Bulls will meet first with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah trying to convince Derrick Rose to be there

Bulls will meet first with Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah trying to convince Derrick Rose to be there

On the first official night of free agency, the Bulls reportedly contacted Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Chandler Parsons, Pau Gasol, and possibly Luol Deng [saw on realgm, but didn't see the source]. The Bulls will be the first team Carmelo meets with, and Joakim Noah either wants to attend the meeting or meet separately with Melo afterwards. He's looking to bring Derrick Rose with him.

Full story at the basketball insiders.

The Bulls are the first team that Anthony will meet with when free agency begins on July 1. He will fly to Chicago to hear the Bulls’ pitch. Sources say that Noah will either be present at the free agency meeting, or will meet with Anthony after the conclusion of the meeting. Noah wants to bring Rose along with him as well, and is trying to persuade the point guard to attend the meeting. Rose has made it clear that he doesn’t view it as his job to recruit free agents.

This off-season is really Carmelo Anthony or bust (assuming Kevin Love isn't traded which seems unlikely to me now).

The case for Carmelo has been made many times before. He'll have a lot of suitors, and he'll probably have better suitors than Chicago. The Bulls wouldn't be the last team I'd bet on, but they might not be the first either. They're probably one of maybe four teams with a legit shot, but how would the rest of the free agents fit in?

The case for Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol is an interesting fit. My gut tells me that he only makes sense in a scenario where you don't bring over Mirotic. I doubt Pau Gasol is going to play for the minimum or even the MLE at this point. He's likely looking at 12+ million per year given the massive amount of teams (reportedly 20) with at least that much cap room.

This means if the Bulls bring in Gasol, they can't bring in Mirotic most likely. I could make the case for Chicago prioritizing Gasol over Mirotic for a season, it would also let Mirotic's buy out go away and might result in a cheaper first deal. Maybe in year two you're okay with Mirotic, Gasol, Gibson, and Noah.

That's an awfully strong front court with four guys. The problem also becomes where McDermott plays. If he's viewed as a potential stretch four, then Chicago doesn't really have a whole lot of room left. If the Bulls go three years on Gasol, then you could see Mirotic taking a larger role in his second year with Gasol's role shrinking. They also might move one or more of their big men at this point as well.

So it could work, but it's not the most natural fit perhaps. That said, Gasol brings offensive skill the Bulls desperately need. He's a veteran presence looking to win now, and while he's probably not the top tier talent they want, he's still probably better than a lot of the other guy available.

I'd probably bet on him before Hayward and Stephenson despite their youth, simply because I don't believe in either player.

Chandler Parsons should be a no-go

Parsons is a solid player. It'd be easy to try and pigeon hole him into a three point specialist but he's more. He's scored with good efficiency even before the arrival of Dwight Howard, but he's probably giving you a slightly lesser version of Luol Deng and could easily cost 12-14 million per year to pry away from Houston.

You'd at least get his prime years (Which you wouldn't with Deng) and feel good about his three point shooting (which you wouldn't with Deng), but he'd give you a lot less in other areas. Much like Gordon Hayward to me, he's a player who's pretty good, but with this amount of teams having money to burn, he'll make far too much for what he brings to the table.

The only real caveat to that (and all these guys) is that the salary cap will have a massive bump in two years due to the new TV deal which could make today's overpays look like tomorrow's steals.

Paul Pierce works great on a discount

Paul Pierce is one of those guys I'd never really envisioned wanting on my team, but the Bulls need shot creators, and Paul Pierce might be a quality one to get if he's willing to play for a discount (like say the vet min). This would be the ultimate Tom Thibodeau connection which might persuade him to come here on a discount.

Pierce has already made more money than he knows what to do with as his career earnings are at roughly 184 million already. At this point, he might be willing to take the minimum for a place that offers him both a legitimate chance to win and a starting position. The Bulls aren't the only team that might offer that, but they're certainly one of them.

Even if the Bulls have to pay Pierce more than the minimum, he might be worth a solid five million or so to them on a short term deal simply due to the fact that his shot creation is something the Bulls really do need. Paul Pierce fell off the athletic cliff some time ago, but he still had elite scoring efficiency last season with a TS% of 59.5%.

His game seems to defy age and lack of athleticism. I'd probably be more excited about Pierce on a short term two year deal than I would about Hayward, Stephenson, or Parsons locked in for four years at the max or near max (which is likely the alternative with those younger guys).

Luol Deng just might get paid

Luol Deng didn't look good down the stretch. There are plenty of reasons to not be all that excited about his NBA future given his weaknesses. That said, there's a crapload of teams with money out there, and once the quality players run out, they'll start over paying the next best thing. Luol Deng is one of those guys.

It's hard to envision a Bulls/Deng reunion. We already know Deng doesn't fill our needs, and he's probably too stung about being traded and whatever offer the Bulls made him in an extension already. For that reason there's probably not too much thought about any serious interest here.

It's just the first day of free agency. We'll see how many dominos fall early and how many wait for the big chips to land first. In 2010, there was a lot of holding on until the big three made their decision then everything happened in a flurry. I don't think anyone believes those guys are real options this year, and not enough teams feel they're in the Melo sweepstakes to hold up other moves.

My prediction is that we'll see this year play out as more of a normal free agency year without a lot of waiting around. There's too many teams with money that will be thrilled to grab a plan B guy to wait for the plan A guys to fall.

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    Gasol? What is it with Bulls fans and Gasol? He's 33 with not one, but two, count 'em, two bum knees.

  • In reply to Steve Merritt:

    Gasol teamed with Noah would be great. Question becomes Mirotic... is Gasol at 33 and 34 (at 2/$24 mil) that much better than Mirotic? Doubt it. Given the interest in Pau, I think we can write that one off unless he really wants to come here and signs for a bit less.

    I bet Bulls have McBuckets as a 3 and Mirotic as a 4 going forward.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I don't get the thought that McDermott is ever going to play PF in the NBA, just because he lined up there in college. It could happen situationally from time to time for a couple of minutes when the other team goes with a power forward at center and no true power forward on the floor, but even then against an elite team he is guarding Lebron or Durant or Melo.

    To me the real question with McDermott is if he can play at SG and SF or only at SF.

  • Random post... You know, I just checked Bairstow's stats, and he's a legit scorer. 20.4 ppg and solid FG% last year and gets to the FT line a lot and shoots mid-70% from there. So, you know he can handle the NBA mid-range game.

    There was a two game stretch where this guy shot 26/32 from the FT line at the end of the season. That's living at the line for college, where guys rarely get over 10/game.

    Not sure I envision him stepping right in next year and playing, but I think we can run our 2nd unit offense through this guy eventually.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Yeah Bairstow looks like he could be a player. I tweeted upset about the picks and a couple of UNM students tweeted me back that I'm going to love this guy once he joins the team. They say he hits the weight room after games!

  • In reply to muckfiami:

    Did they happen to mention whether Tony Snell ever hit the weight room?

  • The FO needs to bring in guys who can win a championship. I think they know that. Guys like Gasol at $12 million per and Deng at $10 million per are not those guys.

    Mirotic and McDermott are both huge upgrades. Bairstow is a decent backup. Rose makes 4 players who are upgrades over last season's team. This team should contend.

    OK, so who/what else do they need? The SG! Not Deng, not Gasol, probably not Love. Taj and Mirotic together will be better than Love and cost less.

    Melo would be a big upgrade, but not at the cost of Taj and Mirotic. The FO needs to stay smart here. The Bulls may be a player away from the Finals. They have 2 1st round picks next year (likely), plus the pick swap with Cleveland. And more FAs next year. DO NOT OVERPAY FAs, neither in players nor salary. Play Money Ball.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Gasol put up decent numbers last season while battling injuries for almost the entire season. However, he looked like a dead dog in doing so. He's starting to look like Vlade Divac did, you know like a guy who is smoking 2 packs a day while trying to be a professional athlete. I really don't see a role for him on this team, I doubt that he is planning off coming off the bench. I wouldn't even consider him for anything more than a 1 year guarantee at mid level type money. We need a true starting shooting guard, don't know if there is really one out there, but that's where we need to be looking.

  • Gasol, Pierce and Deng are all on the massive drop off points in their careers I wouldn't want to be caught giving any of them a big payday. This is ridiculous I think Bulls fans will be clamoring for Pau Gasol when he is 40 and retired. He is like their moby dick. Not sure why their is such love fest considering how little he has meant to LA as a contender.

    WTF Rose! Seriously you can't be bothered to go to a meeting!?!?!? Can't be because your too busy since you have spent most of the last 3 years on vacation. This guy is really starting to piss me off.

    I think we should be looking for value in the 3rd tier FA rather than thinking of being one of the suckers massively overpaying low end starters in the second tier. For me its really Melo or bust if we don't get Melo then its just another year of being a pretender instead of being a contender.

  • A few thoughts on this post:

    First, thanks, Doug, for getting us through the summer.

    Second, while I would see Gasol as an upgrade over Boozer, does anyone truly feel Reinsdorf would ok amnestying Boozer to get Gasol this summer? Seems like if you miss out on the big FAs, you may as well hold on to Boozer and see if you can flip him at the deadline (unless there is certainty Mirotic comes over and offloading Boozer plays a role in that happening...that changes decision dynamic, admittedly).

    Third, the whole "It isn't my job" routine is truly a poor reflection on Rose for a host of reasons. Given the current economic climate, I am not sure many fans would be able to get away with that response in their workplace (while unfair to judge athletes by that standard, perhaps, it still plays a part in how the player/team is viewed). Also, the mindset is just outdated in the current NBA. It may have been okay for MJ to say that back in the 80's & 90's, but things are different. Shorter contracts mean more FA movement, which means it is more important than ever to be 'welcoming' to potential help. To me, it is similar to Rose saying "it isn't my job to train in the offseason". Technically, absolutely correct. From a standpoint of furthering success of self and team, it would be wrong, and the fans would be united in disdain for him saying it. The more he sticks to the schtick, the more and more I begin to feel he is threatened by the team bringing in better talent. Maybe he likes being the big fish in a small pond, so to speak.

    Finally, I hope that storm last night didn't wreck Anthony's travel plans into Chicago. Talk about a bad way to get started in FA.

    No matter what, should be an interesting couple of weeks. Fingers crossed!!

  • In between your Rose-hate columns you may want to consider writing about how the front office royally screwed up in not having enough cap space for Melo.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    By doing what? If Rose wouldn't have taken the 30% max, there would be enough room to operate without possibly having to sacrifice Taj. But why try to open up cap room (by sacrificing good players) prematurely when you don't even have a commitment from Melo. I'm sure the Bulls have trades already worked out if the need to open up cap room arises.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Are you being serious? All the front office would need is to free up an extra 4-5 million.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    Look at me! Look at me! I am an original thinker who goes against the grain and isn't afraid to tell the truth while you homers turn a blind eye to the FO's miscues.

    FO bashers think they're original, out-of-the box thinkers when compared to a perceived legion of homers who praise the FO. In truth, most fans bash the FO incessantly and to me, they are the homers since they pay no attention to FO's around the league (except the Spurs or the flavor-of-month, used to be the Lakers but strangely no one discusses them anymore). Those who say the FO is anything more than pond scum are in the minority.

  • do you even know the current cap situation? 4-5 million? from what? here, i'll put some numbers behind it for you. Let's say Boozer is amnestied, all the non-guaranteed guys are released and all the FA's are renounced, you have this.

    PLAYER 2014/2015
    Derrick Rose 18,862,876
    Joakim Noah 12,700,000
    Taj Gibson 8,000,000
    Mike Dunleavy 3,326,235
    Jimmy Butler 2,008,748
    Anthony Randolph 1,825,359
    Tony Snell 1,472,400
    Greg Smith 948,163
    Nikola Mirotic (Cap Hold-100% of rookie scale) 1,075,300
    Doug McDermott (Cap Hold-100% of rookie scale) 1,898,300
    Richard Hamilton 333,333
    Incomplete Roster Charge (x2) 1,014,672
    TOTAL SALARIES AND HOLDS 53,465,386
    EXPECTED CAP 63,200,000
    CAP ROOM 9,734,614

    An extra 4-5 million gets you to $14-15MM in cap room, If you honestly believe Melo will take that much of a paycut, I want some of what you're smoking.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Actually the sun times tweeted how the Bulls are offering 15 million.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    I don't think that is going to be enough but stranger things have happened, maybe the FO has a different FA plan but are appearing to be in on Melo so the fan base doesn't revolt? I think Melo's definition of a paycut may be different than that of the FO. Who knows, the point is that the bulls can easily open up the $4-5MM if they secure a commitment from Melo at $15MM but why sacrifice assets do so now when there is no guarantee he will sign here. I think they are operating out of caution rather than incompetence.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Clearly the Bulls valued getting McDermott over aggressively pursuing Carmelo.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    They loved him as a prospect (time will tell) and had a tangible way to get him. They love Melo but the chances of procuring him are very slim given factors outside of the Bulls control (lack of Bird rights, family, Melo is from NY), the McDermott thing was available and had a highly likely chance of happening.

    Plus Melo could still come in a S&T, so the cap room would be unnecessary.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Act like a small market team and you get small market results.

  • In reply to rpk1:

    It's called being shrewd, ask the Spurs how that's working out or better yet ask the Knicks how using every asset you have to trade for a superstar worked out. Unless you steal a superstar in a trade for peanuts (Boston), Draft one (OKC), or collude well in advance to take slightly less money (MIA), your odds of getting a superstar are low.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    So the Lakers, Rockets, Celtics FO's are more shrewd than the Bulls FO. Already knew that.

    Bottom line, small market teams get second tier free agents, that's why the Bulls are destined to get the Boozers/Ben Wallaces/Eddie Robinsons of the NBA world.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    This is why the Bulls aren't getting Melo unless he specifically forces a sign and trade to the Bulls, and the Knicks are willing to do it for boozer and some number of first round draft picks.

    If not, amnestitize the hole and use whatever cap space we have to bring over Mirotic and add another decent mid level free agent(Livingston or Jordan Hill) plus the room exception on someone like DJ.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Can't the Bulls renounce Mirotic's $1,075,300 if he will not be coming over this year in order to sing Melo?

    Aren't Bulls really thinking sign and trade anyway?

    If Melo tells the Knicks that he's leaving no matter what, why wouldn't the Knicks take a couple of Bulls first rounds picks and call it a day? (I know, there is the financial decision to take on Boozer's salary...)

  • In reply to Granby:

    Yes they can, I just included it because there is persistent chatter of him coming over this year and for completeness.

    I think so yes but my gut tells me they will have to take JR Smith back too and I don't know if that's a deal breaker or not. A S&T preserves the full mid-level which can be used to bring Mirotic over or find a SG.

    I think if they take Smith back, draft pick compensation should be limited to a top-10 protected 2015 1st and a 2nd rounder. There are other S&T options that wouldn't require the Knicks to take back Boozer if we wanted to amnesty him instead.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    How can we do a S&T without Boozer? Assuming Melo signs for $17-20 mil and is traded, how can we possibly match salaries without Boozer involved? I have a hard time getting adding up money beyond $12 mil and that's including dumping Snell and Butler among other players.

    I think if the Bulls want to keep this team together (Noah, Rose, Butler, Gibson, McDermott, Mirotic) and trade for Melo, about the only way to do it would be to fork over picks and take back JR Smith's salary. I also think we need to use Boozer in the deal unless we somehow get another team involved. Such a team would also be right up against the luxury tax. But, not amnestying Boozer is huge. I think Reinsdorf would sign off on such a power play move.

  • In reply to Granby:

    In order to do a S&T without Boozer, which would put you under the cap enough to take back more salary than what you send out. I agree though that if NY is willing to take back Boozer, NG's and 2015 1st and 2 2nd's (whenever) for Melo and Smith, you do it. If the Knicks wanted to get rid of smith in any other scenario they would have to give up a 1st rounder to do it. So essentially us taking him in this trade is like us giving the Knicks a 1st rounder. The team would look like this after other minor moves (bye Anthony Randolph, we hardly knew ye):

    PLAYER 2014/2015
    Derrick Rose 18,862,876
    Joakim Noah 12,700,000
    Carmelo 20,000,000
    Taj Gibson 8,000,000
    Mike Dunleavy 3,326,235
    Jimmy Butler 2,008,748
    Tony Snell 1,472,400
    JR SMITH 5,982,375
    Greg Smith 948,163
    Doug McDermott 1,898,300
    Cameron Bairstow 507,336
    Incomplete Roster 507,336
    Richard Hamilton 333,333
    TOTAL SAL & HOLDS 76,547,102
    SAL CAP 63,200,000
    OVER -13,347,102

    Close to the tax but we could use almost all the MLE on someone (Anthony Morrow?) and stay under the apron. We can also hope that JR Smith is so crazy that he opts out of his deal after this season. if not we may have to waive him and stretch the hit out over several years.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    You know what is sad about all of these scenarios is that DJ Augustin seems to be the guy who is not coming back. A real shame. He made the Bulls worth watching last year.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    In looking at those salaries, the only ones that jump out as not being "value-adds" to the team are Rose (due to injuries...at MVP-like level, it is not bad price) and Snell.

    So, while I am luke-warm with regards to the performance of GarPax over the years, I would have to admit that they seem to be doing fairly well in the capology department.

    Still not sure they end up amnestying Boozer, though. Cautiously optimistic is as far as I can go on that one.

  • Rose was overpaid even before his series of injuries. The FO did not have to pay him the extra $3 million per, just because the NBA said they could. They made a political, not a financial, decision when they did that! I recall at the time some fans cautioned that Rose's style of play would shorten his career.

    Money Ball is simply getting the most for your money - like Nate, Augustine, and Dunleavy. Also like rookie contracts! Also like drafting and stashing Euro players - think Mirotic.

    Chad wrote, "I think we should be looking for value in the 3rd tier FA rather than thinking of being one of the suckers massively overpaying low end starters in the second tier." I agree.

    Then, when the team appears to be a player away from a title, the team will have the assets in players and money to go and get that guy!

    BTW, trading Taj and Mirotic for Melo is NOT Money Ball. Mirotic may be as good as Love in a year or two, at $5 million per rather than $17 million per. A team needs several of those guys to field a strong contender.

  • Would Bulls take back JR Smith in a sign and trade? Say, if Bulls send Boozer and spare parts like Dunleavy, Snell, Brewer, Admundsen, etc... and a couple future firsts?

    If I'm Reinsdorf, I do whatever it takes to land Melo and this allows Bulls to pull over Mirotic while possibly being right under the luxury tax line - although you might have to get creative and sign a couple undrafted rookies at $500k + Bairstow.

    Reinsdorf would have to consider it a win to not amnesty Boozer.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I hate JR Smith and his ilk, but if taking his contract back is the only thing stopping us from getting Melo for boozer and draft picks, then it is a no brainer.

    Getting Melo and paying him the max, or anything near it takes us out of free agency at least until Rose's contract expires so taking on Smith is only a money/tax consideration. Plus we do need help at shooting guard. Maybe we could flip him for Tyson Chandler and P.J. Brown.

  • I think the Bulls can make a very compelling pitch to Melo: "You join this team, and you will be playing in the Eastern Conference next year and for the next several years. A few things break our way and we're winning championships."

    No other team can virtually guarantee Melo an appearance in the conference finals, but the Bulls can.

    The money will sort itself out.

  • Speaking of boozer, T minus 10 days and counting.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I wonder if Boozer was upset that he wasn't invited to the meeting at the UC? If there ever was a player who would never take a pay cut to help a team it would be Carlos? Some fans may not remember that Boozer double-crossed the owner of the Cavs to sign a FA deal with Utah.

  • Derrick was at the UC for a bit while Melo was there today, so was Taj.

  • This Carmelo story is all about 3 inches of Real Estate.........about money......about keeping the women you have happy in a city she loves to shop in................it is not about getting a Championship Ring.

  • Melo will only become a Bull with a sign&trade involving Booz and a third team.
    Sixers look a very good bet to be that team, they are still very short of the minimum salary level, want to tank for another year and would imo take on Booz for the year with the addition of the picks we can send them.

    "The Sixers are not expected to be extremely active in the offseason on the free agency front, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make some moves. The team has around $30 million to spend, and they may have to use some of that to round out their roster
    Read more at http://www.insidehoops.com/nba_rumors.shtml#VdRYXbrbtiEHCOMS.99"

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    That would be a beautiful thing. I hope a first rounder next year would be enough for them to want to take on Carlos Boozer.

    There is a minimum salary that the sixers team has to hit right? In that case it makes a lot of sense even if we have to take on JR Smith who might get flipped to a team that misses out on all there FA's and needs offense.

    I can't see Phil taking back Boozer because he flat out sucks. I just hope gar and pax are smart enough to know that and are looking for a 3rd team right now..........

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Minimum is 90% of cap so in the region of $57million; with cap holds for rookies etc Sixers are still approx $20m below the minimum so need to sign (or absorb thro S&T) players with large salaries eg Booz.
    NYK would get a large Trade Exception that they could use later when another star comes available at say the All Star Break

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