For many Chicago Bulls fans, it feels like we’re in the middle of another lost season, one in which victories mean very little and most developments in terms of player development mean even less. Outside of Jimmy Butler and Marques Teague, the lone players on this roster with guaranteed minutes to evolve their talents when healthy, the roster is littered with veterans that can’t be expected to shock us outside of another spray-on hair day by Carlos Boozer.
Essentially, with Derrick Rose going down for the count, the outlook on the Bulls’ season has gone down as well.
But what if there was a way to save it? What if the team had the ability to compete for an NBA title this season and simultaneously improve their chances in subsequent seasons?
Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to the riddle above is a very simple and realistic one. The Bulls must attempt to acquire Carmelo Anthony.
In the middle of a disastrous 3-13 start to their season, the New York Knicks are searching high and wide for answers to their struggles. Unfortunately, once the team inevitably gets rid of Iman Shumpert, their lone bright spot for the future on a roster otherwise filled with overpaid, injury riddled or under-performing talent and sees no drastic improvement to its fortunes, the realization of their predicament will finally begin to sink in.
Simply put, the Knicks will realize that with the core that they have constructed at the moment, the chances of an NBA championship banner being raised in Madison Square Garden will be as likely as Brian Cook getting his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
After that, their next move is anyone’s guess, but I believe the first one will be to re-evaluate the future of their best player and the likelihood of retaining him after the conclusion of this season. With the doubt one must hold as common sense about the prospects of a superstar on the brink of breaking 30 years old wanting to stick with a flawed roster such as the Knicks have assembled, I believe it is inevitable that Anthony begins to hear his name in trade rumors. To trade Anthony is to admit defeat, to start over from scratch, essentially. If that is the case, the Knicks will undoubtedly be looking for ample young pieces in which to mortgage the future of their organization into, something that brings us to the Bulls as a potential trade partner.
The trade is a pretty straight forward one, one in which Anthony would head to the Bulls in exchange for Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler, the rights to Nikola Mirotic, and their 2014 first round pick. For the Knicks, the acquisition of Mirotic, Butler and a young player in the deep 2014 draft class gives the team a nucleus from which to proceed forward with for the future.
As for the Bulls, it makes the season mean something and makes the long-term outlook for the team all the brighter. Regardless of the rumors tying Anthony to the Lakers, one cannot overlook the kind of impact that putting on the same jersey as the player one grew up watching dominate the sport can have on a player. Furthermore, with the Bulls acquiring Anthony would give them the advantage in regards to retaining his services, while not really handicapping the team should he decide against staying with the team for the long run.
The remainder of the season would see a roster take the floor that is more than capable of not only making the playoffs, but also one capable of surprising any team in the first round outside of the top two dogs that reside at the top of the conference. Although such a feat is not notable for a franchise and city that prides themselves on winning banners and championship trophies, it would make the season a more interesting one for fans and players alike.
All that aside, it is the future that would be the most exciting, as a team with a nucleus of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Boozer, Rose and Anthony would be one of the powerhouse teams in the entire NBA. With two superstar talents, the second of which instantly satisfies the need of a second scorer that has thwarted the Bulls’ attempts at championship glory for years, the team would instantly become a major player in the title conversation.
The possibility is there, but will the Bulls come calling?