I certainly don't see him in the Harden class of player, by a long shot, other than being a better defender. I keep reading rumors that Harden is BozoHole bad on D.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Bulls could get both Lance and Nicola, but they would have to amnesty Boozer and trade Taj. The Taj trade could involve moving him with the Bulls 1st rounder to move up in this draft. Then they could do Lance and Mirotic. Maybe they could land a stud in the draft that way.

    It it really possible for Harden to be "BozoHole bad on D"? Wow!

  • again, I think you're being greedy if you're using the cap space for a FA (or sign/trade like Melo) AND getting Mirotic over for the MLE. If he's taking the MLE I don't see any way he does it in a year where his buyout is so large.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    How much is Real Madrid paying him. If he gets 3 million even after his buyout, how much is he losing in real money vs staying with real madrid?

    Now look at his second contract. Say he's a 10 mil per year guy and he has one extra career year in the NBA at 10 million vs staying in real madrid this year.

    If he's a good player, then he'll make WAY more money if comes over earlier. If he's good enough that he stays in the NBA, he still almost certainly makes more money by coming over earlier.

    I don't think he's losing much by paying the buyout out of 5 million assuming the Bulls kick in the 600k either.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I thought I read that his buyout is about $3.5 million, leaving him responsible for about $2.9 million.

  • This is not the right approach to get a star like Melo.....the Bulls would have to HOPE NY accepts an average offer in order to get Melo - the Bulls need to position themselves to get Melo in a variety of ways.....unloading Dunleavy & Gibson for expiring contracts and more future assets is an absolute must - Chicago then can say to NY, we'll offer you picks and Boozer for Melo, which would allow us to keep the mid level and bi-annual exceptions, or we can just sign Melo out right and run with a roster of Rose, Snell, Butler, Melo & Noah with a bench filled with minimum salaried players.

    Can't take a check swing and expect to hit a home run, you have to go all out and take risks.

  • And it isn't even that much of a risk because the Bulls are never winning a title with Rose, Snell, Butler, Mirotic, Noah & Gibson so what's the real risk?

  • You either trade for him now, or clear cap space to get him over the summer.

    Clearing cap space means dumping a guy like Gibson. And, hoping Mirotic comes over for the MLE. And risking a 2010 situation all over again when he does not come here.

    Trading him would require giving up assets, like multiple picks.

    I think trading for him is the way to go - IF GarPax gets a commitment from Melo that he'll sign. Anthony trumps Mirotic and you just hope Mirotic will take the MLE. Mirotic fits well with Anthony as a floor spacer. Same with Dunleavy if you can keep him.

    This will all depend on how Melo feels about Rose's future... Melo cannot win with $18 mil sitting around doing nothing.

    Reggie Rose wants talent... well, Melo is about as good as it gets. When he plays D, which he would under Thibs, he's a top 5 NBA player. Best scorer in today's game.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I would only go after Melo if it's a trade-and-extend, which can only be through the 2015-16 season. He'd have to drop the ETO he has for next season, meaning the Bulls would have to pay him $23,333,405 for next season and the same amount +/- 4.5% in 2015-16. ($22,328,617 to $24,383,408).

  • Chicago swung for the fences in 2010, missed, and still built a borderline title contender.....that should go to show you, when you already have a strong foundation (Rose, Thibs, Noah) you MUST always try and swing for the fences, the risk is never too high because the foundation will always remain strong until one of the three aforementioned assets leave the organization.

  • fb_avatar

    No, no, no and NO.

    Haven't we learned anything from watching Melo all of his career?

    He will not learn to be a team player at this stage of his career. He's not and he will never be. We need to let go of the idea of Melo as a great player just because he scores a lot of points sometimes.

    He's the anti Lebron, in the worst sense.

  • In reply to Sergio Iván:

    Good, then I hope you enjoy watching this team lost every year to Miami with Rose as the only guy capable of creating offense and scoring points.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Rose is scoreless from his hospital bed so far...

  • I have to admit, with Melo's 62 point outburst, I'm starting to daydream about Melo in a Bulls uniform.

    In the past, I wouldn't give it much thought considering his skillset doesn't exactly fit alongside Rose. More importantly, I'm not sure he's worth that money considering he hasn't proven to be the type of "winner" or have that team first attitude that you want out of your leader.

    But now? And with the Woj article stating that the Bulls are favorites? Let the daydreams begin.

  • Melo was the one who asked to fire Mike D'Antoni under NY. Another reason for the Bulls to be front runner on Melo, as I don't think he would want to play on D'Antoni system.

  • Giving up assets for Melo, what are we, New York?

    If he wants to come to the Bulls he can learn his lesson from what he did to New York and take the money hit in order to not cost the team assets.

    The Bulls would still be paying him the 2nd biggest contract in the NBA (and biggest once Kobe's two year deal expires), which is a stretch for a guy who isn't even a top 10 NBA player now and on the down side of his career (ESPN NBA rank put him 15th and 17th the last two years, and that might be generous - the eye test is kinder on Melo than the stats test is).

    I wouldn't like signing Melo outright but I'd live with it. It would be an absolute disaster to give up anything at all for the privilege of giving him an even bigger contract though. Especially not that Bobcats pick, which may still end up being a top pick in 2016 - this IS the Bobcats we're talking about.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    To get cap room for Melo the Bulls would have go give up more assets than to trade for him and get picks.

    Melo's not going to sign here for 12 million a year, asking a guy to take a small pay cut of maybe 18 million vs 22 million maybe, but asking a guy to go from 22 million to 12 when he can still get 22 elsewhere? not likely.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I never said ask Melo to take 12 million - I explicitly said they'd give him the 2nd biggest contract in the NBA.

    It wouldn't involve just giving up any assets the way a Melo trade would, unless you think Taj/MDJ can't be traded for picks and would have to be a pure salary dump. I don't believe that - both guys have positive value for sure.

    If you get Melo it's much better to be in a situation where you have a bunch of picks to either fill out the roster with or trade for guys who can fill out the roster than to be devoid of picks. Also Gibson is redundant with Melo on the team - Melo is arguably a better 4 than he is a 3, and he's only likely to become more of a 4 as he ages. Between Melo and Mirotic (who you'd still bring over in 2015) there's no room in the rotation for Taj. So you'd end up wanting to trade him anyway - may as well do it now while his value is highest.

  • 1) The Bulls should not just dump Taj, hoping to sign Carmelo as a FA (or trade for him). However, they might trade Taj and one or more 1st round picks to move up to 10 or better in the draft! Especially if the scouts have identified a couple of players they really like who should be available then.

    2) They simply have to get Carmelo to take less money. He claims he is leaving NY for a ring. Mirotic has to come over to make that a reasonable shot, so the Bulls need the money/cap space to bring him over. His agent has to explain that to Melo.

    3) If Melo gets rings in Chicago, not only will he be the toast of the city, he will land big endorsements, tens of millions of $s worth. Again, the agent needs to explain this to him. That's the way to top earnings in the NBA!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I wouldn't dump Taj for nothing, but if you can turn him into pick(s) and an expiring, then that plus a Boozer amnesty gives the Bulls a lot of flexibility. Doesn't have to be Melo; it also opens up the possibility of signing Lance Stevenson and still bringing Mirotic over, or of making a trade for Kevin Love where Minny doesn't have to take back equal salary.

    I'd see trading Taj as a bit of a swing for the fences in the off-season type move. Keeping him probably means staying the course, adding only Mirotic and rookies.

  • Here is why this trade will not work. LaLa is not moving to Chicago.

  • The only way this trade will work is to give the Knick's Mirotic along with Boozer and 1st round draft pick. NY GM has to save face with the owner. LaLa must be given a TV talk show like Oprah's in a good time slot-- creating an opportunity.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I don't think getting Mirotic is saving the Knicks' FO any face, most people in NY have probably never heard of him. Just like most of us haven't heard of any Euro players whose rights aren't held by the Bulls.

    Knicks fans would probably be more excited by the Bobcats/Hornets pick and the Kings pick we own. DURING THE SEASON, I'd throw both of them in with Boozer and Hinrich or Dunleavy for a extended Melo.

    I just read a quote from LaLa saying that while she thinks Melo will stay in NY, she'll go anywhere he goes. Like she said, she was with him in Denver, so LA or CHI would be huge improvements...

  • Best case scenario to land Melo would be for the Bobcats to miss the playoffs (so that their pick isnt conveyed to us), we could then use Dunleavy and Boozer (plus our 2014 #1 and the Cats pick) to S&T Melo. The best thing about a S&T is that we can only do a 4 year deal on a S&T, we can't give Melo the 5th year even if we wanted to and the raises are capped at 4.5% not 7.5% if he were a Bird Free Agent. The other move I would make (Blasphemy alert) is to trade Rose to the Wolves for Kevin Love straight up, maybe send them some cash to help the 2014-15 salaries even up from a budget perspective. You then have:

    Player 2014/2015
    Kevin Love $15,719,063
    Carmelo Anthony $22,351,457
    Joakim Noah $12,200,000
    Taj Gibson $8,000,000
    Tony Snell $1,472,400
    Jimmy Butler $2,008,748
    Nikola Mirotic $5,305,000
    Erik Murphy $816,482
    2nd round pick $507,336
    4 Min Salary Cap Holds $3,660,972
    Richard Hamilton $333,334
    Total $72,374,792

    That opens up a 2-3 year championship window. But it is the equivalent of cashing your chips and going all in. You no longer have the young dynamic player, you lose the Bobcats pick and your pick this year and Kevin Love can throw a wrench in the whole thing by opting out and leaving after the 2014/15 season. This team would still have some holes too, no backcourt, very little outside shooting (Love/Snell maybe/Mirotic maybe). A follow up move like Taj for Aron Afflalo might also have to be made to make this team work. This also works better if DJ stays around for the BAE.

    Player 2014/2015
    Kevin Love $15,719,063
    Carmelo Anthony $22,351,457
    Joakim Noah $12,200,000
    Aron Afflalo $7,500,000
    Tony Snell $1,472,400
    Jimmy Butler $2,008,748
    Nikola Mirotic $5,305,000
    DJ Augustin $2,077,000
    Erik Murphy $816,482
    2nd round pick $507,336
    3 Min Salary Cap Holds $2,745,729
    Richard Hamilton $333,334
    Total $73,036,549

    Think i would rather have this roster.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    There certainly are a lot of possible scenarios. FYI, I also prefer your second possible roster over the first one. Of course every team has holes.

    However, there is no way the Wolves would trade Love for Rose this summer. If they would, the Bulls probably make that trade, just like they would trade Rose for Carmelo.

    It will be entertaining to see how all of this shakes out.

  • "I think they are in a very awkward situation. If they don't do something dramatic like bring in a Carmelo they are going to be irrelevant for the next few years." Charles Barkley on Bulls.

    I think this quote is an accurate reality check. Bulls as currently constructed are not a relevant team. Only the poor teams in the East make Bulls mistakenly appear anywhere close to relevant.

  • In reply to Edward:

    "If they don't do something dramatic like bring in a Carmelo they are going to be irrelevant for the next few years."

    Not necessarily. If Rose returns to pre-injury form and if Mirotic turns into a stud, the Bulls will be very close. Plus they may have 4 1st round picks in the next two drafts, so they could wind up with a couple of very solid players -- if the scouts are sharp!

    Then there is the possibility of Love next year.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Yeah, if Rose is healthy, Barkley's statement is a complete joke.

    If he isn't the Bulls are screwed for the next 3 years anyway. Unless they decide to amnesty him, that is- and all the fans bitching about how they are currently irrelevant because Rose can't play would bitch even more if he were to be amnestied.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Except of course for the inconvenient fact that Rose cannot be amnestied. Rose signed his contract under the new CBA, only old CBA contracts can be amnestied.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yeah, I know, it was just a bad joke. Even if he were eligible, there's no way the Bulls would ever amnesty him.

  • The Bulls don't have to trade Boozer for Melo to get him, but they would have to drop serious cap to make it happen.

    We have the cap room?

    PG: Derrick Rose 18,862,876
    SG: Tony Snell 1,472,400
    SF: Jimmy Butler 2,119,214
    PF: Carmelo Anthony 21,700,000
    C: Joakim Noah 13,150,000
    Richard Hamilton 333,333
    Total salary. 57,637,823

    That would be the starting 5 and the remaining would be used to fill out the roster with minimum salaried players. Carmelo's salary is calculated as 35% of the expected 62 million the cap space for the 2014-15 season. That percentage represents his max salary number as he is a 10+ year veteran.

    How could this work?

    Dunleavy and Taj would have to both be traded either this year, or in the offseason. Boozer would have to be traded or amnestied as well. None of these trades could bring back salary or 2014 1st round picks.

    No one that isn't already under contract could be retained for more than the lowest level veteran minimum until after Carmelo is signed.

    All 2014 first round picks would have to be traded for future picks. However, second round picks could be acquired and used in place of some of the minimum contract veteran players. This would leave more cap space to sign higher priced vet minimums. The reasoning for different priced vet minimums is their salaries are scaled based on years of experience.

    Would we be competitive?

    Going about acquiring Carmelo this would almost assures that this is a 2 year plan. However, the only asset lost is TaJ Gibson. Draft picks are retained but pushed to a later date and Mirotic can be signed in 15/16 using the MLE. The 3 draft picks we keep (Charlotte, Bobcats, and our 2014), in addition to the 2015 first round pick, and Mirotic, would be enough to fill out the bench.

    Year 1 of this plan won't likely result in a championship because it would probably be the worst bench in the NBA, but with Thibs at the helm, we could be very competitive in the first year. Moving forward, this is a team that could compete every year.

  • In reply to GodFamilyGators:

    That is certainly one way to go, but by eliminating all the power forwards on the roster you have to convince Melo to come to Chicago and play PF full time. I have no idea about his thoughts on the subject, but even Lebron James doesn't want to do it full time, and he is bigger and stronger than Melo.

    From a pure basketball vs finances standpoint using cap space this summer to sign a free agent(whether it is Stephenson or Melo) and foregoing Mirotic for a year is the best long term strategy. The question is do we(fans, players and management) have the patience for this strategy. The only question is do you want to keep Taj and add a guy like Stephenson or lose Taj and add a guy like Melo.

  • I really believe the determining factor for if Carmelo ends up coming to the Bulls is how well Rose plays in the Worlds.

    If Derrick plays well and develops a good repore with Melo that could very well seal the deal.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    I'm pretty sure the worlds are after free agency, Carmelo is going to have to take a leap of faith.

  • Just trade Dunleavy for a future pick, along with our 2014 1st round pick and the Bulls are in business, with nearly a max contract available. Charlotte pick will probably come next year or the following year. Same with Sactown, if it's a first - it could end up being a second.

    According to Larry Coon, next year's cap is supposed to be $62k and the luxury tax at nearly $76k.

    Rose, Noah, Gibson, Snell and Butler = $43.5 million next year, leaving $18.5 million available for Melo. Mirotic could sign the MLE.

    Now, i think Melo can make more than that based on his current contract, 35% of the total cap and his years in the league... Anyone know what the Bulls max contract would be over 4 years if signed as a FA this summer?

    Bulls would be able to fill out the roster by Melo's 2nd and 3rd year because they would have a ton of future picks stashed. Could be a nice run for Rose in his late 20's if he can stay healthy.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Doesn't work like that. There are cap holds for the other roster spots and draft picks. Plus you have to give up the MLE if you want to use your cap space.

    To get room to sign Melo Gibson has to go.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Drats. Cap holds can't be much if there are no picks. No MLE hurts.

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