The Chicago Bulls had their eye on one of free agency’s top targets, New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls entered the offseason with confidence they could acquire Anthony even though they couldn’t offer as much money as the Knicks or other potential destinations like the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bulls had Anthony’s first visit and after he toured the facilities, watched oft-injured point guard Derrick Rose work out and had dinner with big men Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Gar Forman and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Anthony was obviously very interested in joining the Bulls but in the end, he chose to remain with the Knicks, forcing the Bulls to turn their attention elsewhere. They are trying to work out a deal to acquire Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent big man Pau Gasol and an upgrade on the wing.
According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have talked to both Washington Wizards’ free agent swingman Trevor Ariza and Dallas Mavericks’ free agent forward Shawn Marion.
With Anthony out of the picture, the Bulls can now address wing depth and possibly sign Nikola Mirotic with other resources. Of the remaining free agents at wing that are most intriguing, the Bulls have talked to Trevor Ariza and Shawn Marion. But Ariza is advancing on a deal in Houston.
Marion went 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 48.2% from the field, 35.8% from the field and 78.5% from the free throw line. Ariza went for 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 45.6% from the field, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line.