Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: 'Melo Courting Chicago Bulls With Nets Deal Gone

Kelly ScalettaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2011

Could 'Melo be wearing a Bulls uniform soon?
Could 'Melo be wearing a Bulls uniform soon?Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony's agents are flying to Chicago for the games Thursday and Saturday in the hopes of rejuvenating interest in the superstar, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. It isn't reported what the Nuggets would be seeking for the star, but earlier this summer they were looking for Joakim Noah. 

The Bulls have been in need of another scorer, and the addition of Carmelo Anthony to Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose would certainly give them a dynamic trio of players that would vault them into the league's elite teams. The question is whether they are already close enough to being there to disrupt their team. 

The Bulls have stepped into the water on trade talks regarding players like JR Smith and OJ Mayo already, but have been reluctant to pull the trigger because they are within reach of the East's top seed, even though they have only played with their starting front court for nine games all season. 

It could be that their success without Noah could have them entertaining ideas of trading him they weren't previously willing to entertain. They balked at the idea this summer, and rather than trade him, actually signed him to an extension. 

The other hold-up in any kind of deal is whether the Nuggets would be willing to take Luol Deng in return for Anthony, in addition to whatever else the Bulls would need to send. 

The Bulls do have the Charlotte draft pick and a young, talented Taj Gibson for trade bait, but it's hard to imagine them giving up both Noah and Gibson, two of their bigs, along with Luol Deng in order to acquire Anthony. With Carlos Boozer's injury history, that could prove to be dangerously problematic. 

Additionally, the Bulls management have talked down any major trades in the near future because of the Bulls success so far. They recognize the need for a a tweak at shooting guard, but Anthony wouldn't solve that problem, and could create more holes.

It's also worth considering how Anthony plays into all of this. He wants to go play for a contender and he'll need to approve any potential deal the Nuggets make. If he wants to play with Noah and Rose in Chicago, he might not be ready to go to a Noah-less Bulls team. He could tell the Nuggets he won't approve the extension now. He'll just wait until the season ends and the re-sign. 

It's clear he wants to play with other star players, and wants a chance to go somewhere in the playoffs. A trade involving Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver, as well as Chicago's draft pick an Charlotte's pick would clear the salary hurdles, and might be all that the Nuggets would be able to get for him.

If it comes to that or nothing, they might have little choice. After the Nets shut down negotiations over ridiculous demands, the Nuggets might be a little more open to trying to work something out without Noah getting involved. 

It's hard to tell at this point what is on the table and how serious negotiations are, or whether this is just an attempt to get Chicago talking to make New York jealous. It's hard to believe that Anthony's agents would be coming to Chicago if there is nothing to talk about though.