A league source confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report that Carmelo Anthony's camp has engaged the Bulls' camp in the seemingly never-ending trade talks with the Nuggets.
However, the talks -- which the Bulls, according to sources, always
monitored and stayed involved in -- never have progressed past where
they stood during training camp last September:
The Bulls won't include Joakim Noah, whom Denver covets. And the
Nuggets have no interest in absorbing the three years and $42 million
remaining on Luol Deng's contract.
The only way, for now, for the Bulls to close this long-shot deal
would be to find a third team that would take Deng's deal for an
expiring contact and have the Nuggets change their mind on doing a deal
without Noah. Both scenarios are considered unlikely.
Anthony, a source said, would be amenable to playing for the Bulls, but his first choice remains the Knicks.
Well, nothing has changed since the summer, has it?
It's obvious the New York Knicks are Carmelo Anthony's favorite team, but it's also clear he wants to go to a team that will also compete. Anthony knows the New Jersey Nets aren't a team he wants to go to; if he did, then the deal would have been done months ago.
That's where the Chicago Bulls come in, and it's been known that Chicago is one of the top destinations Anthony wishes to land besides New York.
The Bulls have multiple first-round picks, assets, and the money to make a deal to acquire Anthony. However, they simply don't want to part with either of those for Anthony.
Joakim Noah, who is currently out with torn ligaments in his right thumb, has been the most coveted player by the Denver Nuggets since this offseason, back when the Bulls were still negotiating a contract extension with him.
I thought the nail was put into this Bulls-Nuggets coffin once the Bulls signed Noah to a five-year, $60 million contract extension this past offseason. The Bulls see Noah as a core piece, and he certainly is, but he's the featured player the Nuggets want in return if they will part with Anthony
Another player who's been linked to the Nuggets in this Anthony trade situation is Luol Deng. Deng still has, as K.C. pointed out, three-years and $42 million left on his contract. The Nuggets are not only looking to move forward with the franchise, but they're also looking to shed as much salary as they can. Taking on Deng's massive contract brings them back to square one.
Would the Nuggets accept Deng, Taj Gibson, maybe James Johnson, and a few draft picks? I doubt it. The Nuggets won't deal with the Bulls if Deng is the core player in a package deal for Anthony. The Nuggets want a featured player -- something they see Noah as -- back in any sort of deal where they part with Anthony, a three-time NBA All-Star.
That's where a third team can come in. There's various three-to-four-team trade possibilities, but the Nuggets have yet to finish off a deal despite pursuing Anthony trade opportunities for the past few months.
As much as I'd love to have Anthony, I don't think the Nuggets will change their tune and suddenly pursue a deal in which Deng is the featured player in the package they receive.
The Nuggets want a franchise-type player for Anthony; they can get much better packages from the Nets, and quite frankly, even the Knicks.