Carmelo Anthony has been the talk of the league as the season gets closer to a finish. A lot of rumors have been stirring up as to what his plans are after this season. Carmelo can opt out of his current contract with the New York Knicks this summer. He has a lot of decisions and a lot has to happen before he knows what he wants to do.
Taking a look at how the Knicks have been playing, it is quite apparent that Anthony will most likely look to become a free agent this offseason. There will probably be a lot of teams that would love to add him, but the one thing on Anthony’s mind right now is winning. His choice is going to be decided by which team he has the best chance of winning with.
One of the teams that have made a huge campaign to get the All-Star to join them has been the Chicago Bulls. Teammates including Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have bluntly come out to say that they would love to see Anthony in Chicago. Noah, in fact, approached Anthony All-Star weekend and tried to convince him to come.
Obviously, adding Carmelo Anthony will bring a lot of pros, but it will also bring a lot of cons to Chicago. First, let’s take a look at some pros.
The first pro for Chicago is an obvious one. Carmelo Anthony is an All-Star and has been nine times. You don’t receive that honor for nothing. You need to be one of the elite players in the league to have that statute, which he is. The scoring he brings every game is the first pro. He is a dynamic and versatile scorer. Might I remind you that last year Carmelo Anthony brought home his first career NBA scoring title. That means that he was the best scorer in the league throughout the whole season. Last year he averaged 28.7 points per game, passing Kevin Durant who averaged 28.1 points per game. This season, Anthony is averaging 28.1 points per game. He has been very productive on the scoring end in his career.
Another pro for Chicago would be that he would attract a lot of people to want to come there. Take a look at the Miami Heat. When “The Big Three” came to Miami, they attracted a lot of veterans to come that were nearing the end of their careers, like Ray Allen. They go to teams that have the best chance of a championship so they can end on a good note. The added veterans usually aren’t worried about money, so they usually come fairly cheap. They also bring a lot of experience and wisdom to the team. This would help out the younger guys and help the team improve as a whole.
One more pro that Anthony would bring to Chicago is the most important of them all, a Championship Ring. It’s no question that the addition of Carmelo would make the Bulls a huge threat and contender for the ultimate prize. They are already doing really well without him. Plus, with a healthier Derrick Rose, it would just add to the dominance. If the Bulls can make the playoffs without wither Anthony or Rose, then it’s safe to say that they would be one of the best teams in the league with them both. And given the recent play of Joakim Noah, it would just be a dynasty.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the cons.
Well, let’s start off with cost and salary cap. Carmelo Anthony is an elite player in this league, with that comes a lot of money. If Chicago wants to bring him in, first off they would have to amnesty Carlos Boozer, which would give Melo a deal starting at $15 Million. Then they could trade Mike Dunleavy, giving them another $3 Million, bringing the deal to $18 Million a year. So, they would need to part ways with a starter and say goodbye to an excellent role player in order to land Anthony. Could it be worth it? Absolutely, but it is a price to pay that would keep the salary cap tight in Chicago.
I’ll throw this one in there as a con, mainly because of their expectations lately. Chicago has had expectations of making it to the playoffs, since they are a great team. However, without their star player Derrick Rose, expectations have been a little iffy. Even though they have been doing completely fine without Rose, adding Anthony and the return of Rose would make them a favorite for the Championship. So, one con would be the added pressure and high expectations they would be forced with. Not saying they wouldn’t meet those expectations, but sometimes that pressure can get to the players’ heads. It would just be a lot of attention. However, they are professionals and one would think they would be able to outlast that.
One more con to Chicago adding Melo would be the difference in Tom Thibodeau’s style of gameplay and Carmelo Anthony’s style of play. Thibs has strived as a defensive-minded coach. Everything he preaches, is about defense. He is usually lenient as far as offense goes, as long as you obey his rules on defense. Now, Anthony will strive when given the key to do whatever he wants on offense. That is not a doubt. Only problem is, Melo has never thrived on defense. It’s not that he is bad at it, he just focuses primarily on offense. This could collide between player and coach and possibly start some arguments and differences in opinions. Drama is never good for a professional sports team and is demoralizing to the team as a whole.
If the Chicago Bulls add Carmelo Anthony to the roster for the 2015 season, it is no doubt that they would be a threat in the NBA. A lot of pros would come with that, but it would have to be weighed with the cons as well. Nobody knows what Melo will end up doing. For all we know, he could just stay with the New York Knicks and fool us all. For now, let’s just marvel at his play this season and be proud that we have the chance to witness his dominance.