It would be nice if they got both, but to provide that as an answer would be a cop-out.
If they had to choose, my preference would be Anthony, if (and only if) he took a big enough pay cut to get down to Rose-level money. (Some will note that this contradicts a previous article I wrote. It now seems more realistic they could get him at that price, which is a game-changer to me, and why I qualify this with a big “if.”)
That would allow the Bulls to trade Boozer, Dunleavy, the No. 16 pick (technically, whomever the Bulls take with it, as they wouldn’t be able to work the deal until after the draft), the Kings’ pick and two second-round picks for Anthony along with Raymond Felton’s and J.R. Smith’s bad contracts.
With both Boozer and Dunleavy in the last year of their contracts, that gives the Knicks more freedom in free agency in the summer of 2015. They would be obligated to just $24 million.
The Knicks would do it because they don’t have a choice, and honestly, it’s a pretty good deal. It would give them the ideal situation for a rebuild. They would be bad in 2013-14, but that’s a good thing for them. They would actually get their own first-round pick in 2015.
Over a two-year period they could add three first-round picks. That’s how many they presently have between now and 2018 (their own 2015, 2017 and 2018 picks), per RealGM.com. Add $40 million worth of free agents (cue the Kevin Durant rumors here) in 2015, and you have a rapid turnaround. That’s not a bad rebuilding scenario considering where they sit right now.
Felton and Smith would definitely be tough pills to swallow for Chicago, but both players could improve with a change of scenery and Thibodeau’s coaching. They would also have their mid-level exception they could use on Mirotic and their biannual exception to use on a veteran wing.
Furthermore, they'd still have the No. 19 pick in the draft.
This would be the Bulls' new depth chart:
That is a team that would immediately be in competition for the title. It would be arguably the best starting five in the league and own close to the deepest bench. With Thibodeau’s coaching, you know they’ll bring it on defense.
If Rose, Smith, Anthony, Mirotic and Noah are on the court together, scoring certainly won’t be an issue anymore.
If the goal is to win a title now, and if Anthony is willing to work with his contract, this is the best scenario.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.