With the New York Knicks slumping badly and Carmelo Anthony close to hitting the open market, all the signs are pointing to ‘Melo no longer being a regular fixture at the Madison Square Garden starting next year.
The team is likely out of contention this year, the roster is badly constructed and the lack of first-round picks and tradable assets doesn’t make things any easier for the future of the franchise. There are growing rumors that Anthony will end up leaving the Knicks for good, and reports indicate that there are only four teams Anthony would play for next year. Even though the Knicks are one of them, the others include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Chicago Bulls.
Clearly Anthony wants to continue playing for a big-market team, and though the Clippers seem to be a team ready to win right now due to the presence of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and a respected coach like Doc Rivers, Anthony would be wise to join the Bulls if he truly wants to have a chance to be the leader of a championship team.
Anthony would pair perfectly with Derrick Rose in the sense that the former Denver Nuggets star can be the go-scorer the franchise needs while allowing the former MVP winner to call the offense and take better care of his body. They would form a deadly one-two punch that would put the Bulls as automatic contenders in a very weak Eastern Conference.
His possible arrival would mean the departure of Luol Deng, a player who has been the heart and soul of the franchise especially with all the struggles of Rose. However, the biggest value Deng brought to the table was the defensive ability. With Jimmy Butler as a solid perimeter defender and Anthony taking most of the scoring responsibility, Deng becomes the odd-man out instantly.
To make some cap space, the Bulls would most certainly have to amnesty Carlos Boozer. However, with Taj Gibson already on the team and the possibility to bring Nikola Mirotic from Europe, the PF spot is more than covered.
No talks have been held yet, but don’t be surprised if Anthony ends up joining the Bulls next season. He might be what the team needs to make another championship run.