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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
3 Points: Would Carmelo fit with Bulls?

By ESPNChicago.com

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony reportedly wants to continue to play in a big market. Would Chicago be a fit?
Every week, ESPNChicago.com Bulls writer Nick Friedell is joined by two other ESPN writers to weigh in on three questions that are on the minds of Chicago Bulls followers.

1. Would Carmelo Anthony be the right star to pair with Derrick Rose?


Nick Friedell: The right star? Probably not given how much Carmelo likes to have the ball in his hands. But what other star is coming to Chicago? Even if the odds are long regarding the Bulls finding a way to bring him here, they're still better than any other big star coming to play with Rose.

Doug Padilla: Teaming a shoot-first small forward with a scoring point guard seems supremely misguided, unless the NBA plans on using two basketballs during future games. Would Melo and Rose be fun to watch? Heck yes. But adding the 29-year-old Anthony, who makes $21 million this season, won't instantly turn the Bulls into a championship contender. And how much money would be left to build a supporting cast? The biggest issue of all is how much this would weaken the defense. Fun to watch is one thing, but this just isn't a good fit.

Scoop Jackson: No. As much as I love Melo, I don't see him working here without Luol Deng to be the balance that is needed while trying to build a championship-contending squad. I still am a fan of the Rose/Anthony offensive aesthetic and believe it could produce great results under Thibs if Melo makes some sort of commitment to defense and a little rebounding. But without Deng -- or the Bulls finding a player just like him -- it just doesn't work.


2. Who is more important to the Bulls' long-term success, Tom Thibodeau or a healthy Rose?


Friedell: Thibs is one of the best coaches around, but the NBA remains a star-driven league. The Bulls are going nowhere unless Rose gets healthy again.

Padilla: Since we're talking about a "healthy" Rose, clearly the former MVP is the bigger franchise changer. Talent wins the day in all sports, especially in the NBA. Thibodeau has all the earmarks of being a top-five head coach, but a top-five player, as Rose would be when healthy, simply carries more weight. Not saying just anybody can coach a talented NBA club to success, but even the best of coaches need talent at their disposal. Putting an injury-prone Rose into the question would alter the answer, though.

Jackson: Probably Thibs because to win a championship in the LeBron era, someone is going to have to construct a plan to beat him that goes beyond one player outplaying him. It's like with the Pacers: Paul George is the player who they cannot do without, but coach Frank Vogel will be the reason they get past Miami. And if that's the definition of success, then the coach plays a slightly bigger role in the end.


3. Is it important for Rose to travel with the team and sit on the bench this season?


Friedell: Yes. He needs to feel like he's still part of the team and the players need to know he is still around and trying to get back on the floor. From a PR perspective, I think it's important for Rose to be there. He has played only 50 games in the past three years and fans have started to turn on him. His presence can only help show fans that he wants to support his teammates despite all of the injuries.

Padilla: Absolutely not. The idea that Rose's presence is necessary is something that only the Bulls players need to decide. Thus far, through two major knee injuries, Rose has the utmost respect from his teammates. Maybe if Rose had me-first tendencies, this could be an issue. But the way the kid devotes himself to winning when he's on the floor says plenty about his team focus. There is this, though: Nothing bad figures to come from Rose traveling and sitting on the bench.

Jackson: No. Last season I think it was. This time there's nothing to gain from it. It borders on torture for Rose and a constant reminder of what's missing for the team and staff. Maybe some games and trips are fine, as to not lose total contact and to keep Derrick connected to the game and stop him from cabin fever at home. But to hold him to the same travel schedule as the rest of the team benefits no one.