This is the plan that I think might best yield a championship for Chicago. It possibly works out best for every player and team involved that has to say yes, and yet not a single person (except perhaps Lowry) would go along with it.
What is the Bulls single greatest risk in improving their team next year? The health of Derrick Rose. Derrick never looked like he was 100% from the ACL and will now have to come back from a second knee surgery.
This doesn't even begin to go down the road of questioning what now appears to be a fragile mental state and a lack of competitiveness. That's all wrapped up into a package that costs 20 million a year limiting what the Bulls can do with the roster.
The Bulls eliminate this risk, get a better shooting player, and have more roster flexibility with this move.
Why wouldn't New York normally sign and trade Carmelo Anthony? Well New York needs star players back, and since they're in luxury tax territory taking on Carlos Boozer for some first rounders means they're effectively paying maybe 35 million dollars for whatever the Bulls send back.
The Bulls picks aren't that attractive anyway.
However, what if they were instead paying 35 million dollars for a shot at an MVP caliber player with more youth and upside than the one they player they're giving up? Sure it's a risk for NY, but it's a risk worth taking since they have no other shot at getting a superstar, even keeping Anthony. The money won't be a major factor for them with this type of upside.
As for Melo, playing with Rose has to be part of the appeal, but in this trade scenario, the Bulls still bring back an great PG, get Anthony all his money, and won't lose any other depth, picks, or flexibility. Anthony also now gets to be the true center of the team, which I'm sure he'd enjoy.
Lowry is unrestricted, so the Bulls don't have to necessarily overbid. They just need to make a similar offer to Toronto and count on the fact that Lowry would likely prefer to play in Chicago than Canada which would be true of the vast majority of players out there.
His roster in Canada's not bad, but he'd get to run a pretty stacked Bulls team in this scenario as Chicago would easily become the best or second best team in the East. The roster:
Bench: Augustin (room exception), Hinrich (minimum), Snell, Dunleavy, #16, #19, Greg Smith, vet minimum player
The Bulls can play small with Anthony playing as a back up four at times, hope Greg Smith pans out, hope they can get a 3rd big that doesn't totally stink at the vet minimum, or hope that they can find someone serviceable at #16/#19. Next season they can bring over Nikola Mirotic to fill in the gap.
This team solves almost all of the Bulls problems. Lowry improves the Bulls shooting, as does Anthony, it has less injury risk to it without Rose, two shot creators, tremendous defense, and a crapload of depth. On top of that, there's no impending tax crisis Chicago has to worry about even after bringing over Mirotic and signing Butler to an extension.
Augustin still provides your bench scoring, Dunleavy's still your specialist marksmen, Greg Smith looks like he can give you some post scoring off the bench, and Hinrich's a nice utility player when you aren't relying on him to do anything significant.
If Snell works enough on his game to play a corner three/defensive specialist role then so be it, if not who cares. The Bulls still have two young guys to add to the team in the draft this year (or two picks to trade for another veteran player), and will add even more depth with Mirotic next season.
Who says no to this? Probably everyone.
Chicago won't risk trading Rose [though I think fan temperament would allow it right now]
Knicks probably wouldn't do the trade either [though it's their best shot at a star player out of this Anthony mess]
Anthony probably backs out without Rose [despite this team possibly having better fits with more shooting, and more future flexibility]
I'd suspect most people reading this blog will also casually dismiss the idea. Even I agree, it's an idea with no chance to actually happen, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't.
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