Carmelo Anthony is certainly taking center stage for the Chicago Bulls on their first day of the off-season. The Bulls were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday and many believe that had Anthony been on the team, then the Bulls would still be playing meaningful basketball games.
That is a scenario that the Bulls are hoping comes to fruition next season. Anthony is opting out of his current contract with the New York Knicks and will test the free agency market. While the Bulls certainly do not have anywhere near the amount of money the Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers could offer Anthony, the team represents the best opportunity for Anthony to win a championship.
Anthony has gone on record this Spring as saying that winning will take precedent over money.
Marc Stein of ESPN indicates that not only are the Bulls secretly optimistic about landing Anthony but the Knicks are worried that they will indeed lose their superstar to Chicago.
The whispers out of Chicago for the past month have been increasingly hopeful when it comes to the Bulls’ chances of swiping Melo away from the Knicks. No one is saying so for public consumption, but quiet optimism about their chances is palpable.
Let’s put it this way: Despite the fact that the Bulls will undeniably have to be creative to manufacture sufficient cap space to offer Melo a representative starting salary, Phil Jackson‘s Knicks are undeniably nervous about the threat Chicago poses.
Anthony will certainly be courted when NBA free agency. For the Bulls, the six-title banners and trophies at the Berto Center is the only pitch they need. Anthony wants to win. The Bulls give Anthony the best opportunity to win.
There has also been talk over how Anthony would pair with Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau reportedly wants Anthony in a Bulls’ uniform for the 2014-2015 season as he realizes the Bulls have a desperate need for a late-game scorer.
Anthony would certainly be the answer to the Bulls’ scoring woes.