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Report: Bulls coach Thibodeau reached out to former coaches of Carmelo Anthony

Jun 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

If Carmelo Anthony opts out of the final year of his contract as expected and chooses to pursue free agency in earnest, there is no likelier a landing spot for him than the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls will have a former MVP in Derrick Rose back healthy, along with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson — all of whom have shown the desire to play as hard as possible on a nightly basis for head coach Tom Thibodeau, who doesn’t appear willing to leave Anthony’s decision to chance.

From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Bulls’ push to acquire New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is heating up heading into NBA draft week, and perhaps no one wants his services more than coach Tom Thibodeau.

According to one of Anthony’s former coaches, Thibodeau has reached out to him and to several other coaches who have worked with Anthony with numerous calls. …

That the Bulls are in full-court-press mode on Anthony comes as no surprise, considering center Joakim Noah courted him during All-Star Weekend in February and continued the recruitment throughout the second half of the season.

And it would seem Noah isn’t alone. Point guard Derrick Rose reportedly has gotten involved, too, and Thibodeau has used back channels to let Anthony know his addition could mean big things for everyone involved.

Anthony would only leave the Knicks for as close to a sure thing as possible, considering it would cost him an extra year of security and in the neighborhood of $30 million to do so.

It’s widely known that Anthony will be seeking out his free agent options, so Thibodeau making contact — even through the infamous back channels, and not directly with Anthony himself — is simply part of the game.

Post has been updated to reflect Thibodeau contacting Anthony’s former coaches, and not Anthony himself — something that was unclear due to the wording of the initial report.

  1. zackd2 - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    But I thought Melo isn’t a winner, why do teams want him?

  2. kb2408 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Melo doesn’t have time to wait on Phil and “hope” that he can build a contender. Why not go to a team that’s a scorer away from being a serious contender?

    • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:07 AM

      He’d only hope the Bulls can be a serious contender. It all depends on Derrick Rose. Who is he going to be? Who knows where the Rose goes?

  3. goodtogo28 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    sign and trade is a possibility if anthony wants to recover the 30 mil and the knicks would get something in return at least. the question is what is chicago willing to give up if they want him that bad?

    • balfe13 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:07 AM

      That’s not the question, actually. If Melo decides he wants to go to Chicago, the question is, do the Knicks trade him to Chicago for whatever the hell Chicago wants to offer him or do they let him go and get nothing?

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:47 AM

        Most likely they get nothing because they’re losers.

    • twinfan24 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      While I understand the extra year Anthony would get in a sign and trade, if his interest is truly in winning, why would he rather do a sign and trade. That would just require the Bulls to give up pieces that would help chase the title. If you see a sign and trade, it means Anthony is more worried about money than winning. I understand it could be $30 million, but if he isn’t an idiot like so many before him, he will earn more than enough money to live the rest of his life in comfort wherever he signs.

    • harshedmellow - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      The new CBA has eliminated that type of sign and trade scenario.

  4. papichulo55 - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Cant see Melo, Rose and Noah duplicating the success of James, Wade and Bosh. There is no Pat Riley to smooth out the rough spots. No hints of acknowledgement of accepting different roles. In the end, I believe Melo stays in NY.

    • balfe13 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:10 AM

      What in the world are you talking about? I hope you’re just some Heat bandwagon fan who doesn’t actually watch basketball, because that makes no sense whatsoever. Bosh, Wade, and James are much more similar players than Rose, Melo and Noah would be.
      Rose is not a spot up shooter. His game is using his superior quickness (which hopefully still exists) to get past defenders and get to the basket. He thrives on the driving attacks. Melo is the best one-on-one scorer in the game. He can make spot up jumpers, he can post up, and he can drive to the basket, but he does that less often than his other options. Noah is the ultimate effort guy; he doesn’t need plays to be run for him to be effective. He can just hang out, get rebounds, defend like a beast, and handle his business. They don’t have to accept different roles, because they already play different roles.

      • papichulo55 - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        You obviously only WATCH basketball, because you apparently don’t understand the importance of personalities on the basketball court. Have you ever heard of the term Team Chemistry? Rose himself has stated a preference of Love over Melo because he perceives Love as a better potential teammate. That is not a knock on Melo. There are other teams that would welcome Melo with open arms. Not Chicago. It’s a bad fit, because the chemistry would be bad. Get it?

      • balfe13 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        Rose himself has not stated anything, publicly. “Sources” have “reported” (what does that even mean anymore?) that Rose prefers Love to Melo. Noah has been lobbying for Melo to join the team for a year now, and Thibs seems very excited about the possibility. If Rose isn’t excited now, he’ll surely be excited about Melo as a teammate when he sees someone else on the floor that can actually get buckets when the offense starts to stagnate.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:22 AM

      Melo and Rose aren’t as good as James and Wade, though Noah could help cover that difference because interior defense means everything – something Bosh doesn’t often provide.

      But I think you’re right. And who has the worse knees now, Rose or Wade?

      • mcjon22 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        Did you watch the Finals? D Wade is a gimp now

      • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Ridiculous. He only had two bad games in the Finals (Games 4 & 5) but for his first 18 playoff games he averaged 18.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 on 52 percent shooting. The only other player to put up at least those averages in the postseason this year was LeBron James.

        Even if you include all 20 of Wade’s playoff games (where his averages drop to 17.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 on 50 percent shooting), he and James are still the only two players to put up at least those numbers.

      • chicitybulls - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        If one were ranking those 4 players it’ll be LeBron, Melo, Rose, Wade. So to say Melo and Rose aren’t as good as lebon and Wade is wrong.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        Rose? He played 10 games in 2013-14 and put up a 9.7 PER on 35 percent shooting. Wade played 53 games and averaged 19.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 on 54.5 percent shooting, with a 22.0 PER. Outstanding numbers (his playoff numbers weren’t that much worse).

        In fact, there are only two players who have put up at least those combined numbers since 1995-96. James and Wade. It’s so rare because the shooting percentage is so high.

        So I don’t see how anyone could put an absolute question mark like Rose over Wade.

      • chicitybulls - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        You’re going to use a sample size of 10 games for a guy coming back from a surgery and compare that with a guy who played 5 times as many games and did not have a surgery and use some b.s stat like PER? Watch the games. Many players put up states without actually doing anything and conversely some guys may not put up stats but what they do on the court contribute to winning the game. Most people understand this. This isn’t a fantasy league.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Well that’s the point, chicity. Rose is coming off of surgery and Wade is not – and the only example we have of Rose post-surgery are those 10 games and he wasn’t great. How can anyone think that Rose can just come back and instantly be better than a player who just averaged 19-5-5 on 55 percent shooting?

        And Wade is not a guy who puts up meaningless numbers. He is the 2nd best player on a championship team who was just in the Finals. And look what happened to Miami when Wade’s shot was off… they got blown out. His numbers directly contribute to wins.

  5. 700levelvet - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    Melo will never win a title In the NBA… No matter where he goes.. Just a ton of money for him… No legacy… Just like Iverson

    • twinfan24 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Most NBA players won’t win a title in their careers. There have been plenty of Hall of Famers that don’t have titles. Not saying Melo is necessarily HOF, but just pointing out that being a good player does not guarantee anything as far as a title, so predicting he won’t win one is really just predicting the most likely outcome, so not really a stretch to predict it.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      where have you been brother?

      been saying this a long time on here… glad to see another man with common sense…

      Melo is a cancer, won’t ever win a title where he’s the #1 option…

      He’s 0 for 11 in chances…

      overrated big time…

  6. marcusfitzhugh - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:31 AM

    Forget about what team he may end up on and think about thirty million dollars for a minute or so. If Melo walks away from that much money, it will literally cost him $91,463 per game. Anyone think Melo can make that up on the back end after the 4 year contract is up? THAT is a lot of cash. And imagine giving up that much money, and possibly finishing his career without a ring. That’s a possibility no matter what team he goes to.

    • balfe13 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:14 AM

      Ok, for the average person, that is a huge amount of money. But is it really that much for Carmelo? His wife has money. He has made A LOT of money already. He has lucrative deals off the court. As a professional athlete, you become much more marketable by winning, unless you’re Charles Barkley. I don’t think money is that big of a factor for him. It’s not like he’s one of those guys who blew all his money when he was younger: He’s been married for years. Married guys tend to be slightly more fiscally conservative than the young bachelors.
      This is a man who won an NCAA championship in his only collegiate season, a man who fought for the Nuggets essentially by himself, taking them as far as the Western Conference Finals BY HIMSELF one year. He fought his way to his hometown team, but his hometown team sucks and routinely gave out terrible contracts. The man wants to win. He will put himself in the best position possible to make that happen, regardless of the financial repercussions. Because let’s be honest, wherever he goes, he’s still making an obscene amount of money.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:07 AM

        Yes, thirty million dollars really is that much for Carmelo Anthony. Melo would have to be a complete idiot not to recognize the value of $30M. If he earns $250M over the course of his lifetime, the $30M isn’t just a 12% decrease in lifetime earnings. If he lives until age 75, the value of that $30M would increase dramatically over the next 36 years if the money is invested. Not knowing him, I don’t know whether he invests his money or just spends it.

        Since you have personal knowledge as to the inner working of Melo’s finances, tell us, is the reason he doesn’t care about money due to investments in Magellon which has gone up 40% in the past 18 months? Or is he in to Aetna, which is up over 82% for the same time frame? Or possibly Humana, which opened 2013 at $67 a share and closed Friday at $127? Yes, that IS an 89% increase. I’m not making those numbers up. Check them for yourself. The stock symbols are MGLN, HUM, and AET. If you think the NBA pays obscene amounts of money, NY has a place called Wall Street that might change the way you view money and how it works for some people.

      • mcjon22 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

        He’s made over 200 million already in salary alone. If you have a good financial planner, that 30 mil can be easily made up in the long run. You’re only talking about a 15% return on your investment.

      • twinfan24 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        marcus – You are being silly. The point isn’t that $30 million isn’t a lot, or that it can’t become more. And, cherry picking three stocks that went up big means nothing, because there are likely hundreds of stocks that could have lost all of that money. The point is that he will have earned enough money to live more than just comfortably if he doesn’t blow the money. But, obviously you invested in all three of those stocks and are a billionaire now, so good luck to you…

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM


        Melo has NOT earned over $200 million in salary alone yet…

        He’s at a bit over $135 million…

        scroll all the way to the bottom in the link above. this site shows money by season players have earned in their careers…

        Season Team Lg Salary
        2003-04 Denver Nuggets NBA $3,229,200
        2004-05 Denver Nuggets NBA $3,471,360
        2005-06 Denver Nuggets NBA $3,713,640
        2006-07 Denver Nuggets NBA $4,694,041
        2007-08 Denver Nuggets NBA $13,041,250
        2008-09 Denver Nuggets NBA $14,410,581
        2009-10 Denver Nuggets NBA $15,779,912
        2010-11 New York Knicks NBA $17,149,243
        2011-12 New York Knicks NBA $18,518,574
        2012-13 New York Knicks NBA $19,450,000
        2013-14 New York Knicks NBA $22,407,474
        Career (may be incomplete) $135,865,275

    • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:23 AM

      I, for one, would be perfectly happy to take 30 million dollars with no hope of an NBA championship ring.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:51 AM

        Careful, Strats: the peabrain NY losers might have a problem with that.

  7. rohlo - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    dont worry rose will be hurt again by the 2nd month of the season….guy is done!!

    • 55bucky - Jun 22, 2014 at 6:44 AM

      You wish!

    • mcjon22 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      Only low life’s would wish for a player to injur themselves.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      I think you’re lying.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:52 AM


  8. davidly - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:34 AM

    Carmelo Anthony is the greatest player of all time and whoever signs him will be an instant lock to win it all. Whoa-whoa– Hey you! Who said that? Baby, how you been? Might as well “Jump!”

  9. jacobk621 - Jun 22, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    @Marcus ,, Thanks for your post , I was having trouble sleeping but after reading your thing , I’m able to fall back to sleep ,,, Yawn ,,,,,,,

  10. mungman69 - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Melo figures that he can live on $20 million a year for four years. If he doesn’t invest any then after taxes he’s stuck with about $33 million.

  11. loubearkane - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    LaLa still hasn’t decided where she wants to play yet.

  12. mungman69 - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    The Bulls will have to trade some contracts ( along with some players ) but they also have picks #16 and #19 to sweeten that pot. One of the teams with a lot of cap space can help the Bulls out.

    • loubearkane - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Bulls signed Mike James , Amudson , Mike James & Greg Smith to non guaranteed contracts that add up to about 5M total to help matching contracts.

      • loubearkane - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        *Ronnie Brewer*

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