According to Mike McGraw, Tom Thibodeau is keeping hope alive for Bulls fans and doing everything he can for the Bulls to land Anthony while the front office tries to figure out what else it can do to close the deal.
Thibodeau has played a significant role in keeping Anthony interested in the Bulls, according to a league source. As of Thursday evening, the Bulls were trying to figure out what it would take to close the deal.
I'm not sure what to make of these internet reports, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that Frank Isola who said Anthony would sign in New York yesterday just took a guess and whiffed. Yesterday was the end of the moratorium, a likely day for someone to make a decision. The Knicks being a likely choice.
If you wanted to increase your rep as an insider, then taking a stab in the dark at the breaking news wouldn't be a bad attempt. Either that, or Carmelo's people just leak different news every other day to continue to dominate the headlines. Yesterday evenings news of Thibodeau keeping hope alive is just the latest example.
Personally, I think we're at the point where no one's buying anything. I think LeBron and Carmelo know exactly what they want to do, but they like keeping the world waiting on them. They'll both decide soon, because the waiting is quickly turning from anticipation to bitterness, and I don't think either, especially James wants to go that route.
With Carmelo, I think I get it. He hasn't been a FA before as he signed an extension last time rather than making it to free agency. I'm sure he's enjoying the attention on some level. With LeBron? It feels crazy.
After all the flack he took for the decision, he's now either spun up the hope of Cleveland again or his hanging out with Dwyane Wade all day will be a gut punch to Wade if he decides to leave. I'd have thought LeBron would probably prefer to make his decision a bit more low key given how it went last time.
While it's not his fault, he hasn't even met with Cleveland, if he sticks in Miami he'll be the world's biggest villain part two.
As for Chicago, many keep asking me why the Bulls can't simply sign and trade for Carmelo. Well, the answer is, they can! However, they really need Melo to commit to the Bulls before they can begin any sign and trade talks.
New York is going to attempt to play hard ball for no other reason than to at least extract the best offer they can from Chicago. There's no way to start discussions early as it would lower New York's leverage to keep him as well as get a decent return back. If Melo chooses Chicago, sign and trade talks can begin.
I think the Knicks are more than willing to sign and trade Anthony from a practical stand point even if it isn't their preference. Such a move could mean the MLE is open for Gasol, but then that leaves Nikola Mirotic waiting in the wings after agreeing on a buyout unless he signs for the two year bi-annual exception which would be less than he could make with another team in Europe.
If the Bulls did sign and trade for Anthony and used the MLE on Gasol afterwards leaving no money for Mirotic then that relationship will go real sour. I'd expect it might mean that he never comes over. However, I also find it highly unlikely the Bulls would make such a move. If they get Anthony and have the MLE left then I expect they'll use it on Mirotic.
That said, if you feel Gasol brings you closer to a championship it might be worth hoping Mirotic simply gets over it. In other Gasol news, the Bulls appear to be the leader if Chicago doesn't land Melo. They're the leader because they can offer more money than other contenders. I won't be the first to say it but screw that.
If we have to be the high bidder on Gasol then well...
Pau Gasol's nice, but he already shows all the signs of a big cliff fall and has started his rather large decline. There's no reason to go over two years or five million dollars on this guy. If we're not his first choice then we should be chasing someone else rather than offering huge money.
I could live with the Gasol move, but let's face it, the Bulls have a backcourt of Derrick Rose, Tony Snell, and Jimmy Butler who can defend shooting guards but really plays more like a SF on offense. They have a grand total of one perimeter creator on the roster, and he's played in 10 games over the past two seasons.
This need is SO glaring that you need to address it, and it'd be nice to attempt to address it with a guy who's not on a minimum salary deal and has some hope of being more than a flash in the pan who gets shut down in the playoffs. Lance Stephenson is that guy, the only guy perhaps, and the Bulls should work to make that happen if they don't land Melo.
The Bulls front court may not all be hall of fame bound, but Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, and Nikola Mirotic would project out to be far better than what most teams are throwing out there and has a varied skill set. If you can figure out a way to get a total of 10 minutes and cover injuries from Greg Smith, Cameron Bairstow, and Anthony Randolph then you're set.
That's a group that has a lot of good potential depth guys on it as well.
Bulls summer league kicks off tomorrow
Is that worth bolding? I don't know, but if you want to see Douggie McBuckets and Cameron Bairstow get it on against non NBA caliber players in a game with no team play because 90% of the guys are doing everything they can to impress European scouts then the Bulls schedule can be viewed here.
From what I gather it doesn't look like the first game will be aired live anywhere, but I believe it can be watched via app from your phone, tablet, or computer. There'll be a replay in the middle of the night at some point where I set my DVR to record it.
And if you've got something better to do on a summer weekend than watch the Bulls play in summer league I'm pulling your fan card [okay, I can't back that up... ].
Do we want a resolution to this thing?
I feel like I've written virtually the same article every day this week with slightly different insignificant news based on rumors and tweets that really don't mean a hill of beans. No one's talking, and I don't think anyone knows.
The only thing worse than writing about the continued saga of Carmelo Anthony will be August when the news cycle is so dead that I might resort to a top 10 plays in the 2004 season just to fill up space. We don't want that, maybe we should root for this Melo thing to drag out.
It'd be interesting to see just how long everyone else would wait on him if he did. Would players/teams wait until August to make moves if James and Anthony just waited around? Players wouldn't want to lose the best destinations by signing early and teams wouldn't want to lose out on the best players.
It'd be quite the comedy. LeBron could come to Chicago and start dropping hints to the Bulls. Melo could go visit Cleveland and hint if they could land Love that he might come. It'd be great fun for everyone right? Maybe that 2004 greatest plays article doesn't sound so bad after all.
So when do I expect news? I refer to Phil Jackson. I expect to hear today. However, I also expected to hear yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.
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