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updated: 1/27/2014 8:42 PM

Carmelo sure would add fun to the Bulls

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  • New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin (3) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) defend Bulls center Joakim Noah on a rebound in a game earlier this season.

      New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin (3) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) defend Bulls center Joakim Noah on a rebound in a game earlier this season.
    Associated Press

  • The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony smiles after hitting a 3-point shot during a game earlier this month.

      The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony smiles after hitting a 3-point shot during a game earlier this month.
    Associated Press

  • Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony shoots over Bulls forward Taj Gibson in a game earlier this season.

      Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony shoots over Bulls forward Taj Gibson in a game earlier this season.
    Associated Press

 
 

Another Carmelo-to-Chicago rumor was floated over the weekend.

Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo!'s crack NBA writer, reported that the Bulls are more in play for Carmelo Anthony than the Lakers are.

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This matters only if either Chicago or Los Angeles is more in play than New York would be. But let's say that Anthony has had enough of the dysfunctional Knicks and is ready to opt for free agency, albeit for 10s of millions fewer dollars.

Is there any real debate over whether the Bulls should want him? If so, are the naysayers goofy? Do they want to perpetuate a steady flow of Mike Dunleavys?

It's possible that the Bulls couldn't find a way to fit Anthony under their salary cap or that Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf wouldn't approve of making a large luxury-tax payment.

Those are issues to be discussed later. The issue today is whether the Bulls should do everything possible to get him.

Of course they should.

Heck, rename them the "Chimelo Bulls" if that's what it takes.

Anthony scored 62 points in one game last week, and how many guys who do that ever become available on the open market? The Bulls have been looking forever for a reliable second scorer to go with Derrick Rose, and Anthony would give them two first scorers.

Acquiring Anthony, who can be as much of a problem for his own team as the opposing team, wouldn't guarantee that the Bulls would win an NBA title or even win the East if LeBron James stays in the conference.

Nothing says for sure that Anthony's game -- often referred to as selfish -- is capable of being more help than harm to winning a championship. Meanwhile, what he contributes would be moot if Rose returns from his latest knee injury to be less of a player than he was or just as fragile as he was.

But acquiring Anthony would mean that the Bulls would be more interesting than just about any time since the Jordan Bulls disbanded. Just seeing whether Rose and Anthony interact would give Bulls fans a return on their substantial investment in tickets and time.

That's where Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau comes in, assuming he doesn't marry Kate Upton, has a child with her and becomes Mr. Mom: "Do your job, kid!"

(You did hear that Thibodeau joked that since all sorts of rumors are out there about his future, he's starting one that he had a date with Ms. Upton.)

Thibodeau is the factor that makes a Bulls gamble on Anthony worth the risk.

Anthony doesn't pass the ball? Well, there was a time when Michael Jordan didn't either. Bulls coaches had to devise plays in practice that put His Airness in a position where he had no choice but to give it up.

You have to think that Thibodeau can think of ways to get Anthony to look for and locate an open teammate.

Anthony doesn't play defense? Thibodeau's specialty is getting players who don't play defense to play defense. He also is smart enough to know if he gets Anthony enough shots to average 30 points per game, all Anthony has to do is hold the man he's guarding to 20 to be a plus-10.

Anthony is too old at 30 to earn gobs of money in a long-term contract? Hey, don't forget that 30 is the new, say, 27 or 28 in NBA years.

Reports are that Thibodeau likes Anthony and Anthony likes Thibodeau, and that's enough to make the arrangement work.

The Bulls would start with Rose and Anthony, hopefully retain Joakim Noah at center, and fill out the starting lineup with a couple of grunts.

It's fun to think of, but wouldn't be funny if the Bulls didn't at least try to make it happen?

No debate here: The "Chimelo Bulls" has a nice ring to it.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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