Carmelo? LeBron? Bulls want to improve at almost any cost
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter June 15, 2014 7:41PM
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Updated: June 16, 2014 11:38AM
SAN ANTONIO — The lesson of getting Carlos Boozer as a consolation prize back in the summer of “The Decision’’ in 2010 has some staying power with the Bulls’ front office.
The team isn’t looking to repeat history.
According to several NBA sources Sunday, the Bulls have been actively looking to improve the starting lineup at almost any cost, with Derrick Rose the only untouchable player — and not by choice.
“They are looking to exhaust as many assets as it will take,’’ one source said of general manager Gar Forman and head of basketball operations John Paxson.
But the source said it was “doubtful” whether that meant the long-rumored departure of coach Tom Thibodeau could come into play.
Carmelo Anthony is still Plan A as the Bulls and the rest of the NBA await to see if the Knicks forward will opt out of his contract. But the Bulls are more active in their pursuit of Kevin Love than initially rumored. Also, don’t rule out LeBron James coming into play again if the four-time MVP opts out of his deal.
After the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, the Sun-Times reported that Joakim Noah not only actively recruited Anthony at the All-Star Game, but he stayed on him throughout the second half of the season. The catch was that Noah didn’t want teammate Taj Gibson sacrificed to bring Anthony over.
The front office agreed with Noah, but according to a source, that grip might have loosened if it means adding a proven All-Star-caliber player.
However it works out, Forman and Paxson seem intent on going down swinging.