‘Melo and the Windy City

According to Mark J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

“Carmelo Anthony(notes) still hopes to persuade the Denver Nuggets to trade him, preferably to either the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks, an NBA source with knowledge of Anthony’s wishes told Yahoo! Sports. The Knicks have limited assets to offer the Nuggets, which makes the Bulls a more appealing potential trade partner. The Bulls can offer a replacement small forward in Luol Deng, as well as two young forwards in James Johnson and Taj Gibson. New York officials would like to make a run at signing Anthony next summer if he were to opt to become a free agent. The Knicks will have salary-cap room with Eddy Curry’s contract expiring after the season.”

Spears further adds that ‘Melo a) would like to be traded before the season starts and b) understands that he may not get his choice of destination (the Clippers, Nets and Rockets are all interested).

I think a lot of Bulls fans would love to flip Deng (and Gibson or Johnson) for Anthony. And on the surface, it seems like a no-brainer. I mean, here’s a guy who last season averaged 28.2 PPG (third in the league behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James), made the All-NBA Second Team(LeBron and KD were the First Team forwards), and finished sixth in MVP voting (a very distant sixth, but still).

And yet…I have my reservations. ‘Melo is high-volume scorer. No doubt about it. But many people are starting to realize he’s also somewhat of an inefficient gunner (ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh describes this in length).

Which begs the question: Is Anthony an upgrade from Deng?

I can hear the howls of dismay already, but bear with me for a minute. Yes, ‘Melo scores more than Deng (about 11 PPG more last season). But his Usage Rate is 33.4 (third in the league behind Dwyane Wade and LeBron) to Deng’s 21.9. Denver’s offense runs through Anthony, and he was carte blanche to shoot the ball. Not so for Luol.

Furthermore, Anthony shot the ball less efficiently than Deng. Last season, ‘Melo’s Effective Field Goal Percentage was .478, while Deng’s was .482. Not a huge, gaping difference, but the edge goes to Luol. And interestingly enough, Deng’s three-point percentage over the past three seasons (.364, .400, .386) is better than Anthony’s over that same stretch (.354, .371, .316). It might also be worth stating that Luol’s career field goal percentage (.474) is higher than Anthony’s (.459).

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that Deng is a better scorer. It’s clear that Anthony has the more complete offensive skill set. What I’m saying is that his shooting efficiency is lower than Deng’s and his PPG stats almost certainly benefit from extra looks.

It’s also interesting to note that Deng and Anthony both have a career Offensive Rating of 107 points scored per 100 possessions. However, Deng’s career Defensive Rating is 104, while ‘Melo’s is 107. So basically, over the course of his career, Anthony has given up as many points per 100 possessions as he has scored, while Deng is +3 PP100.

Furthermore, Deng is a better rebounder. Last season, Luol averaged 7.3 RPG to Anthony’s 6.2 RPG. But forget the raw numbers. Deng had a Defensive Rebounding Rate of 15.8 and a Total Rebounding Rate of 10.7. Anthony’s numbers were 13.1 and 9.9, respectively. ‘Melo did have an edge in Offensive Rebounding Rate (6.7 to 5.6), but that makes sense considering how dialed in Anthony is on the offensive end.

Extra offensive rebounds also may be a given since, as Haberstroh observed: “Anthony got his shot blocked a whopping 109 times last season, which ranks as the second-highest total in the league, according to Hoopdata.com.”

I could go on to point out that Deng has the advantage in some other advanced statistical categories (such as Block Percentage, Turnover Percentage and Defensive Win Shares). But I don’t want to beat a dead horse here. The theme is that advance stats show us that the gulf between ‘Melo and Deng may not be as wide as the raw numbers seem to indicate.

Again, I’m not necessarily saying that Deng is better than Anthony. And he certainly hasn’t been as healthy (although ‘Melo has missed at least 13 games in three of the last four seasons). But Anthony, for all his many scoring moves, is a volume shooter who is accustomed to lots of shots and a fast pace (the Nuggets were 5th in Pace Factor last season).

Ask yourself these questions: Is ‘Melo going to get volume shots in Chicago? Alongside Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer? Would Anthony be that much of an upgrade over Deng that it would be worth potentially sacrificing chemistry (there’s still only one ball) and giving up depth (probably Gibson)?

Maybe. But I’m not so sure.

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49 Responses to ‘Melo and the Windy City

  1. edboom24@yahoo.com'
    Ballaholic September 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I love it when you play devil’s advocate Matt…good read! I still like Melo for his intangibles and established reputation. Not to mention the fact that we need a reliable go-to player in the clutch alongside Derrick.

    All in all Melo creates more space for D-Rose to operate, and that is never a bad thing!!!

  2. bullbearsock@gmail.com'
    BullBearSock September 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Nice post. I just wrote a similar post about my hesitation to make that trade also. A lot of it was based on your analysis of Deng from a few weeks back.

    Great minds think alike: http://bullbearsock.blogspot.com/2010/09/carmelo-to-bulls-confessions-of-melo.html

  3. doubleaccord@gmail.com'
    Tony C. September 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Very interesting, and thoughtful analysis, Matt. I share your trepidation, and for the same reason that I wasn’t disappointed when LeBron went elsewhere. I suspect that the Bulls have a better chance to overachieve without a super-ego on the team, especially given their new coach.

    Having said that, there remains an absolutely intriguing question: could Anthony adjust his game to play differently (e.g. less selfishly) in more of a ‘team’ system? The possibility can’t be ruled out, and if he were able to do so, trading Deng and another player for him (though preferably not Gibson) would be looked back at as a stroke of genius.

  4. Anonymous September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    yeah and the way teams are stacking up now, I believe Melo would be a good upgrade to mesh wit D Rose,and Boozer.

  5. watermark_88@yahoo.com'
    Titus September 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    matt, i agree with this post but not entirely

    it’s d-rose’s team, nothing is gonna change that. the upgrade at Deng’s position will be a player on the team that takes the ball to the rim, instead of clunking midrange jumpers/long 2′s.

    regarding his 109 blocked shots,during the 2008-2009 season Boozer “led the league” with most blocked shots by an oponent. so what they have in common is that the y attacked the paint via penetration or postup instead of settling for contested jumpers wich rarely get blocked(and rarely go in)

    during 48 minutes of a game you need to have a “go to scorer”, given you can’t always score easy buckets in transition, and d-rose being #1 scoring option it took a toll on him, when by the end of his rookie season he was among top5 in the league in minutes per game.
    you add boozer who is a good option in the regular season(not so in the playoffs if he’ll face KG, howard or Gasol) so you need another proven player to generate offense when the oponent has focused in on your best option.).

    Melo brings offense in the OFF areas the bulls need to improve(isos and attacking the rim) and takes some pressure of rose so that he can play some Defense like he is doing now on team USA. otherwise we’ll see a full game of rose ISO or rose P&R.

    taj is hard to replace at his contract skill and intangibles but the fact that the bulls could transform a cap killing contract into real value for a top 10 player makes it worth while

  6. Anonymous September 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    If the trade was straight up Deng for Melo, then I would be all for it, but I don’t think that I would be willing to give up Taj Gibson or James Johnson. Taj was potential to be sixth-man of the year, and James Johnson has so much potential.

  7. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob September 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    If the Bulls could get Melo for Deng and the Bulls 1st round draft pick do the deal. Otherwise it is too expensive. Remember Deng is a top 10 SF, Melo is a top 5. Giving up Gibson would be a severe blow to the Bulls depth. Twist my arm and I might be willing to give up JJ, but he is still the primary backup at SF. I would like to see how the season starts before I make that deal. I like what the Bulls appear to have now, as opposed to what they might have with Melo. If Melo’s scoring goes down, will his defense improve? Can Thibs make him a better defender? Will Deng’s scoring increase with Boozer down low and Brewer driving the lane? I say pass on Melo right now and rethink it if he is still available at the trading deadline, when the answers are apparent to the questions about Deng.

  8. robmvalentine@yahoo.com'
    Rob September 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    This is a no-brainer! Melo, Boozer, DRose, Noah, Korver, and a bench that is better than Miami. The Bulls are legit NBA Champion contenders. I think the Miami, Boston, Chicago debate would be AWESOME.

  9. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint September 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I don’t like giving up Gibson to get Melo. I know it’d have to be done for the Nuggets to want to trade but it makes our depth considerably thinner on the bench. If Boozer goes out we’d struggle.

    I’ve never really cared much for Melo either and don’t consider him a superstar. He also seems rather selfish and I bet we’d have problems with him not wanting to take a backseat to Rose. I guess the fact he wants to come here makes that claim a bit unfounded but I can’t shake his attitude problems he’s shown in the past.

    I just don’t like it even though it makes our starting rotation one of the best in the league automatically. I’m not sure it makes us a championship team anymore than now.

  10. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale September 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    “I still like Melo for his intangibles and established reputation. Not to mention the fact that we need a reliable go-to player in the clutch alongside Derrick. … All in all Melo creates more space for D-Rose to operate, and that is never a bad thing!!!”

    I can’t argue with either point (that is, the Bulls needing another go-to clutch scorer and Rose having extra room being a good thing).

    Out of curiosity, I checked the “clutch stats” at 82games.com. Last season, ‘Melo was fourth in points and second in free throw attempts. Good signs. However, he was waaaaaaaaaaay down the list in clutch FG% (.427), 3P% (.143) and assists (1.6). For comparison, Vince Carter is right there in FG% and better at shooting threes (.313) and dishing (2.2).

    Don’t you feel that, in terms of clutchness, ‘Melo should have significant separation from Vince Carter? I know I do.

    “I just wrote a similar post about my hesitation to make that trade also.”

    I just read it. And I have to tell you, the fact that a self-professed ‘Melo lover feel hesitant about the proposed/rumored trade makes me even more nervous about it.

    “Having said that, there remains an absolutely intriguing question: could Anthony adjust his game to play differently (e.g. less selfishly) in more of a ‘team’ system? The possibility can’t be ruled out, and if he were able to do so, trading Deng and another player for him (though preferably not Gibson) would be looked back at as a stroke of genius.”

    If Anthony could increase his efficiency and embrace the team concept — ala Paul Pierce when Boston brought in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett — he could become a truly great player…and the Bulls could become a great team.

    Can he? And even if he can, is he at the stage of his career where he’s ready to a) give up some shots and b) take better quality shots when he’s given his looks, c) consistently play solid defence, and d) work harder at contributing off the ball?

    “Melo brings offense in the OFF areas the bulls need to improve(isos and attacking the rim) and takes some pressure of rose so that he can play some Defense like he is doing now on team USA. otherwise we’ll see a full game of rose ISO or rose P&R.”

    I don’t disagree. The Bulls could certainly use a go-to perimeter player who can create his own shot and get to the basket (and the line). ‘Melo could be that. But can he sacrifice? Can he lead without being The Man? These are things that worry me.

    “If the Bulls could get Melo for Deng and the Bulls 1st round draft pick do the deal. Otherwise it is too expensive. Remember Deng is a top 10 SF, Melo is a top 5. Giving up Gibson would be a severe blow to the Bulls depth. Twist my arm and I might be willing to give up JJ, but he is still the primary backup at SF.”

    Yes, I’d take the chance if all it cost was Deng and a first rounder. But Taj too? No way. Like you, I’d be willing to give up Johnson, but the team would take a depth hit (assuming J.J. gets his act together this season).

    “I just don’t like it even though it makes our starting rotation one of the best in the league automatically. I’m not sure it makes us a championship team anymore than now.”

    I’m not sure it does either. Again, I see ‘Melo as an inefficient volume scorer. Not inefficient to the level Allen Iverson used to be (regarding shooting percentages), but he seems to need lots of touches and plenty of shots to get his numbers. It can be hard to give that up. For further reading, see the collected works of McGrady, Tracy.

  11. The Rock September 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Now the talk is trading away Noah…damn I would hate to see Noah go.

  12. pc_eclipse@yahoo.com'
    Savage September 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Just read on ESPN that the Bulls may be discussing including Noah in the deal. I think all of us could agree that we would not like to see Noah go even for Melo. I hope this is just bad reporting which espn is notorious for.

  13. Inception September 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    ESPN is reporting more gossip….Noah for Melo.

    gotta love it.

    F espn

  14. doubleaccord@gmail.com'
    Tony C. September 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    “Just read on ESPN that the Bulls may be discussing including Noah in the deal.”

    The only possible way that the Bulls should consider this is if there were good reason to question Noah’s long-term soundness. Barring that (which is quite unlikely), I think that it would be very foolish indeed.

  15. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint September 9, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Yeah, if we traded Noah I’d be angry forever. Who in the world would we start at Center then? Asik? You have to be kidding me… I hope it’s ESPN blowing smoke because I think everyone in Chicago would hate that move and GarPax for doing it.

  16. sbell@bellparts.com'
    Scott September 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Gibson is a quality reserve, but Deng and Gibson and even a 1st rounder is a no brainer for Anthony. To win a championship, you need 2 or 3 quality options at the end of games. He would space the floor, provide more team confidence along with Boozer, and take the pressure off Rose, both physically and mentally. I may even consider Noah and Deng for Anthony, but Gibson and Deng is a definate no brainer.

  17. cubsrule13@sbcglobal.net'
    Joe F September 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    I’m not about to lie, James Johnson is straight BOOTY! He’s awful, so if the trade was Deng/Johnson for Melo, Pax would be beyond stupid not to pull the trigger. But as the previous couple posts have mentioned, the Bulls are discussing putting Noah in the deal. This is a classic case of a Chicago sports team screwing up a golden oppourtunity via the trade market. When the Deng/Johnson deal was proposed, why even bring up Noah’s name? He’s essentially Boozer’s picture perfect counterpart on the post, and adding Melo to that would make the front court the most dynamic in the NBA, but if you take Noah out of that trio everything would fall apart. If the Bulls can figure out a way to retract Noah from the deal, I’m all for it because at the end of the day, Melo is an upgrade over Deng, regardless of any stats you want to give me, no matter how big or how small the margin you think the talent difference is, MELO IS BETTER. PERIOD. I didn’t see Deng get an invite to be on the Olympic Team in ’08, the fact that Melo had high enough respects to garner that honer speaks for itself. But at the end of the day, the Bulls will find a way to ruin this, either by not gettig Melo or giving up Noah… And we should expect this because, come on, we’re Bulls fans.

  18. bodybagsteven@gmail.com'
    bullsfandom September 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    If we trade Noah and Deng for Melo, that would be one of the DUMBEST trades ever…on par with the Gasol to the Lakers trade (for the exact opposite reason, but still dumb as hell)

  19. PTFC September 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    Good attempt, but pretty much all your comparisons had both Melo and Deng pretty even, yet Melo averages 11 more ppg and can definitely be clutch when you really wouldn’t call Deng “clutch”. Deng rebounds better but rebounding is really NOT one of the Bulls weaknesses, they were either 1 or 2 in rebounding as a team and they have now added Boozer. So if the only upside Deng has over melo is rebounding yet we added Boozer, then there’s no problem whatsoever trading deng jj, etc for Melo. Bulls need points. They were an above average defensive team last year and are only going to get better with Thibs as coach and Rose improving and they were an elite rebounding team. It was their offense that needed work. Adding melo makes the Bulls a LEGIT title contender right now.

  20. jirwin39@mac.com'
    Justin September 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    “I didn’t see Deng get an invite to be on the Olympic Team in ‘08″

    Sure he did, Great Britain just didn’t qualify for the Olympics (Deng has represented GB in international basketball since his youth).

  21. Anonymous September 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    THATS A NO BRAINER DENG JAMES BOOTY BUTT JUST LIKE DUDE SAID N TAJ 4 MELO….WE JUS HAVE 2 FIND A COUPLE SMALL ROLE PLAYERS…MELO NOAH N BOOZER ON THAT FRONTLINE ITS NOWAY MIAMI COULD TOUCH THAT ….CARMELO ALWAYS KILLED LEBRON 1 ON 1 ANYWAY….PLZ BULLS MAKE THE DEAL 4 CARMELO…THE BEST PURE SCORER N NBA…INSIDE OUTSIDE N THE POST…MAN UNGUARDABLE…..

  22. nwhitt23@hotmail.com'
    Nugs fan September 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    I think the article fails to point out the obvious differences in stats from a #1 guy and a role player. You can’t compare Deng and Melo’s stats. Deng probably hasn’t seen a double team in his career. Melo is double teamed every time he gets the ball. Stopping Melo is the focus of every opponent’s defensive game plan. Has Deng had to go up against that? A team’s #1 scoring option has to force shots at time, which leads to lower field goal percentages. The #1 option doesn’t get open looks ever. A #1 guy has to score and has to force the action at times. Is Deng the focal point of the defense and still managing to put up those stats, or does he have the luxury of picking his spots and attacking when the defense focuses on Rose or someone else? Their stats are Apples and Oranges

    Anyway, it’s silly to think that Denver would trade Melo for Deng and Taj or Johnson. Forget equal value, that isn’t even close, but the Nuggets don’t have the luxury of asking for equal value anyway. The truth is they’d rather just lose Melo as a free agent than take on Deng’s albatross of a contract. I guarantee you that if Melo left next season and Deng was a free agent, Denver wouldn’t go chase him at $11M over the next 4 years. They’re not going to trade Melo to get a long term bad contract in return.

    Now if the Bulls use Noah to convince Denver to take Deng…

  23. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob September 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    @JoeF, Deng is a British citizen and can not play for the US Olympic team.

    I think bringing Melo to the Bulls and giving up Noah would hurt the Bulls more than help them. Rose is clearly the leader of the young Bulls, but Noah is the heart. Who becomes the starting center? Asik is not ready yet and Thomas is over the hill. That means another trade would have to be made, and what would be left of the Bulls depth after that? Do not make this deal.

  24. leescr@msn.com'
    Lee Scruggs September 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    DO NOT make this deal! Melo, though having closing skills (see NCAA championship) has not show the same in the NBA. If this were Kevin Durant, it would be a different story. Melo simply is not a stong enough closer to justify his scoring inefficiency and the offense would have to nold around him where Deng will be a better fit. Plus, Melo is simply not as good a defender and rebounder as Deng. This team will win playing a style like the 2005 Pistons. Melo will force it to play a style like the 2006 Pistons (win a ot of games but no ring)…AND all of this without even bringing Noah into the conversation.

  25. Treydog September 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    O. Asik has been excellent in FIBA play. Bulls might be impressed enough to trade Noah, especially since he didn’t immediatly sign the contract extension, and start O. Asik at center. JR doesn’t like when player’s don’t sign right away when an extension is offered. Just ask Ben Gordon.

  26. Treydog September 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    @BobbinBob Have you seen Asik in FIBA play? He’s a beast!

  27. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    LuvabullNJ September 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I agree with Ballaholic, Titus and Boppinbob. I always felt Deng suffers from FAN ire due to his contract rather than his play just as did Captain Kirk. However, I would give up Deng and either a draft pick or JJ for Melo. I would not under any circumstance give up both Deng and Gibson. Gibson is too valuable with Boozer’s propensity for injury and given Thomas’ decline. As you and others noted Melo is only a slight upgrade over Deng, and Gibson is worth way more than that difference.

    While I like Deng, I was able to “steal” him for my fantasy team last season, he is not a playmaker/go-to guy and neither is Boozer. Deng played well against LeBron, both offensively and defensively but Melo played VERY well against LeBron and he tends to play well against other top players/teams. Both his stats and game play against LAL, OKC, CLE, etc. bear that out. And for a contending team, it matters much more how your top players play in the playoffs and against other top teams. While Deng has played well in two of his three post seasons, he also has missed 2 postseasons entirely due to injuries. And with this Chicago Bulls team, it is no longer about making it to the playoffs, it is about making noise when we are in the playoffs. While the difference between Deng and Melo in general is NOT much, the difference between the two at the end of shot clock, end of quarters, and end of game situations is great. And that is what the Bulls will need to get past the Heat, Celtics and the Magic. Statistics are misleading. If you have ever watched Deng with the ball at end of shot clock situation and a defender all over him, it is not pretty. Of course, Deng will now be the third option on offense and he may flourish in that role.

    As far as Melo fitting in or a tussle to be the Man between him and Rose, I think that is not as big a concern as it is made out to be. Every star player recognizes about mid-career that he can’t do it alone but only the big market stars have other star players come to join them. The star players from small markets usually wind up switching teams to join stars in big markets. Witness, Kareem to Lakers, Walton to Celtics, Drexler to Rockets, Shaq to Lakers, Mourning to Heat, Garnet to Celtics, LeBron to Heat and on and on. So maybe Melo “sees” that his prime years are best spent with a young upcoming team rather than past its prime Denver team. So I don’t think fitting in will be a big issue. And his efficiency should improve playing along side Rose and Boozer.

  28. tiffac8@gmail.com'
    tiffac September 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I go for Melo but not for the price of losing Noah. Losing Gibson would already be painful if it happens, imagine if its Noah we lost.

  29. leescr@msn.com'
    Lee Scruggs September 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    DO NOT make this deal! Melo, though having closing skills (see NCAA championship) has not show the same in the NBA. If this were Kevin Durant, it would be a different story. Melo simply is not a stong enough closer to justify his scoring inefficiency and the offense would have to mold around him where Deng will better within it. Yes Melo can create more space for Rose but how long will he patient with simply creating space for him. Plus, Melo is simply not as good a defender and rebounder as Deng. This team will win playing a style like the 2005 Pistons(choke the opponent off/score on high% turnover points). Melo will force it to play a style like the 2006 Pistons (score a lot of points/win a ot of games but no ring)…AND all of this without even bringing Noah into the conversation.

  30. Chicondo@hotmail.com'
    LuvabullNJ September 9, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Oh yeah and I forgot to mention that we failed to pull the trigger on Deng for Gasol a few years back and what did that do for us??

    However, it is not worth giving up Noah and/or Gibson along with Deng. Looks like ESPN is starting rumors just to gain an audience again.

  31. wannafanta365@aim.com'
    Bam! September 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Melo is a household name who scores almost 30 ppg. That is the ONLY reason people consider any Melo to Chicago trade an improvement. For the Chicago Bulls, Deng is far more valuable than Melo.

    If you think about it, two of the biggest shortcomings of the Bulls are size and three point shooting. Melo will address neither. Also consider that Deng is taller than Melo (and only 10 lbs lighter) and shoots the three ball better.

    Fun fact: on average, Melo plays 18 seconds more than Deng each game, but Deng turns the ball over 33% less than Melo.

    But even more important is this: WHO WILL GUARD LEBRON? When the first Bulls vs. Heat matchup comes around, do you really want Melo to be guarding the reigning MVP? As we saw last year, defense is not exactly Melo’s strong suit, but Deng did a surprisingly good job defending LeBron.

    As for the rumors of trading Noah to get Melo, I don’t believe them. The Bulls’ management has made some pretty big mistakes in the past, but getting rid of Noah would be hebetudinous (look that one up, kids).

  32. DANNYBOY September 9, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    The level of homerism on this page is shocking.

    Melo for Deng and Gibson is a steal of a deal. Pull the trigger. Probably a deal leaked by the Bulls FO.

    Anthony for Noah is a more realistic deal. While it was probably leaked by the Nug’s FO it a more accurate barometer of what someone is going to have to give up to nab Melo.

    So, even given that Noah is a fantastic defensive presence, the Bulls arent winning a championships based on their D as long as boozer, rose deng and korver are featured. Just a fact. So go with offense and try to out-execute your opponents. The sheer talent at every position would be difficult to defend and entertaining.

  33. Tony B September 9, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Great post.

  34. PTFC September 10, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    I agree, swapping out Deng and Gibson for Melo is an upgrade at that position AND overrall. BUT a melo/noah trade is only an upgrade at SF but not overrall. The bulls would suffer greatly in other areas. You need defense and energy as well, you can’t just try and outscore your opponents. You don’t want the Bulls to become the Suns of the East, look sexy, have a good regular season record but then do nothing in the post season.

  35. cubsrule13@sbcglobal.net'
    Joe F September 10, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    @Justin I meant the US Olympic Team, come on man.

  36. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    Dj September 10, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    PLEASE BULLS GM’S, DON’T MAKE THIS TRADE MOVE!!! WE ALREADY HAVE A STRONGER TEAM THEN LAST SEASON! LETS JUST WAIT AND SEE UNTIL THE TRADING DEADLINE TO FIND OUR WEAK SPOT, SO WE CAN MOVE SOME PLAYERS AFTERWARDS. IF IT’S NECESSARY!

    GO BULLS!!

  37. Matt Steigenga September 10, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    Trade Deng, JJ, Gibson, The 2011 Draft picks (all of them including the one from Charlotte which has a shot at being lottery since Bobcats are barely in the East top 8—just one key injury to them going lottery and they did sign Kwame Brown so that will make them worse), and heck throw in all the draft picks of the next 2-3 years.

    Bulls have better shot than NY because what do they have to offer—garbage. And don;t say CUrry;s expring contract because his contract ends at same time as Melo’s and point of trading Melo is to get something in return otherwise why trade him for nothing when you could just play him out this season and let him walk if he wants. Also, anyone ever consider a third team getting involved—a three-way trade. That way we can get rid of Deng and some other team could give other good assets to Denver as well.

  38. hardy33@yahoo.com'
    hardtimes September 10, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    @Bam
    I totally agree. I was stressing the point of Deng being a better fit with what the bulls were trying to do defensively and offensively. He is a better defender than Melo and he is a great slasher which works so well with the pick and roll game. More people wanted to trade for him when they were talking about trading him for Deng but know that they mention Noah, it seems everyone is against it now. I never wanted Melo for the sake of team chemistry. Thes guys really seem to fit with each other and Deng may have found another element to his game since dominating on the GB team this summer.

  39. mulett@hotmail.com'
    Mike September 10, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    I would still take Carmelo. Sure Deng’s shooting efficiency is higher and usage lower but those things are related. He’s never going to be a high usage guy because he doesn’t have the variety of shots or playmaking skills. If he had to expand his role, he’d be forced into more drives to the rim and more self-created outside shots, causing his shooting efficiency to drop and his turnovers to rise.

    And Matt, come on, are you really putting Deng’s three point percentages in a completely honest way? That 40 percent of his came in all of 20 attempts. Last year he attempted 83 total. Carmelo’s not a real threat from deep either but to say that you looked beneath the surface and surprise, surprise, found that Deng’s a better three point shooter or even a competent one is distortion.

    Deng’s okay but he’s only a good role player and fourth wheel. He’s still the same player he was four years ago and he hasn’t grown with his contract. Carmelo’s a better scorer and passer and Luol the better defender but it’s not like Luol is a great defender either. He’s not a stopper by any means. It’s easier to find a defender/role player to go with Carmelo (like say Ronnie Brewer) than it is to find a scorer who can create his own shot to put next to Deng.

    I don’t buy the argument that somehow Deng is a better fit or even perhaps a more valuable player than Carmelo but I could buy the argument that Carmelo has a lot of improving to do if he is to play a key role on a championship team. That would be my concern in trading for him, not whether it wouldn’t be better to hang onto Deng instead.

  40. mulett@hotmail.com'
    Mike September 10, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Matt, I think you’re distorting the comparison. True, Deng has a slightly higher eFG% than Carmelo encompassing just shots from the field. But Carmelo’s shots come with a much higher degree of difficulty since he creates for himself whereas Deng shoots mostly spot up jumpers.

    I don’t know why you’ve left out free throws in the comparison since you’ve been rightfully harping on Derrick to get to the line more. If you add in free throws, Carmelo is a significantly more efficient scorer than Deng. For Deng to average 28.2 points like Carmelo does considering that he doesn’t take many threes or draw many fouls, he would have to average around 24-25 shots a games, about three more shots than Carmelo.

    Besides scoring, Carmelo is a much better passer than Deng. His career assist percentage isn’t tremendous at 15.7 percent but it’s much better than Deng’s 11.1 percent. Luol’s numbers actually don’t tell the whole story as his assist percentages the last two years playing with Rose has been 9.0 and 9.1 As a point of reference, the year at Golden State Corey Maggette was called out publicly by his teammates for his selfishness, his assist percentage was 9.2.

    While it’s true that Carmelo’s eFG% is slightly lower than Deng’s, there are not close in offensive effectiveness.

  41. raydennis420@comcast.net'
    wake up and be real September 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    I get what you’re trying to say, but lets wake up and be real. If we over analyze and other think this situation, we’re going to find ourselves in the same situation when we didn’t pull the trigger on Kobe – second guessing and finger pointing while watching him win championship after championship for LA. Here’s the real down low – Deng isn’t in the same universe with Melo. The statistic comparison is way off base and doesn’t tell the real story. I mean no disrespect, but Melo has led his team to the playoffs for 7 straight seasons and if it weren’t for Kobe he may possibly won a championship in 2008-2009. He’s been the primary scorer and number 1 option for the Nuggets, and with the exception of King James, D Wade and KD, he’s flat out the best scorer in the game. It’s a whole different situation when everyone in the gym knows who’s getting the ball night in and night out and you have to deliver. This is what Melo has been doing since Syracuse. He’s a legitimate top 5 superstar and only 26 years old. Deng on the other hand has never been in this situation, not because he hasn’t had the opportunity, but because he can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I like Deng, but to compare him to Melo is flat out cookoo! We’re talking apples to oranges. Melo is a proven superstar that can score anywhere on the floor anytime he wants. Deng is a role player that happens to be the 3rd and 4th scoring option on a poorly scoring team. He’s a high priced role player that plays fair defense when healthy. On this team, now with Rose, Boozer and Korver, Deng may not have any plays called for him. This is the difference. With Melo, we now have 3 prime time scorers and can compete with the likes of: Lakers, Magic, Celts and of course the Heat. Years back we missed acquiring Kobe for the same irrational, over thinking. Guys like Melo don’t come around very often. If Gibson, Johnson or possibly Noah (btw, I really like Noah) have to go, we need to pull the trigger like yesterday for Melo and get back on the championship wagon.

  42. Bill Foster September 11, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    I’m really curious what the Melo fans make of his notoriously shite defense? The guy is a complete liability: 107 points allowed? Turrible. And as the old saying goes: “Defense wins championships.” Besides – why would you blow up a great core for a one year loan on Anthony – who already has designs on f.ing off to New York to make superhappyfriends mk.2 with Apostrophe Tourettes and Chris Paul.

  43. BigWay@cox.net'
    BigWay September 11, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    I have been suggesting since this topic came up that Melo may not be worth the difference in pay.

    Melo will make about $82million over the next four seasons, Deng will make $51 million.

    what kind of player can you buy for $7.75 million per year, especially in the new CBA.

    Is Melo that much better than Deng?

  44. OnSomeBull September 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Add Melo to the line up and we got a championship team for years to come. Deng is a solid player when healthy but no Melo. Gibson would blossom to a 6th man at best and Johnson can go too. Leaven Noah. Just imagine a line up with Rose, Brewer, Melo, Boozer, and Noah. That would have to be the best starting line up in the league. I put a trade for Carmelo on my BullsWishList.

  45. Drivers@gmail.com'
    Doc Rivers September 13, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    I disagree for one easy reason. If the Bulls have ANY hope of getting to the finals, they need to find a way to stop LBJ, a task that Luol Deng isn’t cut for. Remember what Melo did last year against the cavs is that incredible regular season showdown. This argument that because Melo is inefficient he isn’t worth acquiring has become really trendy since ESPN started pushing it. Honestly i see how it makes statistical sense but I don’t see how its convincing when you look at intangibles which are always more important in the playoffs.

  46. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    Phil Jackson September 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    You do not win championships with the starting lineup, you win them with defense and intelligent use of your quality reserves, The starters get you in position but the defense and reserves put you over the top.

  47. chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj September 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Great comments by Mike and “Wake up and be real”. Looks like ‘Melo is on the trading block for real. The Bulls should put their best package together to get ‘Melo. I’m rethinking my trade offer and would be willing to part with Deng AND Gibson. It would weaken our front line rotation but we can pick up a replacement for Gibson, if not before the season, certainly at the trade deadline. I would under no circumstances give up Noah because we have no suitable replacement at center and we would need his interior defense to mask the weak defense from ‘Melo and Boozer.
    Bottom line GET ‘Melo!

  48. mervinhein@bigstring.com'
    Google Trends March 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

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  1. Houston Rockets Daily News for September 9th, 2010 | Red94 | essays and musings on the nba and houston rockets - September 9, 2010

    [...] a lot similar to the Rockets: is he even worth it? By the Horns‘ Matt McHale wonders whether the Nuggets wing is even markedly better than Chicago’s current inefficient former All…: “Which begs the question: Is Anthony an upgrade from Deng? I can hear the howls of dismay [...]

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