Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bulls Ready to Dump?

With the same record as they had through 34 games last season, is it time to dump players? I believe so. This was never thought to be a season of serious contention. A shot at a bottom playoff spot, at best. I think the Bulls are about a .500 team, barring injuries. They have had 3 starters out for serious time. Either way, there are too many players blocking each other on this team. So, who goes? Let's look at some options.

Nocioni - He has a big contract and is largely a role player. He is known for hustle but watch him on the offensive end. He stands in the corner outside the three point arc waiting. If he ran around, a la Rip Hamilton, and tried to get open his game would be much more effective. He is a typical Paxson player. He does a lot of things decently but none extremely well. Except complaining to the refs. Seriously, he argues EVERY call. Even the most blatant hacks.

Hughes - Hughes is pretty much everything wrong with the NBA. For some reason, I actually like his play. He is a ball hawk on steals and has some flexibility at the 1, 2, and 3 positions. Although, I do not like his play at the point. His main problems are being selfish, whining about playing time, and terrible shot selection. He is not exactly the player you want mentoring younger guards, especially Rose since his game and demeanor is a polar opposite. That being said, I would take him over Ben Wallace.

Hinrich - I think talk will heat up once he is back and plays for a few weeks. As with Nocioni above, Hinrich does a lot well but nothing great. He is too small to be the 2 next to Rose and makes to much to be your first guard off the bench.

Gooden - he is arguably the most valuable player on this team. They have been horrid while he was out, winning only one game. He is, sadly, the best post player and rebounder on the team.

Gordon - he would have to approve any move so hard to discuss. I would love to keep him as a 6th man, if he realized what he is worth due to his shortcomings.

Pretty much anyone not named Rose is touchable and this team. I still like Tyrus and he has seemed to respond to Vinny lately. He is moving around on both ends of the court. He has abandoned the ridiculous outside shot and slashing to the hoop. Most importantly, he is challenging shots without drawing too many fouls. His 8 blocks the other night (granted against a terrible Minnesota team) should tell you something.

Side Note: While typing this, Rose has successfully slashed to the hoop 3 straight times. He is going to be an amazing player. He will be one of the most un-guardable players in the league.

So, what are some trade options?

Nocioni to the Thunder for Wilcox. This gives them a team player they could use on a team of individuals, led by the overrated, ballhog Durant. The Bulls get a very good rebounder and some athletic, size to their frontcourt. Wilcox is an upcoming free agent, so the Bulls could decide to re-sign him or Gooden at the end of the year. Throw in your 2nd round pick, if need be.

Hinrich to the Clippers for Kaman. This is likely nowhere near enough. Maybe a draft pick could be enough. Otherwise, find out if they want to want another guard thrown in. You might have to swap Thabo for Skinner to complete the deal. I say it is worth it.

Gordon or Hinrich to the Bobcats along with Noah for Okafor. The Bobcats are not crazy about Okafor, but he is a big presence not used effectively. I would like to see Rose, Gordon, and Okafor all play together. I think they would complement each other in a team game very well.

A 3 way trade with the Clippers and Golden State. Could be small or a huge deal. Davis goes back to the Warriors. Maggette comes home to the Bulls and gives them a big guard. The Clippers get Hinrich as a point to play with Gordon. A bigger deal would include Deng, Gooden, Hughes, or Gordon and Kaman.

Getting more unlikely is going after Boozer. He will be a free agent and word is the Jazz will work to kee Millsap, not Boozer. I think they will look to move him and get something. However, his trade value is lower after being injured all year. Would Gooden, Thabo, and Noah be enough? Might get you in the room to talk about options. Maybe Boozer likes Chicago and stays. Maybe an extension is done with the deal. He would solve a lot of problems.

All somewhat unlikely, but I will be surprised if the Bulls don't start selling and building around Rose with a few other players they determine as core over the next few weeks. Hint: Tyrus and Thabo have looked good lately. This either ups their trade value or shows Paxson they are pieces of the future.

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