Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brian Scalabrine signs with Bulls! More Melo talk!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls signed former Boston Celtic, Brian Scalabrine to a non-guaranteed contract Tuesday evening. Apparently, Thibs has been lobbying for Gar Pax to sign Scalabrine for a while now. Scalabrine was offered some sort of non-playing position with the Celtics but turned it down at a chance to play for the Bulls. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the story.

Woj's Twitter:

Tom Thibodeau has been lobbying for Scalabrine's signing this summer, sources say. Still believes Scal can contribute -- on and off floor.

Woj column:

After five seasons with the Boston Celtics, forward Brian Scalabrine has agreed to a non-guaranteed contract with the Chicago Bulls, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wanted Scalabrine as part of his first season in Chicago and pushed hard for him with general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson, sources said.
Scalabrine, 32, played sparingly for the Celtics a season ago, where Thibodeau was an assistant coach.

Scalabrine has averaged 3.3 points in nine seasons with the Celtics and New Jersey Nets. He’s gone to the NBA Finals four times – twice in New Jersey and twice in Boston. The Bulls enter training camp with 12 guaranteed contracts and sources said Scalabrine is a “good bet” to make the roster

I look at Brian Scalabrine as I did with last year's Lindsey Hunter signing, he's a good locker room guy. I'll admit I haven't been much of a Scal fan over the last few years. This is mainly because anytime he was on the floor in Boston, the already obnoxious Celtics fans went nuts. My guess is that this is a gateway position and Scal will most likely end up as an assistant to Thibs next season.

In more interesting news, the Carmelo debacle is heating up over in Denver. Over the past few days, ESPN has been flooding Twitter with trade chatter regarding the 3 time all-star. The Nets, Knicks, Rockets, Lakers, Clippers and of course the Bulls seem to still be the likeliest of destinations for Melo. Former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas has went on record to say he believes that Melo will be a Knick or a Bull by the time the dust clears. According to ESPN Over the past 72 hours, Melo has been pushing hard for a trade to happen before next week's training camp. Here's some of the more interesting tweets regarding the situation:

ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford's Twitter:

Nets have made best offer for Melo, but he still prefers NY or Chicago. Nuggs still hoping he'll sign extension in Den

No. Nets are on his wish list. But NY & Bulls are higher RT @Nymetsfan14 so nets have no shot because melo wont sign extension with then

Dont think so. Nets have better offer if Bulls wont include Noah RT @NW_7 Does Chi have any chance to get Melo while still keeping Noah?

ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard's Twitter:

Sum execs baffled by CHI's refusal 2 part with Noah 4 Melo

One exec made great point that u can't pay big $ to Rose, Booz, Melo & Noah anyway, so why not move Noah

Tribune Beat Reporter K.C. Johnson's Twitter:

Carmelo can state desire to play for Bulls all he wants. Unless Denver changes mind on Deng---or Bulls find 3rd team---he won't play here.

I'll take K.C.'s word over any ESPN NBA Insider at this point. ESPN likes to spin stuff just to stir up some news. As much as I'd like Melo on the Bulls, Noah is arguably one of the biggest faces of the franchise and is on his way to becoming one of the most popular players in Bulls history. Do you throw that all away for Melo? That's a real tough decision. Melo is definitely a piece that would push Chicago into being considered an elite franchise. They'd be right up there with Miami & Los Angeles in terms of talent but losing defendors like Noah & Deng could really come back to haunt the Bulls.

After the whole free agent bust of 2010, I have little to no confidence that Melo is coming to Chicago. It's hard not to get caught up in the hype but I'd just as well land Rudy Fernandez and see what the Bulls can do with the team they've assembled. Melo wants to play in New York. That's always been his plan and he can sign there outright next season if he just plays out this last year in Denver. However, the Nuggets don't want to lose him for nothing like Toronto and Cleveland did this summer with Bosh & James (those draft picks aren't worth anything). I have a feeling that Melo will play out with Denver until the trade deadline and then be dealt after agreeing to sign an extension to the team of his choosing.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, be sure to follow the Bulltimate Warrior on twitter @!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bulls considering dealing for Melo...internet goes crazy!

By Sean Mackey

I hate September. It's a month in which sports writers start to speculate and concoct trade scenarios that aren't really going to happen just to make some headlines. The last few days have been perfect examples of this with the whole Carmelo Anthony debacle that's going on over in Denver. It was only a matter of time before Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski planted the first seed with a "breaking" story two weeks ago that Melo wanted out of Denver and then Marc Spears followed with a column Wednesday night dragging the Bulls into this mess.

Carmelo is supposedly telling his peers that he prefers a trade that will send him to New York or Chicago. However, I believe Chicago's name is just being penned to this report because of their possible trade pieces.

The Bulls are more than willing to give up Luol Deng as they attempted to do so all summer with zero takers. Deng's a great SF, he's not flashy and doesn't really have a 3 point shot but is a decent defender who can post up a little and hit down the mid range shot. Teams are scared of his recent injury problems and his ridiculous contact. Is he worth the deal he was given? Probably not but that was the price you had to pay for a top 10 SF with all-star potential 3 years ago. Will Denver mind taking him back? Probably not if they can grab Joakim Noah....and that was the big story of Thursday.

ESPN first reported that the Bulls were having internal discussions on whether or not to include Joakim Noah in an offer for Melo. Bulls fans are pretty divided on any sort of scenerio where Noah leaves. It should also be noted that Hoopsworld "insider" Andy Kennedy claimed Thursday afternoon that Noah had been offered a 5 year/$60 million extension. Rumors were immediately going around that maybe Noah thought he was worth more than that and may not accept the offer. Are the Bulls preparing to trade Joakim before another Ben Gordon like situation arises?

Joakim is a top 10 center and has argueably the best motor in the NBA. He also may be the most passionate player in the professional basketball and has a devoted fan following in Chicago. Would a team of Boozer, Melo & Rose be a big enough "big 3" to pounce Miami, Orlando & Boston? Who knows but losing Noah's leadership, rebounding and defense would probably really hurt Chicago in the long run. John Paxson has always been about improving the team for years to come, he's never been interested in a win now situation.

With all this being said, I sincerely have doubts about any of this Melo to Chicago noise. I'm sure Melo wouldn't mind coming here but losing Noah would probably be too much of a defensive hit to the Bulls. Doug Thonus over at Chicago Now made a good point that Boozer needs a defensive center to be effective offensively and I agree. You take Noah away who's going to provide that? However, if the Nuggets (and Melo) were to agree to a sign & trade sending Deng, Gibson, J. Johnson & the Charlotte pick for Melo, the Bulls couldn't (and shouldn't) pass that up. Adding one of the most prolific scorers of the past 5 years and throwing him on a team with a top 10 center, power forward and point guard would make the Bulls instant title contenders.

Chicago is one really good piece away from being a power house. If they could snag Carmelo away from the Nuggets, it would be a dream scenerio. However, until this actually happens I would suggest that Bulls fans not get their hopes up too high. The whole situation sounds like bored September NBA story just to cause some Real GM forum chaos.