What would it take for Carmelo Anthony to sign with the Bulls this upcoming offseason?
According to New York Daily News Knicks reporter Frank Isola, a healthy Derrick Rose would go a long way.
Isola spoke with David Kaplan on SportsTalk Live about the impending unrestricted free agent's upcoming decision this summer. Anthony has already said he will opt out of the three-year, $65 million extension he signed in 2011; Anthony is signed through the 2014-15 season but as a player option he will use.
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Isola believes the three teams in the race for Anthony's services this offseason will be the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls. And while Isola does think the Bulls have a legitimate chance to land the All-Pro, Rose's health status will loom large when Anthony is deciding among his suitors.
"If Derrick Rose comes back and is healthy, the Bulls are a much different team because they have Joakim Noah, they have Jimmy Butler," he said. "Add to that a player like Carmelo Anthony, that would give the Bulls additional scoring and I think the Bulls, you have to look at them as a contender."
Rose, Noah, Gibson and Butler are all signed through the 2015-16 season.
"That could be a team that could certainly challenge, not just in the Eastern Conference, but for an NBA championship," he said.
Isola is in the minority of those who believe Anthony will stay in New York. Though they're able to offer him $30 million more than any other team, the Knicks are just 17-27 and don't have much wiggle room to improve the roster as it currently stands.
However, that could change in 2015. If Anthony believes the Knicks are committed to rebuilding two years from now, Isola said, there's a chance he gives it one last shot in the Big Apple.
"I still think it's going to come down to the money, and I think Carmelo is looking at it this way: In 2015 the Knicks can go after Kevin Love, they could go after maybe Rajon Rondo, so I think ultimately he stays," he said. "That being said, I do think the Lakers and Bulls will be players over the summer."