Bulls Reportedly Considering Moving Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony
After Yahoo! Sports' reported late Wednesday that Anthony still wants out of Denver and that the Bulls and Knicks still top his list, ESPN Chicago advanced the story by citing a league source who claims the Bulls are having internal discussions of including Joakim Noah as part of the deal.
You may remember Noah from such films as "The Time I Dunked In The Truth's Face" and "I Was a Teenage Annoying Player Who Suddenly Became Awesome." Noah is one of the premier young centers in the league, and his tenacious defense and basketball IQ have been a huge part of the Bulls' success in making the playoffs despite a sub-par roster the last two years. Paired with Carlos Boozer, Noah could provide the Bulls a top line frontcourt this season.
That is, if he's around. Because if the Bulls decide they still want to acquire a superstar after failing to sign one as a free agent (with apologies to Boozer), they may have to move Noah.
According to ESPN Chicago, Denver is reticent to take Luol Deng because of his contract (four years, $51.3 million remaining), which is as close to a crime against logic as you'll find south of Minneapolis. Noah, on the other hand, is a valuable player making only $3.1 million next season and in need of an extension to avoid restricted free agency next season.
Essentially, the Bulls could package an extend-and-trade along with pieces like James Johnson and Taj Gibson for a Carmelo Anthony extend-and-trade. Denver would get a talented young player in return to combine with Chauncey Billups and Nene. Of course, the Nuggets are depth-heavy down low, but with the injuries their players are trying to recover from, center could be a need.
This is all beside the fact that in this scenario, Noah and Chris Andersen would be on the same team, resulting in the apocalypse. Let's all pray it doesn't come to that.
It would be quite a departure from the norm by the Bulls, paying heavy luxury tax, but they'd then feature Derrick Rose, Anthony, and Boozer as their core. Not a bad 1-2-3, although there would be questions about defense, usage, and chemistry. Boozer, after all, signed believing he'd be the second option to complement Rose. Adding Anthony would change all of that. Similarly, Anthony would be headed to Tom Thibodeau's team, which is likely to be more focused defensively than the Nuggets teams he's led the past seven years.
So far the discussions are apparently limited to internal conversations in Chicago. But it certainly seems that in a summer that's held more change than any in recent NBA history, there could be another cataclysm on the horizon.