Over the last few months there has been massive speculation about where Carmelo Anthony will land once the NBA Free Agency market opens up, and in recent days one intriguing option has popped up: The Chicago Bulls. They have the perfect roster to complement Anthony’s skill-set, are prepared to win now, have adequate salary cap space and have a star player in Joakim Noah who has already started the recruiting process.
The Bulls have one of the best constructed rosters in all of the NBA, as they are young, physical, talented and have experience in the playoffs. Although none are game-changing talents in the vein of Anthony, each of Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson define the hardworking style that the Bulls pride themselves on and are each signed past the current season. Moreover, they have played a large role in helping the team to five consecutive playoff appearances and fourth in the Eastern Conference right now. When you add onto this group injured point guard Derrick Rose, you have a core of players that can challenge the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
Adding in the talents of Anthony would certainly take a little getting used to, but it wouldn’t look to be too tough of a project on court. It is obvious that Anthony would be able to take the 20 shots per game he desires, as outside of Rose nobody on the Bulls really has to have the ball, and the team’s biggest need is a big time scorer. Furthermore, since they traded Luol Deng there is a hole in Chicago at small forward that seems to be calling the name of Anthony, as it is doubtful they view 33-year-old Mike Dunleavy as the long-term option.
One of the main obstacles that would face most teams attempting to sign Anthony would be salary cap space, but this shouldn’t be an issue in Chicago. Currently the franchise has $66.03 million guaranteed for the 2014-15 season, which is above the projected $62.1 million cap for the season, but is well below the $75.7 million luxury tax threshold. What should make staying below this number even with Anthony earning between $17-19 million a year much easier is the expected amnesty of Carlos Boozer, which would bring the committed salaries to $49.23 million for 2014-15.
If Carmelo Anthony is serious about ever winning an NBA Championship it is clear that he will have to move out of New York and to Chicago. The Bulls are prepared for Anthony financially, have a great roster nucleus and Noah has reportedly let it be known in private that the locker room wants to bring the star in. This looks like a match made in heaven and should be a dream come true this July.