Report: Joakim Noah Actively Recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Chicago Bulls

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

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The Chicago Bulls were missing a few things during their first-round series against the Washington Wizards, and Joakim Noah knows where he can find the solution to the biggest problem (offense). 

The solution is currently under contract with the New York Knicks, though he can opt out at the conclusion of the postseason and hit the open market. 

His name? Carmelo Anthony. 

The small forward is quite obviously an incredible offensive contributor, seeing as he's one of the absolute best scorers in the NBA. He can hit shots within the flow of an offense, dominate a defense when he decides to put his back to the basket and create those superstar looks that so few players can consistently knock down. 

That's what the Bulls have been missing without Derrick Rose in the lineup—and even with D-Rose healthy, it's sometimes absent—and Noah is well aware of the benefits that would ensue after signing 'Melo to a massive deal. Per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to several sources, including a teammate, Noah’s All-Star Weekend 'conversation' with New York Knicks standout Carmelo Anthony didn’t end in New Orleans. They had discussions via text the rest of the season, including the day after the Bulls were eliminated in the playoffs by the Washington Wizards.

And when asked about it, the long-haired center refused to deny his advances. 

"You want me to address that?" Noah asked. "I don't feel like addressing it. I really have nothing to say."

This sure feels like one of those situations in which a refusal to address the rumors seems like a tacit way of confirming them without getting in trouble for tampering. Kudos to Noah for doing what he can to help his team, assuming that's true.

After all, Chicago could really use an offensive threat like Anthony.

The Bulls, the proud owners of one of the league's best defensive units and schemes, spent the 2013-14 season struggling on the offensive end. According to Basketball-Reference, their 102.5 points per 100 possessions left them beating only the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers, and they only improved that offensive rating by 0.5 during the first-round exit against the Washington Wizards. 

Now it won't be easy to land Anthony, but it is possible. As Frank Isola writes for the New York Daily News, "The Bulls will have to be creative in order to create enough salary-cap space to sign Anthony. That would have to include either trading or using the Amnesty Provision on power forward Carlos Boozer."

Is it really that creative, though? 

If 'Melo is willing to come to the Windy City, the paperwork should already be filed for Boozer's amnesty. There's no point in keeping him on the roster when (a) he's making the team worse when he's on the court, (b) Taj Gibson is quite clearly the superior player and (c) he'd prevent the Bulls from landing 'Melo. 

Hell, one of those reasons should be enough. 

Anthony is widely considered one of the biggest free-agent prizes who could hit the market this summer, and Noah is smart to begin the pursuit this early. Even though the Florida product submitted a fantastic season that left him in contention for the top spot among all centers, steered his team into promising postseason position and won Defensive Player of the Year, he might not have made his biggest contribution quite yet. 

If he can bring Anthony into a Chicago uniform, the Bulls will be far more deadly in 2014-15. And that will be Noah's biggest achievement of all.


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