FanPost

Creating the leverage to acquire Carmelo

Carmelo Anthony is a nice player and he's actually elite at scoring so the Bulls should obviously attempt to acquire him. Rumors state that Joakim Noah is recruiting him, but with the caveat that Taj Gibson also stays. There's the rub.

According to Shamsports, Carmelo Anthony earned 21.3M this season. According to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ, the maximum salary allowable is always 105% of the previous season’s salary. So Anthony’s 2014-2015 maximum is 22.4M. The Knicks can offer him 7.5% raises and an extra year. So they can offer a guaranteed contract worth 128.8M. $128,833,934 is a lot of money. The Bulls can’t offer Anthony a fifth season, nor the 7.5% raises so a Bulls maximum contract is 95.7M which is also a lot of money, but is 33M less than a New York offer.

But wait, Anthony said he’d take less money for a better chance at winning. He realizes that the satisfaction of winning is more important than millions of dollars. In their "Roster Reload" feature, Bradford Doolittle and Amin Elhassan wrote the ideal scenario would be Anthony coming to Chicago for a starting salary of 12.5. While still a lot of money, that would mean Anthony leaves up to 75M dollars on the table compared to the New York offer and 42M compared to a max Chicago offer. That’s a lot of money. Would Phil Jackson believe Anthony would leave for that amount of money? I think he’d call his bluff.

So what moves could the Bulls make to create enough salary space to scare New York into trading Anthony or sign him outright? Here’s the current roster with Boozer amnestied, non-guaranteed contracts waived and free agents renounced. (Plus the money owed Richard Hamilton)

Player Salary (Millions)
Derrick Rose 18.863
Joakim Noah 12.2
Taj Gibson 8
Jimmy Butler 2.009
Mike Dunleavy 3.326
Tony Snell 1.472
Greg Smith 0.915
#16 pick 1.469
#19 pick 1.266
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
Richard Hamilton 0.333
Total 51.377

This roster is only 11.8M under a 63.2M cap. Not enough. (This doesn't include possible bonuses that might increase Gibson's and/or Noah's salaries either)

Here is the roster if the Bulls trade both first round picks and Tony Snell for future assets.

Player Salary (Millions)
Derrick Rose 18.863
Joakim Noah 12.2
Taj Gibson 8
Jimmy Butler 2.009
Mike Dunleavy 3.326
Greg Smith 0.915
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
Richard Hamilton 0.333
Total 48.694

Now they are 14.5M under the 62.3M cap. They’d be able to offer Anthony 61.9M over four years. That’s a lot of money. Except it’s less than half of what New York could offer.

Here is the roster if the Bulls trade Snell, Mike Dunleavy and the picks.

Player Salary (Millions)
Derrick Rose 18.863
Joakim Noah 12.2
Taj Gibson 8
Jimmy Butler 2.009
Greg Smith 0.915
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
hold 0.508
Richard Hamilton 0.333
Total 45.876

Now they have 17.3M in cap space. They’d be able to offer Anthony almost 74M. That seems like a lot of money until you realize that Carlos Boozer signed a bigger contract. Anthony would have to leave 20M on the table. At least though, Anthony accepting this contract is believable.

That’s the key to convincing Phil Jackson to trade Anthony and take back Boozer’s monstrous contract. Jackson’s has to believe Anthony might go to the Bulls for nothing.

Even at 17.3M, it’s no sure thing. However, it’s possible at that range so the Bulls need to clear space. Don’t be surprised or upset if they Bulls trade both #1 picks before or during the draft for future picks. (Unless they trade them to Philly with Boozer so they don’t have to amnesty him. Then be upset.)

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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