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updated: 7/1/2014 7:37 AM

Bulls need a splash, and Anthony is just that

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  • The Bulls have to make it impossible for Carmelo Anthony to choose any destination but Chicago.

      The Bulls have to make it impossible for Carmelo Anthony to choose any destination but Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

Building an NBA champion is like a game of splish-splash.

The Bulls introduced their latest splishes Monday in the form of draft choices Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow.

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Now it's time for the Bulls to execute one big splash to go with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

In NBA parlance, that means the Bulls have to figure out how to wrest free agent Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks and everyone else.

All sorts of reports, with accompanying bodies, are swirling in and around the league as free agency begins Tuesday.

The Big Three opted out of their contracts in Miami. Kevin Love is expected to become available in Minnesota. Tim Duncan opted in at San Antonio. Other lessers are out, and still others are on the intersection of available and undesirable.

The most prominent names are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and they're expected to stay with the Heat. Love might not be a good fit for the Bulls. The rest are little more than one splish after another.

Finally there's Anthony, the potential splash most associated with the Bulls even though he isn't expected to leave New York.

So, what, the Bulls are shut out from the big guys again?

Please, say it ain't so. It's about time a splash on the level of Carmelo Anthony lands here.

Something has to happen that identifies Chicago as a destination again for premier NBA players, yet we're already being told that nothing can be done if a player wants to stay where he is or wants to go someplace other than Chicago.

In other words, all that Bulls management can do is its best and then it's up to the player to decide whether it's good enough.

That's a nice theory, but Bulls fans shouldn't accept it.

If this management team's best isn't good enough to land someone like Carmelo Anthony, that doesn't mean the best of someone else in their positions wouldn't be.

Anthony reportedly will visit the Bulls as early as Tuesday, then head to Texas to sit down with the Mavericks and Rockets, and then possibly to Los Angeles to meet with the Lakers.

The Bulls have the first shot and shouldn't ever let the Mavs, Rockets, Lakers and Knicks take theirs.

Seriously, if the Bulls want Anthony -- and indications are that they want him badly -- they should concoct a way to get him.

Somebody in the room Tuesday -- one of the Reinsdorfs, John Paxson, Gar Forman, Tom Thibodeau, at least one of the above -- has to be irresistible enough that Anthony can't resist.

Heck, if necessary, lock Anthony in a United Center broom closet and keep him there until he agrees to a contract.

Ground all outgoing flights from O'Hare and Midway so Anthony can't get to Texas, Los Angeles or back to New York.

Acknowledge that Anthony has to do what is best for him and his family but make an undeniable argument that Chicago is best for him and his family.

Prey on Anthony's inadequacies. If he's embarrassed that he doesn't know more about minnows, show him around the Shedd Aquarium.

If popcorn is Anthony's weakness, tie a feed bag from Garrett's around his neck. If it's hot dogs, make sure he understands that Vienna is better than Nathan's and all the rest. If it's pizza, well, that should go without saying.

Seriously, show Anthony the Bulls' new practice facility. Show him the X-rays of Derrick Rose's fully healed knees. Show him Thibodeau's home movies of Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons games.

Do whatever it takes.

General manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson have made countless splishes in the draft to position the Bulls one free-agent splash from true championship contention.

Assuming Carmelo Anthony is that splash, GarPax has to figure out how to make it ripple throughout the NBA.

No excuses will do this time, fellas, nor will any reasons be valid.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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