When Carmelo Anthony asked Joakim Noah about how it is to play under Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, it was just probably an innocent question. The Bulls center gave an answer and more: play for us if you want a ring!
According to ESPN writer Chris Broussard via his twitter account, the polarizing Bulls center made his pitch during the All-Star Weekend in New Orleans last February for the New York star to come to Chicago convincing him that it is his best chance to win an NBA championship.
Joakim tells Melo "if you want to win a ring, come to Chicago" http://t.co/uHYh296UKg
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) March 6, 2014
Broussard also added that Anthony told Noah that “he admires how hard the Bulls play and how hungry they are.”
Chicago is one of the more impressive teams the past seasons as they have had constant success despite key and long-term injuries to superstar point guard Derrick Rose.
This season, Rose is still out and they traded away star forward Luol Deng; yet they still have a winning record of 34-27 good for 4th place in the lowly Eastern Conference.
Anthony has a potential expiring contract after the 2013-2014 NBA season with a player option on the final deal of his year contract with the Knicks amounting to roughly $23.4M.
If he chooses to jilt New York—which is a major possibility considering how bad they have struggled this year—one of the options is to sign with the Bulls.
For the 2014-2015 season, Chicago has committed contracts to Rose ($18.8), Carlos Boozer ($16.8M), Noah ($13.5M) and Taj Gibson ($8M). Four more players are set to be paid roughly $6M which means that the total salary cap for that year amounts to around $63 million—expected to be slightly over the cap.
However, the Bulls have not used their amnesty clause yet and can use it on Boozer’s expiring contract to open the needed cap space to chase a big-name, high-salaried free agent.
One of those free agents is Melo; and the bad news for the Knicks is that Noah planted the seeds on him to lure him to Chicago.