The odds of Carmelo Anthony signing with the Chicago Bulls appear to be dwindling, as the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly separated themselves as the free agent’s top two landing spots. While there’s still a chance that Chicago will get their superstar to pair with Derrick Rose, they are no longer the favorites they were on July 1.
Chicago was the first team to make their pitch to Anthony. The two sides met on the first day of free agency, with Scottie Pippen and Joakim Noah reportedly helping to sell Anthony on the idea of playing for the Bulls. Rose reportedly worked out at the United Center because Anthony was in attendance.
Rose did look to show Anthony that he’s finally healthy, but the point guard has made it clear that he wouldn’t go out of his way to recruit the Bulls’ No.1 target. Prior to the 2013-2014 season, he told rappler.com that he wouldn’t ever recruit a player to join his team, and he reiterated that sentiment this summer, saying it’s “not my job.”
"My thing is if they want to come, they can come," Rose told Yahoo! Sports.
As the team’s starting point guard, it might not be one of Rose’s chief responsibilities to lure free agents away from other teams. However, recruiting other NBA players has become a point of emphasis by many around the league. Kobe Bryant has been one of the leaders in trying to get Anthony to join Los Angeles, and Noah is doing his best to get the star to head to Chicago.
Rose has received a fair share of criticism for his comments, but a few professional athletes have come to his defense. Former Bulls big man Nazr Mohammed has supported his ex-teammate, and another star athlete in Chicago has done the same.
"Everybody needs to shut up about that. It's not his personality," Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall told 87.7 The Game. "Everyone knows D-Rose. Everyone knows D-Rose as a humble, quiet kid. He's not going to do anything that is beside himself. He's not going on Twitter - he's not on Twitter, period - so why would he go on Twitter and do that? Why would he go on any social network? Why would he go on ESPN or Fox Sports?”
If Anthony signs elsewhere, some will put a portion of the blame on Rose. Chicago, though, would have a difficult time landing Anthony, no matter what Rose might have done. The Bulls might give Anthony a better chance of winning the Lakers or Knicks, but they are able to give him the least amount of money by a wide margin.
New York can pay Anthony close to $26 million per season, and the Lakers can also offer him a max deal. Chicago can only give Anthony around $16 million each year.
After playing just 10 games in the last two seasons, Rose continues to work toward a healthy 2014-2015 campaign. The former MVP took part in Chicago’s three-day minicamp that began on Tuesday, and he could play for Team USA this summer.