The Carmelo Anthony Debate

The Carmelo Anthony Debate

In recent weeks, the web has been slightly buzzing about a potential break between the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. As of yet, nothing has really come forward on the matter, and I personally chalk it up to off-season boredom/fan-fiction. But assuming the two sides does end up disagreeing on their partnership, one team's name will pop up, and do so a lot: The Bulls.

Because of Chicago's interest in Melo back in 2014, they're supposedly the obvious candidate to be so again. We discussed this briefly on Dennis Podman #1 in which Kevin Ferrigan made a strong point: The Bulls wanted Melo at the price they could afford. They didn't want him at the price the Knicks would afford even if they somehow could have offered equal money. It was a one-time pitch that more or less said "Hey, we know we can't pay you as much as New York, but with you in the fold at this price, we can create something special". If he had agreed, then great. If not, as turned out to be the case, then at least the Bulls wouldn't handcuff themselves financially. In short, the Bulls attacked this logically and put themselves into a semi-sort of win/win situation.

Based on that, there would likely be little to no interest in Melo now, especially when they lost out on one of his prime years and would get him a much steeper cost. Additionally, the Bulls have seen enough of knee injuries and Melo's certainly doesn't inspire confidence. So really, this should be a non-starter.

But then again, there that feeling is again. That tiny little thought that whispers "What if...?". Because, yes, what if Melo turned out to be healthy and remained productive for years to come? What if a change of scenery would unlock the efficient 28-point scorer who is active on the glass and makes an effort in moving the ball? What if he would come on board full-time and benefit from the already established members on the squad?

That version of Melo would at least be worth considering paying more for, but with four years left on his deal that has $101 million remaining on it, the price of "What if...?" is just too damn high.

Which leads me to my second point; If Melo asks out, and the Bulls remove their name from the Melo lottery immediately, no one should have any quarrels with it. Even with an increased cap that can make up for such a swing-for-the-fences move, there is just too much to risk. Making a Melo trade would be taking on one of the biggest contracts in the NBA, and basing one's optimism on the possibility that Melo might be healthy, that he might not show his age of 31, that he might become the guy everyone hopes he can. Investing $101 million in "might" and "what if...?" should alone present enough of a concern that any Melo idea should be rejected, even if he does possess skills that the Bulls sorely need.

And to make it even more depressing: If there ever was a time to acquire Melo based on prime and skill, it would have to be now. At 31, he's just young enough to not project as declining heavily in production for a solid three seasons, pending health. His jumper is still effective, his post game is advanced, he gets to the line, and he's incredibly strong physically which helps him absorb contact. He should still be able to sleepwalk his way to a 22-point average. But the circumstances around Melo are big flashing red lights you can't ignore, which at the end of the day makes any Melo acquisition irresponsible.

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  • This passed a long time ago. Aside from Melo being unhappy wherever he is (Denver had to trade him), giving Jimmy Buckets a max deal sure seems to eliminate any cap room to do this, unless there is a Melo exemption in addition to the Rose exemption.

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    Forget about Melo to the Bulls. The legs are too worn and the price is too high. Besides, what has Melo done in the playoffs other than a trip to the Western Conf finals during his younger yrs?

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    To be fair however, the Knicks absolutely gutted that roster to get him. And when Amar'e broke down, it was pretty much game over. So his lack of post-season success is actually something I'm willing to somewhat excuse him for. All the other things I mentioned above, however....

  • I like the article, but since you did do the what if scenario, maybe we could talk about what a potential Melo to Bulls deal looks like. Its highly unlikely anyway for numerous reason but in terms of contracts and talent, what potential scenarios could we make? Is it a salary dump for the Knicks or do they want star returns? Butler and Rose are off hands but what about Niko? Just a thought.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I think the Knicks would want the best possible return in terms of cheap talent with upside, e.g. rookies and players on rookie contracts e.g. Niko and a few firsts, but not Snell or McDoug since they have demonstrated very little upside. If we want to offer Snell, McDoug and picks, they can probably find a trade partner who will give them more.

    I think we should all stop any talk of trading a package built around Snell and McDoug. The reasons we want to include them in a package are the same reasons no team would want that package.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Delusions aside, as a capped out team, the Bulls have to send back as much in contracts as they are taking in(subject to the 125% rule), don't they. So this rules out any deals for any of our young cheap guys even if they made any basketball sense for either side. Niko, Snell & McDNP don't make enough in total to get there, and I doubt that anybody in the Bull's camp wants to trade Niko for Melo under any circumstances.

    Other than Rose, it would take 2 or 3 guys just to get close to Melo's number, Noah & Gasol or Noah & Gibson or Noah & Niko gets you there. I'm guessing that a lot of fans would do Noah & Gibson after last season. That would leave us with the worst defensive front line in NBA history, Melo, Gasol & Niko. Portis would be the only backup big, so injuries are out of the question. Gasol, Gibson and McDNP might be just enough money wise and Phil used to say that he loved Gasol when he wasn't screaming at him. Gasol, Gibson & Niko, fugetaboutit.

    I really don't see any trade that makes sense for the Bulls, never mind the Knicks. Rose for Melo?, I doubt that anybody is interested in that.

  • Trade Niko? For Kevin Durant, sure. But not for Melo! Niko is on a great value contract, Melo just the opposite! Trades like that should get a GM canned (and maybe caned, too!).

    The Bulls need to see what they have on the team first. Go Snell, McDermott, Moore and Portis. Then maybe trade for a starting SF and/or a backup PG.

  • The only way I can see the Bulls trading for Melo is if they are completely fed up Rose and do a bad salary for bad salary swap.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    But Rose's bad salary is cheaper and shorter! Thus, bad deal for Bulls means no deal.

  • Everyone here talks about the Bulls front office having no imagination and still where is the creativity from all of you. Anthony can still be had. Why Anthony? Its because he is the leagues premier talent next to L. James wanting inside to be considered equal or better. Sure, the Bulls must trade equal dollar value, and they can.
    Why not trade aging Gasol who still has some value now, Mirotic who has not looked special playing for Spain this summer, add Heinrich, McD, and Moore and even without giving a draft pick this trade works on ESPN trade machine. Mirotic is not the talent we expected, unproven just like McD.
    We cannot waste time developing guys year after year while lying to each other about player potential. Bulls need to floor experienced players like Cleveland is doing.
    All the experts are telling us Cleveland is a shoe in, why should we even think we can win with what we now have even with new coaching idealogy?
    Ok, what about the cost concerns, is Anthony too expensive? So what, are any of you guys writing the checks Reinsdorf can simply write off?

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