The latest round of rumors involving the Chicago Bulls have centered around New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony is set to become a free agent this summer if he decides to opt out of his current contract with the Knicks. All indications are that Anthony will indeed test the free agent market before deciding whether or not to re-sign with the Knicks. The Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned the most in association with Anthony but recent reports have suggested that the Bulls are planning on making a push for the 29-year old forward.
When speaking on ESPN Chicago 1000, NBA hall of famer Charles Barkley suggested that Anthony would be a good addition for the Bulls if the team is planning on being relevant over the next few seasons.
“I think [Anthony] has got some flaws in his game on the defensive end and rebounding, but if you put him with [Joakim] Noah — Noah’s my favorite player — I think [coach Tom Thibodeau] would make him play defense,” Barkley said Monday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN Chicago 1000. “I also think if the Bulls are going to be relevant in the next few years that might be something they can do. Carmelo is the best scorer in the NBA. I give him a little advantage over [Kevin] Durant because Durant doesn’t post up as much as I think he should.
“But if the Bulls are going to be relevant the next few years, that might be a good pickup.” -Charles Barkley, ESPN Chicago
On the surface, Anthony would appear to be tough fit for the Bulls. While Anthony may arguably be the best scorer in the NBA, his flaw is that he does not play defense. Playing defense is something that every player must do well in a Tom Thibodeau system. Thibodeau does have a knack for coaching up every player to his standards unless his name his Marquis Teague, but would that work for an established superstar in Anthony?
No matter what the answer to that question may be, there is one big problem that is preventing the Bulls from signing Anthony.
Where is the money?
Even after the trades of Teague and Luol Deng, the Bulls still do not have enough money available to them to allow the team to be able to sign a player to a max contract. The Bulls would have to gut their roster in order to be able afford the current contract that Derrick Rose has and the future contract that Anthony will likely command. Considering how the Bulls operate in a team-first mentality, it would seem highly unlikely that the team would opt for that scenario.
That is why despite all the smoke that has surfaced connecting the Bulls to Anthony, there just isn’t any substance to validate the rumors.
As long as the Bulls are in Chicago, Anthony or not, the team will always be relevant.