Derrick Rose has been adamant about his unwillingness to “recruit” players to play with him in Chicago. Joakim Noah isn’t Derrick Rose, reportedly.
According to an ESPN report per Chris Broussard (hold your jokes), Noah and Melo bonded in more ways then one. Sure, they probably had a few laughs, shared a few stories and probably had a few drinks — on top of that, Noah reportedly also snuck in a little bit of a recruitment pitch.
Over All-Star weekend, I’m told by a person with knowledge of the conversation, that Joakim Noah recruited Carmelo.
Now, you’ll probably hear denials out of Chicago if they talk about it, because it would be tampering, officially.
But I’m told that Joakim said to Melo, “Look, you can go to Los Angeles. But if you want to win a ring, if you want your legacy to be about winning, come to Chicago.”
Melo, I’m told, said, “Look, I’ve been watching you guys. I admire how hard you play. I admire how hungry you are. Oh, and by the way, my son’s favorite player: Derrick Rose.”
And while you never know how “solid” these reports are, it actually wouldn’t surprise me if Noah went out and did something like this. Noah isn’t a dumb man. He knows that a potential window in Chicago could be closing, if they don’t make some kind of significant move in the near future.
And signing Melo could be that kind of move. The uncertainty that is surrounding Derrick Rose isn’t just a virus that is overtaking the Bulls fans, it could also be infecting his peers. At this point, it wouldn’t be smart to bet on Rose. You kind of have to assume that he’ll never get back to the superstar that he was transforming into prior to his first knee injury.
With all that said, there’s a really good possibility that this conversation(s) never even happened — or both Noah and Melo will make it seem like it never happened.
Still, many around the league believe that if Melo would leave New York, it would be to join the Bulls. In that case, assuming that Melo doesn’t take a significant pay cut, they’ll still need to amnesty Carlos Boozer and probably trade Taj Gibson.
Again, if we see any number of the latter’s happen, that should be an indication that the former could be coming into fruition.
However, we still have 20-or-so games left in this season. After that, it’ll definitely get a whole lot more interesting.