Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010
By Mark Schanowski
If you are Bulls General Manager Gar Forman, how much would you be willing to give up in a trade for Denver All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony? Please post your comments in the section below.
In case you missed it, Anthony only has one year left on his existing contract, and reportedly is telling Nuggets management hed like a fresh start somewhere else. Ever since his wedding in New York last month, speculation has Anthony trying to arrange a new super trio with the Knicks featuring himself, Amare Stoudemire and either Tony Parker or Chris Paul. The Knicks still have cap room left after striking out on LeBron James and some of the other top free agents, and they also have a number of trade pieces that could be attractive to a Denver team looking to cut payroll.
Lets start with Eddy Currys expiring contract, worth about 11 million dollars for the coming season. The Knicks also could include one or more moderately priced young players like Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Toney Douglas. At this point, no one is sure if Denver is willing to trade Anthony before the season begins, but after watching LeBron bail on Cleveland last month, NBA executives have to be more concerned than ever about losing a superstar player in free agency. And, as the Bulls painfully learned in their pursuit of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, even the best sales pitch wont be effective if a player has already made up his mind to go somewhere else.
So, realistically, what could the Bulls offer to try to bring Anthony to Chicago? Obviously, any deal would start with Luol Deng, but the remaining years and dollars on his contract might scare off Denver right away. The Bulls could also offer Taj Gibson, James Johnson and a couple of 1st round draft picks, including the future number one coming from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas deal. And after December 15, they could also include the contracts of free agents they signed this summer like Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans. But if Denvers not interested in Deng, basically theres no chance to work out a trade because the Bulls wont and shouldnt include Joakim Noah in any trade proposal. And, dont even ask about Derrick Rose, he is the franchise player and untouchable.
Denver has offered Anthony a three-year contract extension worth 65 million dollars, and reportedly he is considering whether to accept the money and then STILL ask the Nuggets to trade him! Sometimes, the arrogance of professional athletes can be just too much to take. Now that LeBron, Wade and Bosh have formed their super-team in Miami, suddenly every NBA star thinks he has the right to force his current team to send him to a franchise of his choosing.
We saw it with Paul earlier this summer in New Orleans. Even though hes said publicly hes willing to see how successful new General Manager Dell Demps will be in strengthening the team, privately hes still pushing for a trade to the Knicks, Blazers or Magic. Does that mean the NBA will one day be reduced to about a half dozen super teams, and 24 collections of patsies like the Washington Generals team that used to lose to the Harlem Globetrotters every night? Lets hope the owners are united in the current negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement and find a way to close some of the loopholes that made the whole Miami situation possible.
Anthony will continue to think hes entitled to be traded to the Knicks, and since the Nuggets dont have a lot of leverage in the whole situation, he might just get his wish. And, if the Nuggets trade him to a team hes not excited to play for, basically it will be a one year rental with Anthony heading to free agency next summer. The stakes are higher than ever for NBA executives. Thanks goodness the Bulls have a humble star in Rose, who says hes NEVER leaving Chicago. That is the kind of player you can build a franchise around.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SCOTTIE PIPPEN
After that rant on the loyalty of NBA stars, I wanted to close by congratulating Scottie Pippen on his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. What a sight it was to watch Pippens acceptance speech with his long-time teammate Michael Jordan standing right behind him as his presenter. After M.J. blasted the people he believed had slighted him during his career in his acceptance speech last September, Pippen was the picture of class and dignity in his short speech. Scottie thanked Jordan for being such a good friend and teammate and basically thanked everyone who helped him achieve the remarkable success he enjoyed throughout his NBA career. Through it all, his love for the game of basketball and the coaches and players he spent time with came across loud and clear.
Jordan didnt make many mistakes during his basketball career, but I have to believe he regrets being so mean-spirited in his Hall of Fame speech. It was the classic case of the student becoming the teacher, with Pippen giving 23 a lesson on how to accept a tremendous honor with humility and class. Scottie is coming back to the Bulls organization as a team ambassador, and who knows, he might get involved with the coaching staff at some point in the future. Theres no question he has a lot to offer after going from a walk-on at tiny Central Arkansas to a Hall of Famer and one of the NBAs 50 Greatest Players.