As Carmelo Anthony decides where he will play next when NBA free agency begins on July 1, he should consider the fact that he has never played with a point guard with as much talent as Chicago Bulls‘ star Derrick Rose.
Going back to Anthony’s days with the Denver Nuggets, he played with point guards such as Earl Boykins, Andre Miller, Earl Watson, Steve Blake, Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson—who served as the backup to Billups. Billups was the best point guard that Anthony ever played with. With the New York Knicks, it was a bit of a carousel at the position. Mike Bibby, Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton all played the one during Anthony’s four seasons in New York.
It is evident that during Anthony’s career he has never played with a point guard of the same caliber as Rose. Sure, Billups has had an impressive career and is a five-time All-Star with an NBA Championship under his belt, but Rose has dominated the NBA when healthy and has won NBA MVP.
During that MVP season, Rose averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds. With that being said, it goes both ways. Anthony would be the best player Rose has played with. Rose has long awaited the help of another star player—Luol Deng was an All-Star but not the dominant scorer the Bulls needed. Joakim Noah was an All-Star this past season while Rose was injured, but Anthony would relieve Rose of the pressures of scoring and needing to be the best player on the floor on a nightly basis.
Anthony is one of the best at creating his own shots and scoring the basketball, but playing alongside Rose would allow for much easier baskets and open looks. Rose doesn’t have to score 25 plus points per game to be effective. He would be able to take a back seat and be more of a facilitator.
Although the ball tends to stick in Anthony’s hands once he get it, playing with a point guard like Rose would allow for more ball movement. Anthony showed on the USA National Team that he can adapt and share the ball. There would be a lot of trial and error to begin, but there’s no doubt the two All-Stars could play together. Each player is used to being ‘the guy’, but having two dominant offense players would allow for more offensive balance—something neither player has been accustomed to.
Rose has never had a diversion on the perimeter. When Rose drives to the basket the defense collapses immediately on him. With Anthony in the mix, it will keep the defense honest. Their two-man game would create open opportunities for each of them.
Anthony has to be dreaming about what it would be like to play with Rose and even a point-center like Noah. A Melo-Rose pairing makes the Bulls possible favorites in the East and legitimate title contenders.