Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls almost happened in the 2014 free agency period. However, during that time, he chose to re-sign with the New York Knicks, and his deal had a no-trade clause. Now, this possibility is again gathering hype as Jimmy Butler expressed willingness to welcome the veteran forward to his team.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a few days back, Jimmy Butler phoned Carmelo Anthony, and Butler labeled it as a “catch-up” call. But it was suggested that Butler could again reach out to Anthony and talk about waiving the clause in his existing pact for a transfer to happen. It seems like the Bulls All-Star approves the idea of Anthony joining him in the Windy City. Because of this, a trade deal was also proposed.
The exchange would be headlined by Anthony, who would part ways with the Knicks after almost seven unsuccessful seasons. He would go to the Bulls, who would give up veterans Taj Gibson and Rajon Rondo, together with a future first-round pick.
In the off-season, rumors stated that the Bulls were looking to deal away Gibson, whose contract expires when the 2016-17 NBA season concludes. The 31-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent later this year. Meanwhile, Rondo has also been in the rumor mill quite a few times because of the issues he had with the organization earlier in the season.
It is uncertain if this offer will get the approval of Knicks President Phil Jackson and the team’s front office. But according to the report, the package deal will address some of their needs once they finally decide to end the Carmelo Anthony era and go through the rebuilding phase.
Anthony will give the Bulls another high-scoring star if a swap turns to reality. So far this season, the 32-year-old is averaging 23 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. The offensive output is enough for him to top New York in scoring. He is also the leader when it comes to time on the court as he plays close to 34 minutes each night.
A new Big Three will be established in the Eastern Conference if Anthony dons that Bulls jersey. He would team with Butler and Dwyane Wade, who are currently the faces of the Chicago franchise. They are expected to challenge the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics, who are on top in the East.
The main reason why Anthony is again a hot topic in trade speculations is because of a subtle tweet by Jackson, which many believed was an attack aimed towards his franchise player. The former head coach denied it as ESPN.com reported, but the damage was done.
Bleacher's Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don't change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 7, 2017
Before Anthony was linked to the Bulls, he was first connected to the Cavaliers. There were numerous claims that said the Knicks offered the nine-time All-Star to the reigning champions. They were hoping to land Kevin Love, but nothing occurred. LeBron James recently slammed these reports and was clearly upset.
As the trade deadline approaches, it is unlikely that the drama surrounding Anthony will clear anytime soon. At least now, he knows that someone is interested in him if he leaves New York. Butler might influence the Bulls to pursue him and complete another Carmelo Anthony headliner.
The Bulls are dragged into trade talks because ahead of the 2016-17 season, there were great predictions for them, especially when they acquired Wade. Unfortunately, they are having a difficult time trying to contend. As of this moment, the Bulls are No. 7 in the East with a 26-27 record, just one game ahead of the Detroit Pistons, who are at No. 8 and are streaking.
[Featured Image by Matt Marton/AP Images]