By Angie Wiatrowski
The ‘Three Kings’ have taken their thrown in Miami, but there may be another triple threat in the works in the Midwest.
Carmelo Anthony would prefer to be traded to the Chicago Bulls or the New York Knicks, and the Bulls are definitely listening. If you add Anthony to a team that already features Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer and it would appear the Bulls would have their own Big Three.
Sounds like a good deal, right? Only if you’re comfortable with the idea of losing Joakim Noah.
There has been talk that the Bulls’ offer would include Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson and/or draft picks and cash. The problem with this proposal is it doesn’t appear to be too enticing for the Nuggets. Deng has four years and almost $52 million left on his contract, one of the league’s worst, and hasn’t been in the greatest health the past few years.
Adding Joakim Noah to the deal will make it easier to take on Deng’s contract, it may not be the best deal for Denver. They would have to work out a new deal at some point before next summer with Noah, or they could risk losing him after becoming a restricted free agent.
Taking away Anthony and replacing him with an injury-prone Deng (whose contract has been avoided by everyone in trade negotiations with the Bulls) may not be worth Noah to the Nuggets.
Regardless, would it really bring the Bulls any closer to a championship?
Anthony is one of the league’s best scorers, averaging 24.7 points per game in his career, but Noah is one of the league’s best interior defenders. Would the Bulls end up shooting themselves in the foot by jeopardizing their strength at center? They could use Omer Asik or Kurt Thomas, but would it be worth a starting lineup including Rose, Anthony, and Boozer? Is that lineup even better than Rose, Noah, Deng, and Boozer with Gibson off the bench?
Rose, Anthony, and Boozer would be a cheaper version of Miami’s Big Three,and would give the team potential to build around the trio, but Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president of operations John Paxson are hesitant, for good reason.
Losing Noah, Gibson, and Deng for Anthony may end up hurting the Bulls in the long run, and doesn’t seem very beneficial to the Nuggets.