Could the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks conduct another deal together? Carmelo Anthony is on the the trading block and the Bulls are one of the teams that makes the most sense as far as overall fits are concerned. Ths Chicago Bulls sit as an interesting destination, despite not being mentioned as one of the teams in all of the NBA trade rumors regarding the Knicks attempt to deal their embattled forward.
Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler makes an intriguing case for the teams that could make a sensible deal for Carmelo Anthony. The Chicago Bulls were among the six teams listed.
The other teams named in Kyler’s story were the usual suspects, with the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers possibly involved. The Bulls and Orlando Magic were the oddball clubs. Each team are ideal fits in terms of contract flexibility and basketball purposes, with the latter two seldom mentioned as possible destinations.
The Bulls and Magic make the list for different reasons. Orlando, unlike the Bulls, are stocked with a lot of youth in their frontcourt. The Magic have Nikola Vucevic, whom they can offer in any trade involving a high-salaried player. They also have additional players that can be included to make a deal work.
What would eliminate the Orlando Magic is the fact that they are on the outside looking in when it comes to the NBA playoffs. Even adding Carmelo Anthony would not drastically improve the Magic’s hopes.
As far as the outsiders go, the Chicago Bulls could present a case as a trade partner with the New York Knicks.
Steve Kyler helped make the argument for the Bulls as a possible player for Carmelo Anthony.
“Regarding contract money, the Bulls have Rajon Rondo ($14 million), Taj Gibson ($8.95 million) and Nikola Mirotic ($5.782 million). Rondo and Mirotic almost get the math done, and both are ending contracts.”
Kyler continues on to mention some of the Bulls’ younger players that can be dangled in a potential trade.
“Factor in the fact that the Bulls have young guys like Denzel Valentine ($2.09 million), Bobby Portis ($1.45 million) and Michael Carter-Williams ($3.183 million) who have not exactly had big roles in Chicago and the Bulls have the pieces to make a very interesting offer.”
As far as the Chicago Bulls are concerned, the math presents a telling story. The Bulls could conceivably make a deal with the Knicks, give them some cap flexibility going forward, and all while including a young player or two with a bright future. Given the troublesome week the Bulls have had with a lot of infighting that became public (courtesy of the Boston Herald), stirring the pot by going after Carmelo Anthony could be a cure-all.
What it would take for the Chicago Bulls to strike a deal with the New York Knicks?
Carmelo Anthony would have to waive his no-trade clause for starters. It was originally thought that he would only do so to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers or Los Angeles Clippers. That stance may have changed in the recent days.
Carmelo Anthony has met with Knicks’ president Phil Jackson, expressing his desire to remain with the team. That has not stopped the reports of the Knicks shopping their superstar forward.
The most prominent of the NBA trade rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony was the Knicks reaching out to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks intentions were to gauge the Cavaliers’ interest in a Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love swap. The Cavaliers reportedly refused the Knicks’ inquiry. After that deal fizzled, the Knicks turned their attention to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers have insisted that they will not include anyone from their core in a trade for Carmelo Anthony. And because of that, either a third team must be involved, or there will not be a trade taking place among those two teams.
The Chicago Bulls could facilitate a deal on their own or become the third team in the trade talks.
What the Bulls have at their disposal is the two-year contract of Rajon Rondo. Rondo has a guaranteed salary cap hold of $14 million this season. Next season, only $3 million of his deal is guaranteed. If the Bulls wanted to pursue a trade with the Knicks on their own, they could put together a package similar to the one listed above.
The Knicks have let the Clippers know that they are open to trading Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles. https://t.co/ax950LqNJu
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 27, 2017
Rajon Rondo, Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Bobby Portis, with a future draft pick is one of the better offers the Knicks can get. Rondo and Gibson provides future salary cap relief for the Knicks. Mirotic is a restricted free agent, whom, if paired up with Kristaps Porzingis, could reach his promise. Bobby Portis is a young forward who still has some upside, despite not playing much.
Separately, neither of these Bulls’ players have much trade value, but together, the story is different.
Would Carmelo Anthony agree to a trade with the Chicago Bulls? The answer is maybe.
Many people will recall that the Chicago Bulls finished a close second to the New York Knicks during the Carmelo Anthony courtship in the 2014 NBA free agency. Just as he considered joining the Bulls then, Anthony could reconsider them now.
There are a few things to find the Bulls as an attractive option. Throwing out the front office and how maligned they are, the opportunity to play with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler is a lure. And the prospects of the three of them playing together would elevate the Bulls to fringe Eastern Conference contention.
Wade and Anthony are great friends, and would get along well on the basketball court. Anthony and Butler showed great chemistry on the 2016 men’s Olympic team. It could work for the Bulls, who would do it to erase the bad vibes they have received lately.
If the Bulls were just the third team added to facilitate a trade with the Clippers and Knicks, they could simply rid themselves of Rajon Rondo’s contract and Nikola Mirotic, while getting something in return. That something in return could be a draft pick or even better — sharpshooter J.J. Redick or emerging guard Austin Rivers.
When it comes to the NBA trade rumors regarding Carmelo Anthony, do not be surprised to see the Chicago Bulls involved somehow. Keep a close eye on this in the coming days.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]