The Chicago Bulls are one of the busiest teams heading into the beginning of the NBA’s free agency period in their attempts to retool and hopefully come up with a championship worthy roster. Their current offer to the New York Knicks regarding Carmelo Anthony isn’t going to be enough, but there are other angles they’re pursuing, like trying to acquire Arron Afflalo from the Orlango Magic.
Afflalo seems to be in the center of trade rumors for the Orlando Magic these last couple of years. He has an early termination option in the summer of 2015. He’ll be making $7.5 million this season and $7.75 million in the 2015-2016 if he opts in to the contract. He had his best season last year, averaging 18.2 points per game while shooting 45.9% from the field. The Bulls, who are in desperate need of some scoring and shooting, would really do well to land him.
But it depends for what price, and how it meshes in with their attempts to land Carmelo Anthony. At the moment, the New York Knicks aren’t exactly enthusiastic about getting Carlos Boozer through a sign-and-trade deal, even if it includes one of the two first round draft picks the Bulls have to offer at the moment. The Knicks, like everyone else, are trying to find themselves in the best position in terms of both their roster and cap space when the summer of 2015 comes around.
The Bulls are trying to include one of their two first round picks (16th and 19th) in any deal they’re trying to make. Also looking to improve their tricky cap situation, they’re not really looking forward towards having two first-round scaling contracts on the books for the next few years. They don’t mind trading one of the picks for a future one, but it might even be more essential for them to get rid of one of them instead of acquiring the player they want.
The Bulls are dreaming of LeBron James but are probably considering the more realistic Carmelo Anthony. The problem is the price. Even if Anthony is willing to take the pay cut and the Bulls amnesty Carlos Boozer, $12 million a season for Anthony isn’t going to cut it. They’ll need to give up on someone – Taj Gibson probably, in order to add more room to include Anthony’s current or next contract. The Bulls will have the mid-level exception to help them out and a rookie who should be good enough to contribute right away, but depth is something they’ll need to make a championship run.
Joakim Noah is recruiting Anthony but doesn’t seem to be enough. With all the need of a superstar to carry the team offensively and stop the dependence on a never healthy Derrick Rose, right now completing a deal for a reliable yet less than big-name shooter like Arron Afflalo seems a lot closer to happening than the Bulls adding another All-Star to their roster.