There's been lots of hype about Carmelo or Kevin Love coming to Chicago. When people asked me the odds of this happening, I would always respond about a 25% chance we'd get one or the other. I never believed Carmelo would give up all that money for the Bulls given the Bulls still need Rose to be healthy to be an attractive destination. Yes, Carmelo could help lead us to the ECF, but you don't give up 40 million dollars for an ECF appearance.
With Melo, the Bulls are a legit championship contender assuming they can keep enough core players, but even that assumption is dicey as the Bulls will either lose a bunch of assets in a S&T or lose a bunch of assets just trying to free up cap room to make an offer close enough for Melo. At this point, I think Melo either has two choices.
He tells the Knicks he's leaving and tries to leverage a sign and trade and waits to see if NY/Chicago can work something out, or he resigns with the Knicks. If he says he's leaving and the Knicks say "prove it", then I think it will become an interesting battle to see if he's really willing to give up all that money.
I know plenty of people will talk about greed and what not, but the players already gave back a crapload of money in the CBA, Melo is a max caliber player, it's silly to call him out for wanting to get paid like one. Beyond that, no player has ever given up as much as he's being asked to give up (at least none I can think of) to switch teams and come to Chicago.
Those calling him out for not being willing to give up an unprecedented amount of money aren't really being fair. If you are asking an individual to do something no one else has ever done, then it doesn't mean it's impossible, but it should be viewed as unlikely. Same theory applies for Derrick Rose coming back and playing like a superstar after consecutive knee surgeries.
Could happen, but no one else has ever done it, so don't bet the farm on it.
That said, I think the Knicks would be willing to play ball if Melo pressures him. Presumably Jackson got in the room with him and made it clear he wasn't ambivalent about Melo staying but really wanted him. That's an important step for the Knicks if they want to keep Melo, but it's also a good step for them in S&T negotiations as well. If they can pretend they'll play hard ball (even if they won't) then they might extract more from Chicago.
So what's the deal with Derrick Rose in his recruiting or not recruiting stance?
Chris Broussard put out a character assassination piece on Derrick Rose proclaiming Rose didn't know Anthony was coming to the Berto center that day and was surprised to see him in the locker room and was upset the Bulls didn't discuss his role in recruiting Melo before hand.
This piece feels like it's completely full of shit. First, there's no way Rose didn't know Melo would be there that day. Every Bulls fan in the world knew Melo would be there that day. It's ridiculous to think Derrick didn't know. Second, it was reported that Joakim Noah specifically talked to Rose and asked him to be part of the pitch a couple days earlier.
This seems like Broussard being paid off by the Knicks or someone else to completely make up a story in attempt to play the media against the Bulls.
That said, Rose's involvement in the recruitment of Anthony still seems a little half assed. He didn't join them for dinner, and he didn't spend too much time with Melo. You'd think of Rose was really gung ho about it that he would have done more. That said, he did at least talk to Anthony for 20 minutes and let him watch his private workout, so that at least passes the minimum bar.
The whole thing is just strange, and I think that strangeness can't really appeal to free agents. I don't know where Derrick Rose is getting his advice, but he shows all the signs of a completely spoiled, self-centered, egotistical athlete in the way he's approached things the past couple years. Most people would be dying to do anything to help the team after missing the past two full seasons while being paid superstar money.
Especially while taking longer than the prescribed time to return twice. Rose may be a slow healer. His body may be betraying him. He may be overly cautious if he feels his ACL was caused by a cumulative build up of other injuries he didn't rest through. I'm not really going to rip him for that, but after being extra cautious while making a shit ton of money the past two years wouldn't you naturally do anything you could to help the organization?
Isn't that just human nature? Rose seems locked in just doing whatever he feels is best for him though even when the cost for him to make a couple phone calls and go to a dinner is so minimal. I got a tweet asking for how long it takes for Chicago to turn on Derrick Rose, and my answer is I don't know, but they probably should have turned on him already if they haven't.
The Bulls need Rose, and if he comes back and plays like a superstar then all this will be forgotten by the masses, but just like when Kobe refused to shoot or Pippen refused to enter the game, this last couple years is a bit of a stain on Rose's legacy. If he comes back healthy it will be a very small one. If not, then it will just be the beginning.
In the end, on court performance will mask everything. If it's good we ignore all the bad stuff. If it's lousy we overemphasize all the bad stuff.
Nikola Mirotic on the outs with Spain
He's agreed to pay his three million dollar buy out, so he's coming. The only way he's not coming is if the Bulls somehow land Anthony via cap space [if they get him via S&T they'll bring Mirotic over for the MLE]. I suspect the odds of the Bulls landing Anthony via cap room are virtually nil, so I think it's safe to say we'll see Mirotic next season.
He didn't end his season very well playing very poorly in the finals as Real Madrid lost. I'm somewhat luke warm on Mirotic. It's hard to get real excited about a guy before you see him, but I think he has reasonably high bust potential. I think the Bulls still bring him over for a reasonable three year deal though. We'll see what happens.
If they get Mirotic, it really doesn't make any sense to also pursue Gasol unless they really don't think Mirotic is ready to do much in year one. I suppose it also depends how high they are on Greg Smith and Cameron Bairstow. I'd personally put both guys in the "might not play at all" category in which case there's room for one more low minute big man.
Maybe Gasol, Noah, and Gibson could be the big minute guys with Mirotic being a limited minute guy in year one and Smith/Bairstow being DNPs every night, but I'd think Mirotic is set for a bigger role than that. We'll have to see how it shakes out.
Paul Pierce is the guy I want
He's old, he's not great, but he likely comes reasonably cheaply and adds an element the Bulls desperately need.
Paul Pierce, even at 37, can create his own shot off the dribble, make clutch plays, and hit the three. I don't trust his defense. I know he can be shut down these days as well, however, he gives the Bulls a lot of what they're missing and won't break the bank either.
Any plan that doesn't include Anthony would really benefit by including Paul Pierce, so I hope the Bulls remain in talks wit him. There aren't that many shot creators available, and the Bulls desperately need more of that on the roster. Maybe Doug McDermott will provide some, but I'm not that confident in McDermott to bet on it yet.
What the heck is going on in Miami?
There's a big debate about whether the Heat are really potentially falling apart or whether it's all a smoke screen. I don't know what it's a smoke screen for though. There's nothing illegal about free agents colluding with each other to resign with their own team at discounted rates. They're not fooling any other organizations here.
No one expects them to leave.
However, it seems like there might be some legitimate strife inside the Heat organization. So far, none of the bit three have resigned. The theory was that they'd structure their deals in a way to open up 12 million in cap room, but after missing on Lowry and Gortat it doesn't look like the Heat really have a lot of great targets to bring in.
Their team right now is set to come back as a shell of what it was last year let alone much better. Riley still has time to pull it together, and my expectation is that the big three still stay in Miami together, but it's getting harder and harder to see them making the type of upgrades they need to be better than the previous year unless Shabazz Napier is just a complete bad ass.
I would have been shocked if Miami didn't stay together this offseason a month ago, I'll downgrade that to I'd be surprised now. However, I could see it happening. Chris Bosh going to Houston is the one thing that I think could blow it all up. Houston can offer him more money and a pair of star players to play with that need a guy with his game at his position, plus Bosh is from Texas and previously stated he'd like to play in Texas.
I still find it unlikely anything goes wrong, but I think whatever happens, we've seen the beginning of the end of Miami. They'll be a threat this year if they bring back the band, but they won't be the dominant favorite they were the past few seasons. They'll now just be a team in the hunt which makes the NBA that much more exciting.
If the Bulls land Melo and Rose proves himself healthy, but mid season you'd likely see the Bulls as favorites to come out of the East over Miami regardless of what Miami puts together. Granted, I'm not really high on either of those things happening let alone both, but a man can dream.
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