How Chicago Can Get Carmelo
July 7th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) Pretend for a minute that Carmelo Anthony chooses the Bulls. It’s possible until it isn’t. Pretend for a minute that he wants more than they can pay him in free agency. Considering that their best free agency offers would top out at a starting salary of $15 million barring a significant weakening of the roster elsewhere, and that other teams are offering an unconditional max, and this seems a reasonable belief. To join Chicago for an amount of money comparable to what he would get elsewhere, Melo would have to be signed and traded. Pretend for a minute that the Knicks are willing to do this deal to help out a conference rival. This, too, is realistic. If they want to be proud and/or stubborn and refuse to help a one time rival, instead preferring to let their player walk for free, then….OK. But there’s assets in it for them if they do, so they shouldn’t be stubborn in this way. They need assets to get good again more than they need to worry about who is good whilst they rebuild. It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business. With all the previous assumptions in place, Chicago would want badly to acquire Melo via sign and trade while keeping together as good of a team as possible. This means no trading of Taj Gibson, and ideally no trading of Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic. Can Chicago keep all three, acquire Melo, build a brilliant team and do it all within the confines of the Collective Bargaining Agreement? Just about. Here’s how.   STEP ONE: Amnesty Carlos Boozer. Thereby expunging his $16.8 million salary from the cap number, if not the payroll. Note that amnestying Boozer does not immediately put the Bulls under the salary cap, due to their […]

Posted by at 1:27 AM

Tampering, What It Is, And How Not To Not Quite Do It
June 22nd, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) A report from the Chicago Sun Times’s Joe Cowley is currently doing the rounds, providing as it does an intriguing look into the conduct of Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, and a fresh perspective on the comprehensively documented possibility of Carmelo Anthony joining the Chicago Bulls. The report focuses on Thibodeau, and his garnering of background knowledge on Anthony from those connected with him in the past. This is a perfectly acceptable and normal thing to do. What stokes the fire in this instance, however, is that the report uses rather incendiary language that suggests things are not as perfectly acceptable as they ought be. It starts thusly: According to one of Anthony’s former coaches, Thibodeau has reached out to him and to several other coaches who have worked with Anthony with numerous calls. This sentence reads in more than one way, but if the ‘him’ is assumed to be the former coach that Cowley spoke to, things are all right so far. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone outside of the NBA in an attempt to garner information about someone inside it. Later on, however, things get more contentious: That the Bulls are in full-court-press mode on Anthony comes as no surprise, considering center Joakim Noah courted him during All-Star Weekend in February and continued the recruitment throughout the second half of the season. That is probably not good. Players talk to each other and certainly are permitted to do – a situation by which they could not do so at all would be patently ridiculous. But they cannot talk about certain things. Tampering is not an especially well understood concept amongst fans and media alike, yet it is clearly defined. Section (e) of Exhibit A of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement defines […]

Posted by at 1:32 AM