CHICAGO – With the recent news of the New Jersey Nets abruptly pulling out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, it seems that another team has been propelled to the front of the line.
And that team is…Chicago?
Perhaps this is just a case of the media needing a direction to point this story, but the fact of the matter is the Bulls are now favorites for acquiring the Nuggets star small forward.
But the reality of the situation is Melo doesn’t fit or have a place in Chicago. For starters Luol Deng is currently in the starting slot at Melo’s position and the Bulls are quiet satisfied with his current production. Plus, Deng would naturally become a part of the trade and the Nuggets don’t want him; they want Joakim Noah and the Bulls aren’t interested in giving him up. For proof see the gigantic extension the Bulls gave Noah this year. The Bulls would also have to disrupt team chemistry as core players such as Taj Gibson and even Ronnie Brewer may have to be packaged with Deng and draft picks.
The second reason is the Bulls style of play. Tom Thibodeau runs a very hard nosed man-to-man defense, a scheme that would force Melo out of his comfort zone. Any scheme Thibodeau comes up with would hinder Anthony as he is primarily an offensive threat.
A third reason would be Ego. Melo is the team leader and standout star in Denver. In Chicago he would be sharing the spotlight with Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose. Plus his leadership role would clash with that of Rose’s as Chicago is hands down D-Rose’s team; a fact Melo would challenge. It’s no secret Anthony is one of the league’s top 10 premier players; but the Bulls already have one in Rose. The disruption all the ego clashing could cause is not worth the price that would be paid to acquire Melo.
Melo’s a sexy name to see on the Bulls roster but that’s really all he is. If you are on the fence take this into consideration: the Bulls beat the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks without Carmelo Anthony and with an unhealthy roster (no Noah). Melo is simply not worth the price, both in terms of what would have to be given up to get him in Chicago and the fat contract he’d want come the offseason. I’ll be honest here, it would be comforting going up against the Lakers (who will represent the the West) in the Finals with Melo in the starting lineup but it would be the equvilant of selling the soul of the team for a ring.
If the Bulls win the Championship it should be with the team that it has spent a half decade building and the team that fought and died together to get there. Carmelo Anthony is a nice name but not a nice option. The Bulls are better off running away from the Melo sweepstakes and towards an NBA Title. Contrary to popular belief those two situations do not go hand-in-hand.