According to Ian Bagley of ESPN New York, Carmelo Anthony is doing due diligence on what it's like to live in the city of Chicago.
Full article here.
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is doing his homework on the city of Chicago as the deadline to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract approaches.
According to league sources, Anthony has talked to at least one high-profile person who lives in Chicago about what it's like to be famous in the Windy City.
The Chicago Bulls are one of several teams with whom Anthony would consider signing if he decides to test free agency this summer, sources recently told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Meanwhile, Tom Thiobideau is looking into Carmelo Anthony which is an indication that management has made it clear he's in play to the coach, or Tom Thibodeau follows the Bulls blogosphere and is simply as excited as us at the possibility.
According to one of Anthony’s former coaches, Thibodeau has reached out to him and to several other coaches who have worked with Anthony with numerous calls.
‘‘I even told Tom that there may be days he will want to blow his own head off when it comes to Melo’s defense, but he keeps saying he knows he can make it work,’’ the coach said. ‘‘It’s not that Carmelo can’t play defense, it’s just how often. And he knows every trick in the book on getting around that.’’
That the Bulls are in full-court-press mode on Anthony comes as no surprise, considering center Joakim Noah courted him during All-Star Weekend in February and continued the recruitment throughout the second half of the season.
And it would seem Noah isn’t alone. Point guard Derrick Rose reportedly has gotten involved, too, and Thibodeau has used back channels to let Anthony know his addition could mean big things for everyone involved.
‘‘There’s no question [the Bulls] would be better with [Anthony], with or without his defensive inconsistencies,’’ the coach said. ‘‘As I told Tom: ‘You’re in the East, Tom. Remember, you’re in the East.’ ’’
Both of these are positive indicators that Melo will consider joining the Chicago Bulls. Of course, when he opts out today, things will get a bit more tricky as the Bulls will then need to pursue him via cap space or a S&T agreement. To get cap space we'll need to say good bye to Taj Gibson to a team that's under the cap.
I don't think moving Gibson will prove to be a big problem, but it will weaken the team considerably coming back. In order to do a S&T, who knows what NY will want back, but we won't be able to let them use our 2014 draft picks at draft time which means they'd have to like the same players as Chicago for the picks to be valuable to them.
Meanwhile, Derrick Rose apparently prefers Kevin Love, but don't we all?
According to sources close to Kevin Love, Rose’s preference is for the Bulls to work out a deal as soon as possible for Minnesota’s All-Star forward because he sees Love as more of a team player than Anthony. Chicago is in the mix with Golden State for Love, with Boston and Denver considered long shots. If it makes any difference to Melo, Rose has no plans to recruit Love, who is free next summer, either. But the Bulls already know whom he’d really prefer to play with in the future.
It's no shock that Derrick Rose would prefer Kevin Love. The note, from the tabloidish NY Daily times News, tries to make this look more negative than it is. Of course Rose isn't calling Anthony. He's not even recruiting Kevin Love whom he's had a relationship with for quite some time and regularly works out with in the off-season.
He refuses to recruit anyone. It's annoying. It's aggravating. In it's own way it's kind of noble. However, this isn't anything we didn't already know about Derrick who's been quite famous on his non recruiting stance for years. The lone exception, apparently, was Kirk Hinrich. Personally, I hope Derrick aims a little higher next time he decides to make a one time exception for his no recruiting rule.
As for Rose preferring Kevin Love, as the Russians say, no shitski. Kevin Love is about five years younger and better than Carmelo Anthony. If you don't prefer Kevin Love then you're wrong. Carmelo's 30 and will already be hitting the age of decline now with a sharp decline coming in a couple seasons.
Kevin Love will be in his prime throughout the end of his next contract. If Love is available in trade you have to make something happen.
One thing is for certain, it looks like Chicago is very active in trying to make something happen this summer. Whether they can or not will be up for debate, but they're very much in play for both Love and Melo with some fringe scenarios where they land both. I'd find that to be highly unlikely simply due to the timing involved.
Chicago almost certainly would need to trade for Love on draft day and then no longer have cap room to threaten the Knicks with a signing, in that scenario they could S&T Melo from NY, but NY would no longer have any need to complete a trade as Anthony would need to leverage leaving for a different team in order to force NY's hand.
Even if he could pull that off, the Bulls wouldn't have much in the way of assets to send back anymore as most of their good trade assets would already be gone to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
If the Bulls could pull off a Love + Melo summer and Rose came back healthy leaving Chicago with a core of Rose, Butler, Melo, Love, and Noah then Chicago's definitely got to be on the short list of title favorites next season even if the bench is left with only Greg Smith, Kirk Hinrich, and other dudes who will sign for the minimum.
Let's dare to dream for a bit while we can, because there's only a few days left before the dream ends.
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