Arguably, the Chicago Bulls need Carmelo Anthony, but no one needs this grief. Just when we thought it was safe to declare the "Melo to Bulls" rumors maybe, probably, sorta dead, the madness returns. Word hit yesterday that Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New York Nets, has walked away from a prospective deal for the 26-year-old Denver Nuggets forward.
And now there are reports that William Wesley, who heads up Melo's talent agency -- CAA -- will be in town for tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks to "push" Bulls brass toward a deal that would land Anthony in Chicago. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is also represented by CAA.
The logical player departing in a deal for Melo has long been considered Luol Deng, who has three years and $40 million left on his contract. Anthony would be a signifcant upgrade over Deng -- not only in terms of consistent scoring, but also when it comes blocks and assists. Interestingly enough, though, Deng is actually out-shooting Melo so far this season, at least when it comes to field goal percentage (.452 to .435) and three-point percentage (.347 to .261). Anthony, however, has still scored more points overall.
Problem is, Denver reportedly doesn't want Deng's aformentioned contract and, thankfully enough, Bulls GM Gar Foreman isn't offering up center Joakim Noah. And so the dance goes on. With draft pick complexities and other rumored multi-team deals crowding the floor around the two parties.
It's probably safe to say that Carmelo Anthony has become the trade equivalent of LeBron James at this point. Maybe Anthony doesn't quite rise to LeBron's level of arrogance (who can?), but he's driving fans of several NBA teams insane with these up-and-down, back-and-forth, in-or-out rumors. And it's not like the Nuggets are an awful team that needs to rebuild immediately. They're 24-17!
So we must respectfully ask Anthony and his handlers (← free band name) to either make a decision or shut it down. Let us enjoy the rest of the 2010-11 season in peace, for God's sake. Please, Melo, make it stop!