The Return of ‘Melo Rumors

It’s like a bad horror movie. Now that New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has officially passed on — that is, gotten sick and tired of — trying to trade for Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls have popped back up on the ‘Melo Trade Radar.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

“Anthony has long been enthusiastic about a possible trade to the Bulls, but Denver and Chicago officials had been previously unable to come to terms on a deal. Bulls executives John Paxson and Gar Forman have investigated the possibility of acquiring Anthony, but thus far haven’t been willing to include the one player the Nuggets most covet: center Joakim Noah. Anthony’s agents are under pressure to make a deal happen for the All-Star forward, who sources said has become an increasingly unhappy client.

“Nevertheless, William Wesley – Worldwide Wes – is expected to travel to Chicago for Bulls games on Thursday and Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, a source said. Wesley unsuccessfully pushed LeBron James to sign with the Bulls as a free agent, and now has an interest in Anthony ending up there. Wesley represents Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for CAA.”

Note the “Wesley unsuccessfully pushed LeBron James to sign with the Bulls” part.

Anyway, Woj goes on to say:

“Chicago has wanted the Nuggets to take forward Luol Deng as a cornerstone to the deal, but Denver hasn’t been interested in absorbing the three years and $40 million left on his contract after this season. The Nuggets want an array of young players and picks the Bulls will have a difficult time providing. Still, Chicago badly needs another scoring option and Anthony is one of the NBA’s elite offensive players.”

While there’s no questioning whether ‘Melo is an elite offensive force, the debate about his relative efficiency rages on. The Bulls could certainly use some extra scoring punch — although I’d prefer an upgrade at the shooting guard position — and Anthony could provide that.

But is ‘Melo an ugrade over Luol?

As of today, Anthony is averaging 23.5 PPG while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 26.1 percent from downtown and 80.4 percent from the line. He has an eFG% of 44.9 percent, a PER of 20.3 and 2.6 Win Shares. His Offensive Rating is 105 and his Defensive Rating is 107.

Deng is scoring 17.8 PPG while shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 34.7 percent on threes and 72 percent on free throws. He has an eFG% of 50.2, a PER of 14.8 and 4.4 Win Shares. His Offensive Rating is 108 and his Defensive Rating is 103.

Note that Luol’s Usage Rate is 21.5 while Anthony’s is 32.0. ‘Melo has a more varied offensive skill set than Deng, and that has an awful lot of value. But in terms of pure production, Deng is on par with ‘Melo despite a lower rate of use. Plus, he’s shooting more efficiently and contributing more to Chicago’s wins than Anthony is to Denver’s (if you buy into the concept of Win Shares). Plus, Deng is a much better defender.

‘Melo may be an upgrade over Deng. He may be. But how much?

And, assuming the Nuggets would take Deng in a trade — and there’s no evidence to suggest they would — what else would the Bulls have to give up?

If Denver won’t take Deng, what would they want in return? Draft picks no doubt. They also want young players. That would probably mean Taj Gibson. But can the Bulls afford to lose Taj? Think about how critical he’s been with Boozer and/or Noah out. We all know about Boozer’s injury history, and Noah has now missed significant time due to injuries in back-to-back seasons. That makes frontcourt depth critical.

I’m not sure I feel comfortable relying on Kurt Thomas.

If the Bulls could do a ‘Melo-for-Deng-and-draft-picks swap, that might work. Although, again, I’m not totally sold on the idea that Anthony is a better fit than Deng. After all, would there be enough shots to go around for Rose, Boozer and Anthony? Would a guy who has averaged nearly 20 shot attempts per game and is used to being The Man fit into Chicago’s offense?

Who knows?

Ah well. It’s all speculation right now.


27 Responses to The Return of ‘Melo Rumors

    Proviso East January 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm #


  2. TBF January 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    The Bulls would be foolish to do this. Yes, Anthony is an “elite” player (I guess), however what the Bulls would need to give up would be insane. There’s no way on earth I’d part with Joakim Noah to add another volume shooter who doesn’t play very good defense. Unless they’re willing to throw in another center, I’m not comfortable with using Kurt Thomas and Taj the rest of the way.

    As it is, I’d let Anthony twist in the wind a while. THe longer he has to stay where he isn’t happy, the more desperate his agents and team will be to move him. They’ll be willing to take less to get him out of town.

  3. Inception January 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Deng for Melo in a heartbeat….Deng has been a solid option for CHI, but Melo is way more consistent….let’s not also forget that Boozer is not very reliable when it comes to staying on the court….and if Lebron, Wade, and Bosh can make it work, why can’t Rose, Melo, and Boozer?

    please CHI, make some bold moves!! or else, we’ll always finish “2nd place”

    BULLS FAN NJ January 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Maybe stats wise melo isnt a huge upgrade from deng but when derrick rose exits the game and its loul and the second unit the offense is at a stand still and is down right painful to watch. I know loul scores the quietest 18 ppg and its all part of the flow of the offense but he cant carry the offense as would a premier scorer would. You can always find another taj gibson.

  5. Noah's FT Ark January 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    melo would kill all of this awesome chemistry our team has. this isn’t like trading for melo in a video game, he’s a punk who cares more about money and fame, than the game

  6. Noah's FT Ark January 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    another note to add-

    notice how our team gets kinda bored playing weak teams, joakim pumps everyone up to play every night. i dont see melo doing that EVER

  7. Super Joe January 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    At this point I would not trade anything more than Deng, JJ, and draft picks for Melo.

  8. TBF January 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Really, I don’t see how you can ignore SG and pull the trigger on a mega-deal without even seeing what we have already. Our full squad has played, what, 2 games together all healthy? Let’s see what we have first before we blow it up. This team is young and hungry, there’s no need to be in a hurry.

  9. Inception January 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    why are people mentioning Noah in the deal? there’s NO chance he gets involved in any deal with Denver.

    deng/gibson are the only key players on the radar.

    John Jameson January 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    read this on bleacher report;

    Like the old saying goes; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So why should the Bulls ruin their depth and team chemistry by acquiring an egotistical superstar

    ughh January 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    i agree with the person who said anymore than dneng, jj and picks is too much. no taj, absolutely no noah which has been stated.

    for the love of god stop posting those ridiculous efficiency ratings. are you trying to tell me that if carmelo plays with rose all those numbers wo’t go unbelievably higher? deng bricks wide open shot after wide open shot. the looks this guy gets makes it amazing that hes not shooting a higher percentage. he is perfectly mediocre.

    again i’m not saying you should give up a ton of stuff, but if for some stupid reason denver would take deng, jj and picks, obviously do it

    Tae January 20, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Adding on to Inception’s comment, Noah is literally untradable as he has a poison pill in his contract which is financial suicide for any team’s cap.

    Enigmatik January 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Melo for Bogans, JJ & a slice of pizza.

    That’s fair, right?

  14. Mike January 21, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    You want Noah? Give us Nene too then or Martin’s expiring contract.

  15. Matt January 21, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    Deng, JJ, and Noah’s ponytail

    BoppinBob January 21, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Denver is running out of time to trade Melo, the closer it gets to the trading deadline the less they will be able to get and they risk getting nothing if Melo opts for free agency and they don’t trade him. While Melo is an offensive force in the league he is not a complete player and has made no effort to improve his defense and make himself a more complete player. How is he going to fit in with players like Rose and Noah who are not satisfied with their games and are constantly trying to improve? I hope Gar/Pax has not seriously considered goin for Melo.

  17. Scottie Pimpin January 21, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    how are you gonna offer bogans and a slice of pizza for melo. that just dumb. a player like melo deserves at least a whole pie. chicago style deep dish baby ! GO BULLS !

    “you need to stop thinking offense and start thinking defense”

    BigUpsTo#15 January 21, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    To tell you the truth my main concern is Bogans and when the Bulls will open their eyes and put him in the D-League, or considering his age in a retirement home.

    “1st Half WITH Bogans = CHI 19, DAL 20… WITHOUT Bogans = CHI 25, DAL 15

    2nd Half WITH Bogans = CHI 12, DAL 23… WITHOUT Bogans = CHI 26, DAL 14”

    Why is this man still in the NBA? Yea the Bulls need an upgrade at the 2 spot but really all they need to do is kick Bogans off the team.

    Eddie B. January 21, 2011 at 5:30 am #

    What are you smoking?!? Comparing Deng to Anthony makes no sense what so ever. Melo is a top 5 player in this league. PERIOD!!! You make the trade and include Noah. I love Noah and I went to UF, but he is showing to be fragile and he is not 10/10 guy. Trade Deng, Noah, and picks for Melo. No questions asked. I am sick and tired of Bulls fans, coaches, and GM’s overvaluing our players. Remember Deng was the hold up for trading Kobe here. The Bulls didn’t want to part with him. Are you kidding me?!!?!?!? Noah is not even an All-Star and Deng certainly isn’t. God!!!!

  20. Flip21 January 21, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    If you can get Melo in exchange for Deng, Taj, and draft picks, you do it in a heartbeat. Melo provides the offensive punch the Bulls desperately need. The defense will be fine, and believe me, Thibs will make Melo play defense. No team in the league will be as dangerous or as complete as the Bulls.

    SF Carmelo Anthony
    PF Carlos Boozer
    C Joakim Noah
    SG Ronnie Brewer
    PG Derrick Rose

    Tae January 21, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Matt, I don’t know what to make with this stat:

    Bulls are 10-0 when Bogans score 6 or more points.

  22. Inception January 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    once again, Deng struggles at the offensive end (vs. DAL)…interesting thing to note though, Thibs still praised Deng after the game because of his efforts on the boards and defensive end….i don’t think Thibs would approve of letting go Deng to DEN for Melo, which would be a shame.

  23. Alan January 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Eddie B you’re nuts. Noah has had two injuries. Plantar fascitis (a fairly common injury) and a torn thumb ligament (which he played with for a month). How does that qualify him as fragile? He was never hurt at Florida. You’re right about one thing Noah isn’t a 10/10 guy. He was a 14/12 guy and he easily would’ve been an all-star this year if he didn’t hurt his thumb. Also, the reason Kobe didn’t come to the Bulls is because he would have vetoed the trade if Deng was in it. He didn’t want to play in Chicago without Deng here and at the time he had the only no trade clause in the league so in essence Kobe’s evaluation of Deng is why Kobe wasn’t here. Would you actually root for a team that thought Deng was better then Kobe in his prime? Get your facts straight before you go on the attack Eddie.

    Defense wins championships. Name the last title winner that didn’t have a great defense. How have the Suns done in the playoffs? Or the Warriors of 5 years ago? How far are the Knicks going to go this year? These run and gun teams are fun to watch but they don’t win titles. That’s what the Bulls would turn into with a Melo for Deng and Noah trade. Melo and Boozer suck at defense and we’d give up 110-120 a night. If you want to root for a team like that then move to Phoenix or NYC and enjoy watching an early playoff exit every year. I want to root for a title contender.

  24. Inception January 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    @Alan…i think Thibs can mold Melo into a better def player….Melo has never played for a defensive-minded coach before….then again, the jury is still out on Boozer.

  25. nittyFOO January 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    We would not had this problem if they would have singed Tracy Mcgrady. I would take a injury pron Mcgrady over weak healthy Bogans any day. Mcgrady could be playing 15-20 mins a game and he can hit the open shot and also play a lil D… I just feel they could have done better with a better all around player and could even play a lil point. not this busta named Bogan. I sometimes forget that Bogan is on the team after the first half. Shame on you Paxson and Gar

  26. nittyFOO January 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    Bogan $1,600,000 and Mcgrady $850,000
    Bogan 3 games scored double digits T-mac 12 games
    Bogans scored in double digits in three straight games back in Nov.
    T-mac almost had two triple doubles this year and is now starting at piont gourd over injured Stuckey
    Shame on you Pax and Gar…

    BoppinBob January 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I am getting tired of the complaints about Bogans. For the month of January he is hitting the 3-pt shot at 43.5%. In the last 5 games he is hitting the 3-pt shot at 50.0%. He has historically been a streak shooter. Let’s face it, the SG is the last option on a healthy Bulls team, behind Rose, Boozer, Deng and Noah. Bogans is doing the job he was brought in for, play 15-20 minutes, play defense and hit the ocassional 3-pt shot. Brewer is playing the bulk of the minutes at SG, especially at crunch time.

    I am convinced that Bulls fans do not know how to enjoy the game without finding fault with the team. No team is perfect. I do not recall any team going 82-0. Yes SG is a “weakness”, but a better shooter at SG would require more shots and I am not sure where they would come from on a healthy Bulls team.

    The Bulls are 30-14 and have spent most of the season down a key player. I can only anticipate how good a healthy Bulls team could be, the Bulls do not have a “big three”, they have the “fabulous four” in Rose, Boozer, Noah and Deng. Let’s enjoy this season.

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