As war rages on, Mexican standoff-style, between Carmelo Anthony’s representatives and the front offices of the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets, another new name has been “leaked” to the media via an anonymous source: The Chicago Bulls.
Color me skeptical, but I imagine this is yet another instance of Denver and Carmelo using all available leverage as they try and squeeze ever last asset out of the Nets. Because, frankly, a trade with the Chicago Bulls makes little sense.
If, as has been discussed ad nauseam, the holdup on the deal is Denver needing to shed as much salary as possible then I don’t see how a deal gets done in Chi-town. Chicago has next to no expiring contracts to offer, no picks expected in the lottery for quite some time and two assets that are absolutely off limits — Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. And the one asset the Bulls wouldn’t mind ridding themselves of — Luol Deng is just as much of a cap albatross as Al Harrington.
And let’s not forget that even if the Bulls were willing to budge on the availability of Noah, because he signed an extension prior to this season he has what is called a “poison pill provision.” That means that the Bulls can only take back a contract around $3.2 million in value when shipping Noah out. In other words, getting equal value for Noah is nearly impossible and matching salaries with Anthony is equally difficult.
I don’t care how badly Anthony wants to play in Chicago. There is just no feasible path for the teams to explore.