Carmelo Anthony will begin his free agency tour with the Chicago Bulls, but Derrick Rose will not be around to help in the recruiting process. NBA free agency kicks off on July 1st at 12:01am and the most valuable free agent not named LeBron James is Carmelo Anthony. According to Mark Stein of ESPN, sources have reported that Anthony will begin his rounds with the Chicago Bulls and then make his way down to Texas to meet with the Rockets and the Mavericks.
The Chicago Bulls have several advantages in their attempts to sign Carmelo Anthony. By amnestying or trading Carlos Boozer, they can offer Anthony the maximum money that any team outside of the New York Knicks can offer him. A big three of Anthony, Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah would make for one of the most complete teams in the NBA. The Bulls have been waiting for Rose to recover for two seasons after he has suffered back to back season ending injuries. But Derrick Rose informed Yahoo Sports that he has no plans to help recruit Carmelo.
In a conversation at the Drew Gooden Foundation Basketball Camp on Sunday, Derrick Rose said that it is not his place to recruit players to join him in Chicago. “My thing is if they want to come, they can come.” Rose is focused on fully rehabilitating his knee to get back in time for the season opener.
Carmelo Anthony has been in the NBA long enough not to take it personally that Rose will not reach out to him. The two have had the opportunity to play together and get to know each other as a part of the USA basketball team. The Carmelo Anthony rumors have suggested that he could end up anywhere from Phoenix to Miami, but the Chicago Bulls appear to be the biggest contender.
Of course, Carmelo leaving New York is not a sure thing. Phil Jackson is still the zen master and managed to unload the bloated contract of the worst starting point guard in the league last season, Raymond Felton. The Knicks are rumored to be making room to re-sign Anthony, bring in Pau Gasol, and continue to clear cap space in 2015. If Carmelo would be willing to wait out one more difficult season in New York, the team could be in a position to make some big moves next year.
One thing is sure for the Chicago Bulls, with or without Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose is confident. “I can play with anybody, no matter who it is. I believe I can play with anyone if they step on the court with me.” The Chicago Bulls would be happy if Carmelo Anthony was stepping out onto the court with Rose.
[Image via PIERRE IMARNI]