The Bulls somehow managed to win 48 games this year, despite losing Derrick Rose again to injury. Joakim Noah finished fourth in the MVP voting, becoming a triple-double machine in the second half of the season. But the Bulls’ scoring woes were glaring when they faced the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs. It was clear to anyone who watched that the Bulls lacked a scoring punch. They were counting on Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and D.J. Augustin to consistently contribute offensively. It was an overachievement for the Bulls to win 48 games with their depleted roster. No one knows if Derrick Rose will ever be close to the player he was, and the Bulls are finally looking to upgrade its roster to give him more scoring help. While this may be typical NBA summertime speculation, there have been a few rumors that, if true, could see Chicago transformed into a legitimate contender in the East. Granted, it does not take much to qualify as a ‘contender’ in the NBA’s inferior conference. Regardless, the Bulls look poised to rejuvenate its roster this offseason. Here are a possibilities for Chicago this summer:
1) Sign Carmelo Anthony
Rumor is that Carmelo is intrigued by a move to Chicago. He has looked into the possibility of signing with the Bulls and teaming with the oft-injured Rose. Carmelo would be a perfect piece for the Bulls. Carmelo is one of the best scorers in the league, and that is something the Bulls desperately lack. Aside from Rose, the Bulls don’t have anyone who can consistently create offense for himself. Carmelo’s name has been mentioned in connection to several teams, including the Heat and Rockets. The Bulls are the easiest destination. By amnestying Carlos Boozer, which seems inevitable, and trading Taj Gibson, the Bulls would have enough room to offer Anthony a max contract. The other two teams would require more complicated scenarios to take place to accommodate Anthony.
2) Trade for Arron Afflalo
A more recent rumor is that the Bulls are pushing hard to acquire Afflalo, a guy that was snubbed from the All-Star game last season. The Bulls would have to part with one of their two 1st round picks this yea (they own the 16th and 19th picks), as well as their 2011 1st round pick Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic is a highly touted prospect overseas, a highly polished 6’10” shooter. A potential nucleus of Noah-Anthony-Afflalo-Rose would be a 50+ win team with enough firepower to win the East. Carmelo would also be on a tough defensive-minded team for the first time in his career.
Much of what Chicago does this summer hinges on whether it amnesties Carlos Boozer. He’s been talked about as an amnesty target for years, and it would be surprising if he’s wearing a Bulls uniform next season. With the Heat looking to be on the decline and the Pacers stagnating in the postseason, now is the time to make a push in the East. Chicago owns one of the best centers (and players) in the league in Joakim Noah, as well as one of the best coaches too. Chicago is one of the premier teams in the NBA and it is only a matter of time before they reload their roster. If the Bulls lose out on the Carmelo sweepstakes, they will likely target Kevin Love, whom Derrick Rose actually prefers over ‘Melo.