‘Melo up at UCLA Tuesday, where he took this pic with Dragonfly Jones’ nephew.
Several news outlets have reported that the Chicago Bulls have made a major play to secure the services of Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls reportedly have offered a package that includes Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson and a couple of 1st round draft picks for the Nuggets star.
Last summer Anthony and his wife LaLa, signed with Creative Arts Agency as a package deal. Since then, much has been made of Anthony’s desire to play in LA or the NY/NJ metropolitan area and how much LaLa’s professional career plans influences him.
The close proximity to major entertainment markets seem enticing for the couple, as Anthony’s business interests have expanded into film and music. But our sources say Anthony is not driven by the desire to be close to “Hollywood”, but rather to compete for an NBA championship right away.
According to our source, the Chicago Bulls are Anthony’s top choice and for obvious reasons…..
The Bulls have had an active summer, and the signing of Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver makes them a top 4 team in the East. The addition of Anthony puts them into the discussion with the NBA’s elite along with the Lakers, Magic and Miami Heat.
Derrick Rose has shined all summer for Team USA, and is solidifying his place amongst the NBA’s elite point guards. Joakim Noah is one the league’s best young centers, and new coach Tom Thibodeau is a career NBA guy that was the architect behind the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics vaunted defense.
The Bulls have some enticing pieces to offer the Nuggets, who are essentially “re-branding” themselves from top to bottom. Once known as the “Thuggets”, Denver’s combustible mix of Anthony, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin has been toxic at times, and it’s apparent that the trio has worn out it’s welcome in Denver.
By sending Deng and Gibson to the Nuggets, Denver would add one of the NBA’s best defensive small forwards, and a promising power forward that nearly averaged a double-double as a rookie. Denver should be about accumulating assets at this point, and young talent and draft-picks are a great foundation for their future.
Having advanced out the 1st round of the playoffs once in 7 years, the right moves could make the fire-sale a little easier to swallow for the Nugget faithful. After hiring Masai Ujiri to run the team, George Karl made some interesting comments about being “surprised” by the firing of VP of Player Operations Mark Warkentien.
With all the rumors swirling around that franchise, this is another indicator that everyone in that organization is not on the same page.
Chicago is a major market with an incredibly rich tradition, one that the Jordan Brand sponsored Anthony is fully aware of. The other teams in the discussion are the Nets and Clippers, two of the worst teams in the league last year.
The Nets reportedly aren’t willing to part with Brook Lopez, which is a necessary component for the Nuggets.
The Clippers have some assets to offer, but who really wants to play for the Clippers?
With the CBA expiring team owners are looking to drastically reduce player salaries in terms of dollars, years and guarantees. This sea of uncertainty has put pressure on players to re-up with their respective teams, backing them into a corner and forcing them to make the safe business decision.
Anthony would make $83.5 million over 4 years if he signed an extension with the Nuggets(if he opts in). That’s nearly 21 million dollars a year Carmelo is willing to walk away from at this point.
If Melo does leave Denver, it would have to be through an extend and trade. No team is going to gamble on trading for him if he’s just going to leave. This narrows the field of suitors to teams that Carmelo wants to play for.
‘Melo has the leverage and if our source is correct, wants to be a Chicago Bull.