Bulls and Rockets represent Carmelo's landing spots

Bulls and Rockets represent Carmelo's landing spots

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls and Rockets are the two teams Carmelo would like to land with next season as a free agent.

Full article here.

Anthony has free-agent options, and two have risen above everything else: Chicago and Houston, sources with direct knowledge of his plans told Yahoo Sports. The Bulls have an easier path to clear the necessary salary-cap space to sign Anthony, but the Rockets believe they can shed the contracts necessary to offer a third near-max deals alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden, league sources said.

Of course, the problem for the Bulls is that in order to have a championship team left around Anthony when he gets here, the Bulls can't pursue him in free agency and will need to do a S&T with the Knicks using Carlos Boozer as the main catalyst. This type of trade would be most effective it it became an extend and trade after Melo opts in.

This could be worked out on draft night. However, for this to happen, the Knicks need to give the Bulls permission to talk to Melo prior to becoming a free agent and Melo needs to forgo the pomp of free agency once again. He wants to be courted, he wants to be a free agent, he has said as much on multiple occasions.

If he wants to win immediately, he should give up that desire and understand that his best shot at a good basketball future is to get the S&T done with Chicago prior to FA. Houston believes it can swing cap space for Melo which would involving dumping Jermey Lin for no return. Doing a quick scan of the numbers, that alone should get them reasonably close to what the Bulls can do.

Chicago would need to dump Taj Gibson (and possibly Mike Dunleavy) in order to clear up enough room for Melo.

Either way, Melo would be giving up a ton of money in order to go to Houston or Chicago. If he's smart, he can give up less money and come to a stronger team by forcing his hand to Chicago right away. Phil Jackson made it clear the way Carmelo Anthony has played in NY is over. It's up for debate whether Jackson feels Melo is the type of guy you can win with.

Personally, I think Jackson will fight to keep and change Melo. While rebuilding might give the Knicks more long term hope, Jackson probably wants to turn this thing around with three years, and going through the draft to rebuild will be a tough process for the Knicks.

My golden offer for Melo has been Bulls 2014 1st, Charlote 2014 1st, Bulls 2015 1st (with lotto protected pick swap option with cleveland), Conditional Kings 1st, and Bulls 2017 1st along with Carlos Boozer to match salary.

If Jackson doesn't believe in Melo this trade is far more than he could hope to ever get (and the Bulls might not need to throw in that 2017 1st). The Knicks and Bulls would agree on principle to this trade on draft day, make it the day after (which allows the Bulls to send the consecutive 1st round draft picks which is normally illegal) and Melo would opt in to his contract rather than becoming a FA.

Chicago would then stay over the cap, be free to use exceptions, and keep the rest of the existing roster. They'd field a team like this:
Rose,
Butler, Snell
Melo, Dunleavy
Gibson, Mirotic (or different MLE player)
Noah

Hopefully bringing back Augustin with the BAE and Hinrich with the minimum, though it's unlikely the Bulls get both, they probably could get at least one of them. They'd need to find a backup center with the veteran minimum as well as fill out the rest of the roster. However, if Rose is healthy and Melo fits into the system, this team ranks up with the best in the NBA.

The Bulls wouldn't be long shot contenders, they'd be legit contenders, matching talent with the best of the best.

In a free agency scenario the Bulls team will look more like this:
Rose, Augustin (room exception)
Butler, Snell
Melo
Noah
2014 Bulls 1st, 2014 Charlotte 1st

Maybe they are able to keep Dunleavy as well or maybe not. Boozer's amnestied, Gibson is traded for cap room. Mirotic can't come over because the Bulls don't have the MLE anymore. The Bulls had better nail both of those draft picks if they do this and want to win, because they don't have a whole lot of anything afterwards.

That said, while this team is no where near as good in year one, in year two it can bring over Mirotic at the MLE to help add depth as well as capitalize on one to two more draft picks (I doubt the Kins are good enough the Bulls get that pick though).

After two seasons, the primary difference in the roster would be the draft picks vs Taj Gibson, and so there's a chance that this roster is better in the long run. However you give up one full year of legitimate championship contention and gamble on the draft. It's not a safer bet, especially given that the key players are all in their prime right now.

All in all, it will be interesting to see how this whole thing unfolds. I've never been a huge Carmelo Anthony fan, and I don't think the Bulls front office is either. That said, I recognize his talent. I recognize that the thing he's singularly good at is the thing the Bulls lack most. Even though I'd rather he be someone else, if the bulls have a shot, they have to go for it.

The realistic options simply won't get better, and I think Bulls management knows that too.

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  • Five 1st rounders and a starter who gives you 15 and 9 for Anthony? Thank goodness you're not in charge!

  • In reply to EJMF:

    I can just easily characterize such a move as Bulls giving up 2-3 NBA rotation players and a garbage player that nobody wants for a superstar scorer. Sure it could backfire, but if such a deal can be made, I think it gives the Bulls their best shot at a title, slim chance though it may be.

    Do you know what doesn't give the Bulls a good shot? Hanging onto all five first rounders and the "starter who gives you 15 and 9".

  • In reply to EJMF:

    The Bulls need scoring not project draft picks. If the Bulls FO can pull off a deal similar to what Doug suggest then they should definitely go for it. Melo is exactly what this Bulls team needs with their scoring deficiencies and tough minded team defense. Melo more than likely would be the team's leading scorer and the pressure to score for Rose wouldn't be needed as much. If Melo wanted to go to Houston that could be a very good team as well if the players games would mesh together but I believe Melo's best shot to win a championship would be with the always dedicated to playing hard Bulls. It's been a while but I'm back.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And the Bulls definitely need to try and keep Taj.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Personally, I don't see how Melo doesn't go to Houston if they can work it out. Harden and Howard are simply sexier than Rose, Thibs and Noah.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, I'd go to Houston if I had a choice between Chicago and Houston.

  • In reply to EJMF:

    I don't know about you but I'm tired of being one of the worst offensive teams year in and year out. I'll be happy to dump a bunch of mid first round pick prayers for a top five scorer in thr NBA.

  • In reply to EJMF:

    Yea, heaven forbid we even consider "giving up" a guy currently avearaging a career worst 14 & 8 @ 45% shooting as a salary match to get a guy currently averaging 28 & 8. That would be sheer lunacy, almost as bad as amnestitizing that 14 & 8 guy.

  • In reply to EJMF:

    The starter they're going to amnesty.
    The picks are kind of crappy right?
    2014 #16, #19
    2015 probably in the upper 20s
    Kings pick has a max of 12 and could easily be a second rounder

    There's only one potential quality pick in that list, and it assumes the Bulls fall apart by 2017.

  • Why give up that many 1st round picks? Wait until Carmelo Anthony is a FA and give up zero picks! The Bulls need the picks to put the players around Anthony, Rose, and Noah -- plus, hopefully, Mirotic.

    Or keep Taj and bring Mirotic over. Those two together might be worth more than Carmelo, and they will certainly be cheaper. But the Bulls really need at least one player out of the draft this year -- the past two drafts stunk!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Remember, any trade with NY has to be approved by Phil Jackson now. I doubt he will do the Bulls any favors.

    If the Bulls do get Melo either by trade or FA signing, they still need to bring over Mirotic this year. So, Melo has to accept a lower salary to make that possible. What are the financial scenarios?

    Melo will make a lot more winning championships than he will stuck in NY at an additional $5 million per. And the Bulls owners will make a lot more amnestying Boozer and winning a championship than holding him for his final year.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    There's no financial scenario where the Bulls bring in Melo and Mirotic.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You wrote: "Chicago would then stay over the cap, be free to use exceptions, and keep the rest of the existing roster. They'd field a team like this:
    Rose,
    Butler, Snell
    Melo, Dunleavy
    Gibson, Mirotic (or different MLE player)
    Noah"

    You have the Bulls getting Melo and perhaps Mirotic. Plus you have them keeping Taj Gibson (and his $8 million per salary.)

    Yet I have the Bulls trading Taj for a move-up in the draft, taking his $8 million per off the books, and amnestying Boozer. Even tho my move saves the team an extra $8 million per, you believe your method can get Melo and (maybe) Mirotic this year, while mine can't. OK, Doug, explain the math on that to us.

    As for the picks, my way the Bulls keep most of them, unless they decide to dump several more to move farther up in the draft.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Well you can read the article and decide whether you'd rather have the picks.

    Giving up the picks allows you to keep Gibson and bring Mirotic over immediately. Competing in FA means you lose Gibson and wait a year on MIrotic.

    So are the picks worth it?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It is not just the picks. Are Mirotic and Gibson together worth as much as Melo? Because they surely will cost a bunch less! Maybe $13 million per for the two versus, what, $20 million per for Melo? Plus the Bulls keep most of the picks.

  • Carmelo will stay right where he is. At least for now.

  • Not sure the Knicks want all those picks, I'm sure they'd want Mirotic, who I'd include if it guarantees Melo with a supporting cast of Rose, Noah, Gibson and Butler.

    Both 2014 picks, future Sacramento pick and Mirotic for Melo. Knicks would be absolutely foolish to turn that down if Melo is leaving, and the Bulls would be even more foolish to think that's too much for Melo.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Ideally you'd like to have Taj and Mirotic as your power forward duo, but if you had to pick one over the other, it is a no brainer(as it should have been in the Asik v Taj debate) you sacrifice Taj and keep Mirotic.

    I have no doubt in my mind that this is the way the Bulls look at it, whether they go after Melo or not, Mirotic is a part of the long term future, Taj is a short term role player.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I have pretty significant concerns about Mirotic. I think it's hard to call anything a "no brainer" unless you've watched him play a ton and really have good feel for European projects. He looks slow and has horrible defensive instincts.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I only have the draftexpress videos and articles over at bulls by the horns to go by. They say he runs the floor and actually has very good defensive instincts. Just needs to bulk up.

    Dunno what to think

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The main reason I call it a no brainer, is that shooters can shoot pretty much anywhere in any league. It certainly appears that Mirotic is the a better shooter than anyone currently on the Bulls roster, especially as a big. I have no idea about his athletic or defensive abilities, but as we've seen an awful lot of defense is effort and intelligence, so unless he is a sack of shit attitude wise(like boozer) he should be no worse than serviceable under Thibs.

    Taj is Taj and 29 years old, he will always be best suited as a defensive backup, whatever you get from him offensively is a bonus and mostly a product of the offense, not his individual talent.

    We need at least one more player with offensive talent, right now there is no one on the horizon with more potential for that than Mirotic(who is only 23) thats why if I have to chose between keeping Taj or Mirotic I don't even have to think about it for one second, it is Mirotic.

    Now, as I stated, ideally you'd love to have them both, with Taj backing up Mirotic.

  • I don't think the Bulls would essentially trade their entire future for Melo. He does not play defense and his style of play will disrupt what Thibs has been implementing for the past few years. The FO has proven time and again that they would go the conservative way. They "might" amnesty Boozer, bring over Mirotic, and just hope that the draft picks are serviceable.

    Im guessing next year will look like this:
    PG: Rose, DJ, Kirk
    SG: Butler, draft pick
    SF: Dunleavy, Snell
    PF: Gibson, Mirotic
    C: Noah, draft pick

    Competitive but not enough to get them over the top...

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    Still a lot better team than this year! Imagine a healthy Rose and Mirotic on this team, plus maybe (note maybe) a decent SG and backup C from the draft. Depending on the picks and Mirotic, that might be a contender.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    A lot would really depend upon Mirotic becoming a true scoring option. That's a lot of pressure to put on him.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    The guy is a shooter, Roman, that's why he was drafted, and that's how he will become a lot richer. We should be fortunate to have that kind of pressure! It is up to Thibs to scheme to get the best from his players.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I guess I mean a true second scoring option, the likes of which we have not seen since Rose arrived. He does project to that type of player but it's still not something I'd bank the future of the franchise on.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    That team...sorry but not enough scoring. It is what it is, there's a reason why the Bulls are last in the league in scoring and the team you just posted for next year would be last in scoring again...just saying.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    You may well be right, but Butler is more of a small forward than shooting guard and Snell not a small forward at all. Dunleavy is not a legitimate starter on a team with championship aspirations. So the draft picks better be home runs, unfortunately, drafting where we are drafting, home runs would be 2 more guys like Taj and Jimmy.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    This only really works if Mirotic becomes an all-star caliber player or one of the draft picks they get becomes one.

  • Doug, if we are going to implement your plan, then we should see if we can swap Taj for Aron Afflalo. He could start at the 2 and Melo spends a ton of time at the 4 anyway. This leaves you with:

    Rose,
    Afflalo, Snell
    Butler, Dunleavy
    Melo, Mirotic (or different MLE player)
    Noah

  • In reply to nolebron:

    I don't see how the salary works out for that. Afflalo makes basically what Taj makes, and you need to dump Taj just to sign Melo and you also can't sign Mirotic either.

  • What if Melo isn't as effective as we all want him to be? What if Rose cant come back to his old playing form? And we essentially trade all of our draft picks for the next few years. Then we might be in an even worse situation than we currently are. This I think is the reason why the FO will "as usual" take the conservative route.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    That is a good point. Besides, if the Bulls amnesty Boozer, they should be able to keep the current team, bring Mirotic over, and sign a FA like Lance Stephenson, and still remain under the cap.

    If Noah hits his incentives, becoming an Allstar, signing Jimmer will look pretty foolish since it put the team into the tax!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    No they cannot do that, it is either Mirotic and another mid level free agent, or Stephenson, not both. If Stephenson is even gettable, he would require all their cap space $10-12 million, leaving only the room exception of $2.7 million for Mirotic, which given his buyout he won't be able to accept. Thus we would have to wait another year for him to come over on the MLE.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    What if the Bulls trade Taj and picks to move up in the coming draft? Then they can bring over Mirotic plus sign Stephenson, can they not? Of course, Boozer has to be amnestied.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    They can only do that with a team that has the cap space to absorb Taj's salary and happens to have a top pick(Philly fits the bill and will have 2 top picks, but doubt that they have any interest in Taj). Unlikely that any of those teams want Taj and our picks in this years draft(even if it is likely over rated)

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Thanks for clarifying the matter.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    What if the Bulls do what we always complain each year they do and that's stand pat, not make any major moves, take another chance at drafting low and at best hope that player becomes another good rotation player? What if the Bulls 'play it safe' again and for next season, rely on just Mirotic as their biggest off season splash and hope they can once again find a player like N.Robinson, Bellineli, or Ausitin?

    I'll tell you what will happen, exactly what has happened in the last 4 years. The Bulls will make the playoffs and, depending on health, make it only as far as the 2nd round, maybe sniff the ECF. We've seen this same episode of the same show over and over again. We should know by now how this ends. How about asking other questions?

    What if Melo gets a clue and realizes staying in the East, coming to the 3rd largest market in sports, submitting to one of the best coaches, and maybe even actually winning championships is what's best for him? What if Phil Jackson realizes that dealing with his former team and OK'ng a 'sign and trade' to get draft picks they don't have (and perhaps even Mirotic) is the best start he can hope for as the Knickst new President? What if D.Rose does come back healthy and because he doesn't have to carry the team's scoring, has much less pressure and stays healthy? What if all this time, the Bulls FO has been waiting for such an opportunity to get someone like Melo?

    I can't say anything to whether Melo really does want to come here or any other situation outside of the FO's control. But believe me they will at least try to get Melo over here. All the times the FO tried to get proven talent (Garnett, Gasol, LeBron, etc.), there was some element out of their control that stops it from happening. Not their fault McHale would rather deal with his former teammate (Ainge) and get crap back. Not their fault Memphis only wanted expiring deals. Not their fault the Miami 3 already made up their minds. Outside of totally gutting this team just to get Melo, I for one think they will do what they can to get him to Chicago.

  • In reply to Tamaraw:

    If it doesn't work -- and it probably won't, in my opinion -- then at least they went for it. If Bulls want to be champions, I don't see a lot of alternatives.

    If it fails, you trade Noah, Taj, maybe even Rose for picks and start all over.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    You may well be correct that Melo will not come to Chicago. However, "If it fails, you trade Noah, Taj, maybe even Rose for picks and start all over." Are you sure that is best?

    How about this: Amnesty Boozer, bring over Mirotic, try for Stephenson (Maybe he will be the next Harden), and get two solid players in the draft. Better yet, trade the Bulls' two 1st round picks, the Kings' pick, plus Snell and Murphy (and Dunleavy if necessary) to move up to #5 or #6 in the draft and maybe get Exum.

    Rose, Noah, Mirotic, Stephenson, and Exum all have the potential to be Allstars. If only three of them make it and the other two are really solid starters, that could be enough. Remember, the team will also still have Butler, Taj, and hopefully Augustine or Dunleavy.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Sorry, I was referring to bringing Melo over and it not working. This would be a several year venture, by the end of which, the championship window will have closed on this group.

    If Melo doesn't come, no way I trade any of those guys. We still have a really good team and who knows? If Rose returns to health and Mirotic really becomes an impact player, they could be a great team. They do have the assets to bring another impact player, even if not a superstar like Melo.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Ignoring the impossibility of getting Stephenson and Mirotic this summer, I find it interesting that you appear to be willing to trade 4 # 1 picks for an unknown commodity, like Exum(whom I'd like as a Bull, if he weren't a point guard) but you don't seem willing to trade 4 #1 picks for a proven commodity in Melo. Also, It would be very interesting to see if any team with the 5th or 6th pick would take that deal.

  • Love it - except for losing Taj, but for Anthony, we cannot complain about losing one guy like Taj.

    Would be perfect if
    1. Anthony would ask for the draft day trade and then the Bulls could extend

    2. Mirotic will accept the mid level

    3. Knicks don't quite need all those picks - maybe just 2014 and 2015 + Kings pick. Essentially, these picks are worth very little because none are high in the draft and the Bulls will be loaded. You assume the Bulls can sign some decent minimum salaried vets and they may be cheaper than the draft picks moving forward.

    4. Of course, if Rose is healthy, look out!

  • In reply to Granby:

    We all love Taj but he's a role player. You can't get too hung up on losing role players if you can get a superstar.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Totally agree with you on Taj, but I would have serious qualms about any deal where the Knicks insisted on including Mirotic

  • Pretty solid analysis overall. However, I wouldn't give up that 5th pick in 2017. What I might do is offer a future first(top 10 protected, like the Sacto pick is) if the Sacto pick never comes to fruition for the Knicks(they only get the 2017 2nd rounder).

    Secondly, in the Houston vs Chicago scenario, I just don't see how Houston doesn't win out. First, they have by far the more aggressive front office, and secondly, I think that most NBA players would see teaming up with Harden and Howard as a better opportunity to win championships than teaming up with an injured Rose, Thibs and Noah. Plus Houston(Texas) has no income tax, and not winter to speak of and seems to be a city that black players like(not sure why that is).

    I guess that we are in for another summer like 2010, only this time it will be over Melo instead of Lebron. Personally, I'll be shocked if we do anything radical, other than amenstitize the GarbageHole.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well, if the FO does not mess up, this summer should be a lot better than 2010. Rose, Mirotic, Noah, Butler, Taj, and Dunleavy should be a solid #3 seed next season. If Rose is OK and Mirotic is solid, then could contend. Plus the Bulls will have cap space for Augustine and a 2nd-tier FA, if they choose to use it.

    However, they need to hit on at least one of their picks!

  • I agree with BigWay that Houston would win out against the Bulls. As for making the trade that Doug offers, I guess I'd take it even though I'm not a Melo fan. But, what if the Knicks say the same thing about all those picks that some here have "project picks"? Boozer and a bunch of project picks will not be very appealing. Don't forget, most of those picks would be late first round picks if the Bulls are "true contenders". The only one (I think) that has a chance to be a lottery pick is the Sacramento pick, and how good will that be if the end up with Parker or Wiggins this summer? Would anyone trade Noah for five late picks much less Melo? Then add on Boozer to a Knicks roster that already has Stoudemire and Bargnani!! I'd like it to happen so I could keep laughing at the Knicks (a favorite pastime), but I can't see the Knicks going for it.

  • All the talk about trading Mirotic or keeping him or whatever has me wondering; has anyone heard or have an opinion on where he would go if he was in this hyped up draft? Would he be top 5? Top 10? Someone said earlier that they would trade a bunch of picks for Exum, but is Mirotic better? Just wondering.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    My guess(and at this point it is just a guess) but the top 4 guys are probably Embiid, Wiggins, Parker and Exum. Not hard to argue that Mirotic isn't a better player right now than any of them(Parker being the most NBA ready now). I could see Mirotic going 5, and no doubt he would go no later than 10. I keep pining for his countryman, Dario Saric, who is slated to go between 5-10, and I think Mirotic is more highly rated player.

  • Personally, I think Melo stays in NY with Phil, Manhattan, and the most $$! And I think its HIGHLY UNLIKELY Phil Jackson's first big move is trading Melo. If it were to occur the only way it happens is Bulls getting fleeced which they won't agree to.

    So, Melo aside for a moment, I believe the Bulls will be active this off-season. In addition to their own current and future picks, Bulls now have 3 extra 1sts (Mirotic, Charlotte, Sac) and 2 extra 2nds (Portlands) - that’s a fair amount to work with, along with Boozer's expiring for salary matching.

    Given how hugely successful was the Deng trade, I think Bulls will explore trade possibilities not just free agency to improve the roster, because free agency usually results in overpaying greatly.
    Also, pursuing free agency means clearing cap space which means waiting another season for Mirotic (cap space = no MLE available, so would the people advocating both free agency and adding Mirotic this summer, Please Stop!)

    Whatever Bulls do this off-season they will do it on their terms.
    Bulls won’t piss all over themselves trying to land a savior who isn’t actually a savior (Melo). Also, only Bulls know if Mirotic will agree to the MLE this season when he still has a large buyout penalty, vs. waiting for the MLE next season with no buyout. That confidential Mirotic knowledge will factor greatly in what path Bulls take this off-season.

  • In reply to Edward:

    My gut is that they already know that Mirotic is coming, the question is the price and how the Bulls fit him into their salary cap structure.

    If the Bulls amnestitize the Hole, they will have cap space($10-12 million). They will then be able to sign Mirotic into cap space(paying his full buyout) and sign a second free agent with the left over cap space($5-6-7 million, while hoping that DJ can be retained for the room exception $2.7 million). That won't get you a superstar, but there will be some legitimate players available in that price range.

    Evan Turner has been mentioned as one of those guys. Given our need for another wing starter, he might not be a bad option despite his lack of quality advanced stats. The biggest question that I have about him is his fit with Butler, is he is a true 2 or another guy like Butler, who can play the 2 but seems to be better suited to the small forward position.

    I could live with(Heck, I'd be damn happy) a starting lineup of Rose, Turner, Butler, Mirotic and Noah, with DJ, Taj, Dunleavy, Hinrich, Snell, Jimmer and 2 first round picks filling out the roster.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    So you're saying Bulls will not sign Mirotic with an MLE (2014 or 2015), but instead use cap space from a Boozer amnesty.

    My feeling is Bulls won't use the Boozer amnesty option just to sign Mirotic who is theirs already (can't play for another NBA team, ever). My feeling is Bulls will only amnesty Boozer if a significant FA signing is imminent. We will see soon enough...

  • In reply to Edward:

    No, I think that it could go either way, keep boozer sign Mirotic with the MLE, or amnesty boozer, thus signing Mirotic into cap space. But I think they have made it a priority to get him over here this year rather than waiting another year. They obviously know that the boozer thing is over and a waste of time one way or another. The sooner they get Mirotic over, the sooner they find out what they have, and the sooner that he contributes to winning.

    To me, the most unlikely scenario, is amnesty boozer, use all that cap space to sign a free agent, then try unsuccessfully to get Mirotic in for the room exception thus delaying his coming for another year.
    That might actually be the best scenario from a total basketball talent standpoint(assuming that you get the right free agent and hit a home run) but the one with the most risk also.

    Melo isn't settling for $16.8 million even if the Bulls are willing to blow up the roster to get to that number. I agree with Doug in that the only way for the Bulls to get Melo, is to trade for him, and I would only do the draft picks deal to get him. But I also agree with you that I think that Melo is looking for an excuse to stay in New York to take the most money, and Phil might just be that excuse.

    Other than Melo, is there another free agent this summer that is a difference maker in putting the Bulls over the top, I certainly doubt that it is Lance Stephenson. If that is the case then why bother.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    According to Salary Cap Expert Larry Coon on ESPN Radio, here is the amount of salary cap space Bulls can create this off-season:

    Amnestying Boozer and waive Eric Murphy - $8.6 million.

    Somehow trade Dunleavy and the two 2014 1st picks for zero back or future assets back, plus agree in writing (letter of intent) to delay Mirotic until 2015 takes his caphold off the books - $16.8 million.

  • Here is some evidence that Carmelo will stay with Phil Jackson and the Knicks. From a Yahoo article:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/woodson-not-mad-knicks-offered-235944635--nba.html

    Phil Jackson said he had ''no doubt'' that Carmelo Anthony could be part of the Knicks' future. The All-Star forward has said he plans to become a free agent this summer.

    Anthony said before the Knicks-Pacers game he was excited by what he heard from Jackson.

    ''I was hoping that I would be part of the future plans,'' Anthony said. ''I never once said that I wanted to leave New York or anything like that. Only thing I said was I wanted to dabble and try free agency out, I was going to opt out and become a free agent.''

    IMO, Carmelo Anthony stays in New York with Phil Jackson.

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