Did you see what Carmelo Anthony did to the Bobcats last night? 62 points on 23-of-35 shooting, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. It was a brilliant effort, and as soon as it ended, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports put out a story speculating on his future. According to a "longtime confidant" of Melo, the Knicks star is considering leaving New York this summer when he's able to opt out of a guaranteed $23 million. The Bulls are one of the teams Anthony would consider.
"Chicago is much more in play for him than L.A.," the source said.
That's about the only piece of reporting in the story. Woj argues there's "nowhere better for a ring-less superstar" than New York, which is irritating in that it dismisses the possibility that Carmelo, who turns 30 at the end of May, could ever win a title. Anthony is a great, great scorer and has been since he entered the basketball consciousness at Syracuse. He could absolutely win a title if surrounded by better pieces. Is New York the place for that? Is Chicago?
Anthony's free agency will surely be one of the most prevalent big picture topics surrounding the Bulls in the run-up to the offseason. He's a polarizing player for his lack of defense and the sense that he doesn't make his teammates better, but there's no denying Melo's incredible offensive gifts. For a Bulls team that has lacked a secondary scorer since Ben Gordon left for Detroit via free agency, Anthony certainly looks appealing. But you do you want to pay Anthony a max contract for four or five years on the wrong side of 30? It's definitely up for debate.
I've already endorsed Lance Stephenson over Anthony, but it wouldn't take much for me to swing back to Melo. The man is deadly with the ball in his hands, there's no doubt about that. The Bulls have perhaps been overly dependent on Derrick Rose in recent years, and no one knows how effective the point guard will be after missing two entire seasons. It isn't hard to see how well Melo would fit. I do think there's the problem of logistics, though, because the Bulls won't have a maximum contract slot for Anthony if Carlos Boozer is amnestied, as Woj posits.
We've gone over this before, but the Bulls are looking at just over $13.2 million in cap space if they play their cards right. That's not a max contact for Stephenson, let alone Carmelo. Anthony can sign for five years and $129 million with the Knicks. What this would mean, I think, is a sign-and-trade with New York.
Our friends at Bulls by the Horns hit on the topic of Carmelo the other day. I'm interested to see what everyone thinks: yay or nay on Anthony? It's not like there's much to dig up here. The book is out on Melo. Anyone reading this site knows what he does well and what he does not do well. So, do you want him on the Bulls, given the commitment it will take to get him?