Carmelo Anthony is in Chicago, the Bulls will have an entourage welcoming the dynamic scorer in his first visit. Joakim Noah has been reaching out to Melo, Taj Gibson will be present, coach Tom Thibodeau, along with the front office. Gar Foreman and John Paxon have angled their plans and spending for each big wave of free agency period, last time they swung and missed in 2010.
Fast forward, they have the appeal of:
– Former Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau
– Returning MVP, Derrick Rose
– The Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah
– Sixth Man runner-up who also was honorable mention for All-Defensive team, Taj Gibson who is preparing to start
– Another honorable mention for All-Defensive team, emerging shooting guard Jimmy Butler
Coach Thibodeau has done more with less than any coach in the league, the missing piece of a scorer has been apparent and they are going all in for Anthony. That would certainly boost their 29th rank in points per game, just insert Melo into a defensive oriented lineup and you have a new favorite in the Eastern Conference.
Another asset the team has in their back pocket, Nikola Mirotic is rumored to be coming on board from the Euro-league, where he has been the best player for a few years now. The 6’10 stretch forward would contribute to an offensive-oriented off-season, aside from pitching to Anthony, have added Doug McDermott in last week’s draft. Doug McBuckets is the fifth all-time scorer in NCAA history, you may not know three players ahead of him but atop that list is Pistol Pete Marivich.
That’s one way to improve title chances and a great situation that Melo could see himself joining, a team that is committed to locking up on D and hitting the boards. A team that invites his exact repertoire, giving him an opportunity to compete for a title in a big market with arguably the best supporting cast behind him.
With all that said, do not expect any breaking news tonight or tomorrow, perhaps a word or two that either his camp or the Bulls release to the media but he will take his time and visit Texas as well. When he flies out of the Windy City to Houston, he will know that he is meeting a team with a pair of alpha dogs on offense with only one ball. James Harden is an elite scorer and commands the rock as much as any guard, he’s also a high-volume shooter, and we have all witnessed Dwight Howard’s desire for touches back in his experience with the Lakers. Anthony has played in the Western Conference before with the Denver Nuggets, last season the West had nine 50-win teams (Phoenix actually missed the playoffs).
Dallas will be themselves and try to pry his services to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, which is actually a better situation than the Rockets. Plus, his close friend Tyson Chandler was just traded back to big D, his teammate in the Big Apple the past couple years. He also has some familiarity with Raymond Felton, who was included in the trade, however that may be a good or bad thing in Melo’s eyes. Recapping their first round exit, the Mavericks in retrospect, gave the champion Spurs the toughest series in the postseason by going all seven games.
Then there are swirling rumors that Kobe Bryant will lob Anthony a call, in attempt to reintroduce the Lake Show to your televisions. That’s not a bad idea, they drafted power forward Julius Randle and can offer the scorer a max contract. That may hinder their chances of re-signing Pau Gasol which weakens the team as a whole, unless he agreed to taking $9-10 million less. Coach Mike D’Antoni has the uptempo offense in the West that cater to the likes of Bryant and Anthony, and Randle, but Melo has to be impressed and believe they can still add another piece or two to really contend.
The big three opted out and Pat Riley has his game face on again. Riley will go all out to lure a fourth superstar to a team that just made their fourth consecutive finals. Dangerous would be an understatement, you would think you can size their rings if that came to fruition. What about Miami’s own free agents? Plan or not, the king wants to be courted and he has played his entire career without being the highest paid player. The destine Hall of Famer, LeBron James still has a handful of dominant years in the tank and is thought of to want a max deal this time around. Dwyane Wade, this could be the last deal he inks as father time is catching up, although opting out favors a longer contract that would net him more cash. Chris Bosh has expressed his desire to keep things together, he cares more about winning than individual accomplishments, you cant blame the former Raptors’ all-star for being addicted to winning. Money is a funny thing, so is taking the potential risk of the trio of all-stars wining and dining with other teams, does this team have that unconditional trust and plan not to go awol? Not sure how Wade’s endurance will be next season, and will the lack of a bench even matter at this point?
New York has the ability to offer the most money to keep the face of the franchise, Phil Jackson is now calling the shots and is trying to sell a winning culture and taking less money to acquire more help. Anthony repeatedly states his love for the Knicks and playing in Madison Square Garden, this week he will envision himself in the United Center (Chicago) and Staples Center (L.A.). The current roster just won’t cut it, although the Knicks had a good draft the youth will take time to develop as will new coach Derek Fisher. Being featured in a newly taught triangle offense may be appealing, after all it worked for Michael Jordan and the Black Mamba.
The best location for business, where fans are die-hards even when their team is in the cellar, the roster formulated for his talents and ready to contend for the title, while still offering him a favorable deal in money and years, somewhere for his kids to fit in at school, his wife to thrive in, for him to retire in, where he is loved for who he is without adapting his game, that would appear to be one of the places mentioned above. The franchise he will meet with in just a matter of hours, and that very handshake could turn out to be the next dynasty. The perfect place for Carmelo Anthony is Chicago, this could be the year of the Bulls. They play team basketball, give full effort, and they have a lot going for them heading into the meeting.