Joakim Noah knows he’s a major player when it comes to all the Carmelo Anthony conjecture. The Bulls’ shaggy-haired center acknowledged his part in the Melo-drama yesterday and, as far as Noah is concerned, they’re all rumors until someone tells him otherwise.
“It’s part of the business and I think it’s something that happens in sports. I think that right now I have to get ready to control the things I can control as a player and that’s getting ready for the season. As far as I know, I’m still part of the Bulls today.”
Noah visited with reporters during an appearance at a Chicago elementary school, with Bulls.com on hand to capture video. The Bulls, according to various reports, are currently unwilling to part with the double-double producer in a potential deal with Denver.
Some league insiders consider such a stance ridiculous, considering Melo is arguably a top-five player. Noah has been a team and fan favorite for the last three years, and his all-out game should mesh well with new frontcourt arrival Carlos Boozer.
Noah views Chicago’s apparent reluctance to trade him as a compliment while reaffirming his desire to stay in the Windy City, but he’s obviously concerned about his future. In addition to talking contract extension with vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman, Melo has come up.
“I also understand what kind of caliber of a player Carmelo Anthony is, so we’ll see what happens. I’m trying to stay positive and had some talks with Gar and Pax, and I’m really excited about the upcoming season.”
Noah remembers all the talk about a possible Kobe Bryant trade to Chicago a few years back and nothing came of those rumors. Noah would rather the upgraded Bulls stand pat instead of dealing an elite player.
“Carmelo is a great player, but we’re also very good right now. I really enjoy playing with guys like Luol Deng and Taj Gibson and other guys who are rumored into that trade.”
As for more rumors, the buzz is growing louder in New Jersey. ESPN’s Chris Broussard wrote the Nets spent all of Wednesday trying to put together a new package for Melo because the “reported deal of Troy Murphy, Kris Humphries, Derrick Favors and a draft pick is not going to happen.”
New Jersey is hoping to get a third or fourth team involved to trump Chicago, New York, Houston or any other team that might get in the mix. Melo’s agent Leon Rose wants this sorted out before training camp opens next week. Stay tuned.