The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets have emerged as the front-runners to land prized free agent Carmelo Anthony. While both teams will need to clear the necessary cap-space in order to sign Anthony, Chicago is where the soon-to-be former New York Knick should go.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony will leave New York and the Bulls and Rockets will compete for hos services. Also mentioned is the fact that Anthony has been intrigued by the Bulls for a while, but the Rockets have gained momentum recently.
The Bulls can make room for Anthony by amnestying Carlos Boozer. Nobody in Chicago wants to see Taj Gibson go, but the Bulls would likely need to trade Gibson and Mike Dunleavy to clear up space. The Rockets, on the other hand, would need to unload the contracts of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.
If Anthony is serious when he says it’s about winning and not the money, he should choose Chicago. He would have a much better chance of reaching the NBA Finals in a wide-open Eastern Conference than he would in the stacked Western Conference. Houston would need to go through the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers. In the East, the Indiana Pacers showed they aren’t quite there yet and the Miami Heat‘s future is uncertain.
Sure, a Houston team with Dwight Howard and James Harden is attractive, but with Anthony’s affinity for Tom Thibodeau and the chance to play with Derrick Rose, Anthony’s son’s favorite player, the Bulls are the better team and a better fit. Not to forget Joakim Noah, who has been relentless in his pursuit of Anthony.
Anthony has shown on the United States national team that he is willing to take a backseat in scoring, but scoring is what he does best. In Houston, he will be sharing the ball with Howard and Harden, while in Chicago he will still be the primary scorer. Rose is a scorer in his own right, but he is also a willing passer and facilitator. A combination of Rose and Anthony along with Noah would be devastating for opposing teams.
It is well known that Anthony loves the allure of playing in a large market like New York, and he can still have that in Chicago. With the Bulls’ practice facility moving from the suburbs to downtown, Anthony can still live in a big city that is rich with basketball history and loves their sports.
Anthony’s best chance to win his first NBA Championship is in Chicago. For Bulls and Rockets fans, July 1 can’t come soon enough.