Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Pippen Ain't Easy Presents...Carmelo Anthony! Melo Problems?

Well Pippen Peoples, it looks like Carmelo Anthony is the trending topic these days as the Chicago Bulls go into this offseason. Pippen Ain’t Easy was very poignant about pointing out the offensive struggles of the Bulls throughout the season. These struggles came to a head when the playoffs started. When DJ Augustin was effectively shut down by the Washington Wizards most notably Trevor Ariza, I’m pretty sure the “if Carmelo Anthony was here” scenarios were born. Now that the season is over, all of the rumors are out. The recruitment of Joakim Noah. The Phil Jackson dinner date with Carmelo. (Really, sports fans if anyone took interest in that story…) The speculation of Carmelo and his next move will continue until… 1)  Steve Kerr makes the decision to coach in New York or Golden State. 2) Carmelo figures out how much he has to give back out of his max deal. 3) If Phil Jackson can convince Carmelo that the Knicks can build a team around him…in two years. Let’s just say that Carmelo doesn’t care about all of that and STILL wants to come to Chicago. Is it worth the  price of breaking up a squad that is going in the right direction just to get Carmelo in a Chicago Bulls uniform? The Bulls have to do a lot of moving and shaking of this roster to make it happen. As of right now the Bulls do not have the cap  space to sign Carmelo. There has to be a lot of changes on this roster to get cap space to sign Carmelo. The question is, is that really smart? Being a New York Knick fan, I do have  a little insight on what could happen to the Bulls if they go through the steps to land Carmelo. The Chicago Bulls are in a  similar situation in 2014 that the Knicks were in 2011. The first part of this series went into detail of how everything got started and how Carmelo executed his exit plan to get out of Denver to New York. Now we’ll see what the Knicks had to give up to bring Carmelo Anthony to the Big Apple. Let me make this clear before we even get started. What the New York Knicks did in this trade was so very unnecessary. You see Carmelo Anthony was not going to sign with the Denver Nuggets. The entire NBA knew that. Carmelo only wanted to go to New York. Everyone knew that too. The only teams that even made an effort was the then New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn), the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers who only made a complimentary phone call. If the Knicks had waited until the season was over, they wouldn’t have had to give away any of their assets. However James Dolan was impatient and pressed for the deal. At the time Donnie Walsh had cleared out the bad contracts and got under the salary cap and had a competitive team. Instead the Knicks made a three team trade with the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Knicks sent out Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danillo Gallinari, Timofey Mosgov and a 2014 first round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman. Minnesota was involved to link up the salaries. Here’s the situation. The Knicks gave up three prominent contributors short-term AND long-term for Carmelo, who would have come to the Knicks in the offseason anyway. Outside of Anthony let’s check out the other players shall we? Chauncey Billups- He’s gone. Spent the last year in Detroit. Shelden Williams- He’s gone. Out of the league. Anthony Carter- He’s gone. Out of the league. Renaldo Balkman- He’s gone. Out of the league. That 2014 first round pick-You think they would like that one back? What’s the point? The New York Knicks had to make all of these moves and overhaul their squad to make room for Carmelo Anthony. They basically mortgaged their future for a quick fix. Can the Chicago Bulls afford to do the same? To get Carmelo Anthony to Chicago, the Bulls have to make moves with their roster similar to what the Knicks did three years ago. Only the Bulls will be smarter and they have no choice. Here are some of the things that have to be done. 1) Amnesty Carlos Boozer In other news, we all need air to breathe to stay alive. This is the first and obvious step. Amnestying Boozer will free up 16.8 million dollars in cap space. The Bulls are actively trying to trade Boozer as we speak but good luck with that. There has been a sign and trade scenario that could be worked out with New York to send Carmelo to Chicago with Carlos Boozer being the center piece in the trade if Phil Jackson couldn’t work out a contract extension. The only way that COULD happen is taking back the toxic contracts of J.R. Smith and Andrea Bargnani. That would be a start. The Bulls are not going to go for that. Like I said before, the Bulls are smarter than that. 2) They have to trade Taj Gibson. This guy needs to stay in Chicago. The improvements that Gibson has accomplished this year is nothing short of remarkable. Let me introduce you to your starting power forward next year. This guy is a part of your future. Tom Thibodeau trusts him in all of the defensive schemes and all at a bargain basement price. Are you going to give this guy up just to get an possible overpriced guy that has a checkered history in the playoffs? Besides all of that, what are the Bulls going to get in return? Besides, Joakim Noah wants this guy to stay in Chicago, do the Bulls really want to annoy him again by trading another player he respects out-of-town? 3) Nikola Mirotic has to stay in Europe…again. The Bulls still have the rights to Mirotic and now he is eligible for the mid level exception. The Bulls have to buy Mirotic out of his contract but can only pay 600,000 for it not to count against the salary cap. I’m assuming that Carmelo Anthony may take a pay cut to come to Chicago, but I don’t think he will take THAT much of a pay cut. On top of all of these things. The Bulls have to fill this roster with decent talent to stay competitive. Derrick Rose’s contract will count heavily against the cap. Joakim Noah makes upwards of 12 million. Now bring in Carmelo’s salary that will eat up a lot of the cap as well. Now with that being said, how are you going to fill out the squad. We all know how much quality the bench brought in the playoffs that were not named Augustin or Gibson. Next discussion: How will Carmelo Anthony fit in with the philosophy and culture of the Chicago Bulls.

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