One of the biggest talks this offseason is going to be where New York Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony will be playing next season. Heck, it was pretty much the biggest talk all season after talks surfaced of him choosing to opt out of his contract with the Knicks. No doubt he will become a player many teams will be looking at.
After this season’s All-Star Game, Joakim Noah made a pitch to him trying to convince him that Chicago is where Melo needs to be. It is true that the New York Knicks can offer him more money than any other team can, but there is the possibility that he decides to head off to another team in search for a championship. One of those teams seems to be Chicago. However, that would mean Chicago would have to make a few trades in addition to using the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer.
Yes, Carmelo Anthony would be taking a pay cut if that were to happen, but it could be a better decision than staying with the New York Knicks. He would play under a terrific coach in Tom Thibodeau and have the chance to play with one of the best all-around centers in Joakim Noah. Not to mention the one-two punch he would create with Derrick Rose, who is expected to return next year healthy.
Chicago Needs a Scorer
The Bulls had a terrible year scoring this season. They traded away Luol Deng early this season, which didn’t help. And Rose being injured was a huge set back. But imagine how much of a threat they would be with their current squad (minus Boozer), adding Rose and Anthony leading the way. They would be very hard to stop on the offensive end, which would give them the needed confidence on defense (even though they don’t really need to improve on defense).
The Bulls ended the season ranked dead last in the league with only 93.7 points per game. In 2010-2011, Rose averaged 25 points per game when he was named the MVP of the season. Last year, Carmelo Anthony was crowned the best scorer in the league, dethroning Kevin Durant. A healthy Rose and a happy Anthony would just add up to a dominant Chicago.
This would be a very smart move for Chicago and they should do it as insurance just in case Rose never returns to his megaform. Reality is, there is a slight chance that Rose will never stay healthy again. He has only played 49 games over the past three seasons. So, adding Melo would be a positive move either way. Whether or not Rose returns to his self, they would still have someone who can score 30 points like it’s nothing.
Not only is Anthony a dynamic and dominant scorer today, he is no doubt one of the best the league has ever seen. This season in January, he scored an incredible 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats, setting a Madison Square Garden record. That type of scoring would’ve kept the Bulls hopes for a championship alive this postseason. They lost in the first round against the Wizards, 4a -1 in an embarrassing series for the Bulls. That series included a 63 point game for the Bulls in their Game 5 loss.
It is possible for Rose to take a step back and let Melo lead, knowing that it would be best for the team. They can co-exist and Rose letting Melo be the top option would be the best option. Don’t get me wrong, Rose would still shine and put up great numbers and that’s because a Melo-led offense would NEED a talented point guard. Without someone to control the ball at the point, the ball would end up in Anthony’s hands the whole time. That would ruin the flow of the offense and cause mistakes, turnovers and bad play. And since Rose (a healthy one) is one of the game’s best point guards, they would both excel together.
Anthony + Rose = Title Contender
Coming into this season, the Bulls were viewed as a title contender. And it was justified with Rose returning to the court. However, that statement quickly deteriorated when Rose went down again and Luol Deng was traded for nothing. All that aside, they still managed to fight their way to 48 games, although they were never viewed the same.
Adding Anthony would mean that the Bulls would be title contenders again and in the event that Rose goes down, or they lose someone else, they would still be viewed as a contender no matter what. With Rose at point, Jimmy Butler at the other guard, Melo at SF, Taj Gibson and Defensive POY Noah at center, you have yourself a championship team that can easily compete with the Pacers and Heat.
The major concern with Anthony going to Chicago is how he and head coach Thibodeau would get along. Anthony hates defense and Thibs strives on defense. After all, that is how they landed the 4 seed in the East, with defense. However, you don’t necessarily have to be a lockdown defender to thrive in Thibs system. It seems no matter who you put in that system, they find a way to win. Carmelo Anthony said it himself, “Thibs is a great coach, his system kind of reminds me of Gregg Popovich’s system. You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve had guys sitting out all season long, guys that’s been in and out of the lineups and they seem to get it done.”
So Anthony’s defense should be fine. In fact, they would be seen as not just a defensive threat, but as an offensive threat as well. The Bulls would only grow from Anthony joining.
What I’m trying to say here, is that an Anthony-Rose duo can exist. And not only can it exist, but it can flourish and turn the Chicago Bulls into a scary good team and easy title contender. If this move ends up happening, championship banner No. 7: here it comes.