When a superstar player nearing the end of his prime is searching for a home to win championships, it would be thought of as obvious to flee to a winning environment. The thought of surrounding yourself with other stars and solidified role players as you age is ideal but not for Carmelo Anthony. He, confusingly, choose the New York Knicks over the Chicago Bulls.
Maybe it was the money; it could also have been the sharing of spotlight with fellow stars. No matter the reason, choosing to play for the Knicks over the Bulls doesn’t seem like a smart decision in any conversation. Joining the likes of superstar Derrick Rose and all-star Joakim Noah, Anthony would have prepared himself for a chance to finally compete in the NBA Finals; something he hasn’t come close to in his entire career.
Turning down a 129M is for anyone but for someone who hasn’t been shortened in any financial way thus far in his career, it may seem like money is the least important factor. At least as of this season, the Knicks likely won’t win the championship and depending on whom the Knicks acquire, it looks like they wont win for the duration of Anthony’s contract. While its obvious that any player would love to play along side Anthony, its unclear if anyone they could sign in the coming free agency periods could steer them in the direction of winning an NBA championship.
If winning is exactly what Anthony wanted, then the Chicago Bulls was the team he should have selected. He would have filled the one void the Bulls needed to fill, the small forward position. Since the departure of Loul Deng, the Bulls haven’t had a legit small forward with all due respect to Mike Dunleavy whom has done a great job. Nevertheless a legit scoring threat like Anthony would have did more than just fill the void, he would have solidified it for years.
Anthony could have come to the Bulls roster and provided them with the same duties he did in New York, except the opposite of producing losses. Scoring from anywhere on the court while racking up in the wins column sounds like the perfect situation, especially for some on who is 30 and will be 35 at the end of his current contract.
One thing that Anthony would have favored in Chicago was playing alongside Jimmy Butler. He wouldn’t have had to guard the best opposing wingman because those duties would be given to defensive specialist and All-Second Defensive Team member, Jimmy Butler. Anthony would have had the luxury of saving his energy for offensive opportunities and clutch moments, which a lot of players of his caliber don’t have the option of preserving themselves for offense.
The starting lineup before free agency set in would have consisted of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. This would be a monstrous starting five with Anthony instead of Dunleavy or whoever is going to start at small forward position. It would have been a match made in heaven as it is the only hole that’s needed to be filled on the Chicago Bulls starting lineup.
Since Anthony decided to remain a New York Knick, Pau Gasol was the next option, which also fits in the starting lineup. Although Anthony would have been a better option, Gasol will look to be a force to reckon with as a member of the Bulls.Whatever the case, the thought of Anthony in a red Bulls jersey still is a frightened sight because it could have been top 10 scariest lineups in NBA history.
This article was written by Jared Hughes, follow him on twitter @coolhughes