The Chicago Bulls are frontrunners to sign Carmelo Anthony this offseason but they need to maneuver around the salary cap in order to make it happen.
Melo coming to Chicago still seems like a long shot, but the Bulls may or may not be setting things up so that they can make a serious run at him. According to K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls are looking to trade their draft picks to avoid having to pay rookie scale wages over the next few years.
While he doesn’t specifically state this is a cost-cutting measure to afford more space for Melo, the dots are not hard to connect.
Draft will tell a lot. Bulls looking to avoid two rookie scale contracts.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 14, 2014
This makes sense and is likely a major reason why the Bulls are so antsy to trade up with the Denver Nuggets to get the No. 11 pick. The two picks the Bulls have are insanely expendable to them as they’re not interested in rebuilding through the draft.
Not taking on two draft picks seems like chump change when considering the massive contract that Melo would get from Chicago, but every penny counts and if the Bulls can grab a top prospect and only eat one roster spot and half the money, then that’s the most ideal situation for them.
Perhaps the most ideal situation could be to package the picks in a trade with the Knicks, as it appears Chicago has serious options moving forward.