The bad news is that we are likely to go through the entire Howard saga once again next season.
That could be good news for the Chicago Bulls, who according to ESPN's Marc Stein, haven't given up the idea of trying to acquire Howard through trade next season, despite Howard's often admissions that he doesn't want to sign an extension with the club.
With that being said, if the Bulls have a chance at landing Howard, it's something they need to aggressively explore in the offseason.
Here's a look at a few reasons why the Bulls need to look to pair Derrick Rose with Howard.
It's a Star's League
Despite the Bulls' success this season, the trend of the NBA is leaning toward pairing two or three superstars together. The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship last season, and the Bulls could be on their way to doing so this season. Both realistically have only one superstar, but how long will that trend continue?
Adding a Howard in his prime to pair with Rose makes sense if Howard commits. Chicago will have to deal with some talented rosters in the Eastern Conference for the next couple of seasons. Adding the best big man in the NBA can't hurt.
Doesn't Hurt the System
Should the Bulls aggressively pursue D12 in the offseason?
Chicago wins with defense. It can't hurt to add a guy who could possibly win his fifth Defensive Player of the Year award this season.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau won't have to sell Howard on playing defense in the way he would most other superstars in the NBA. The Bulls are already tough to score on. Adding Howard makes them tougher.
Second Scoring Option
Most people agree that down the road, the Bulls are going to have to get Rose a second scoring option. Adding a guy who's averaging 21.0 PPG, to go along with 14.8 RPG helps on all accounts and it will take some of the pressure of Rose down the road.
With Howard, the Bulls won't just have a legitimate one-two punch, but a real inside-outside one-two punch. If they play the game that way, the will be very difficult to cover on a nightly basis.
How would teams not only handle the presence of Howard in the paint, but also the penetration of Rose? Try to stop all that, and there are going to be a ton of people open on the perimeter.
Howard's an Upgrade
His numbers, as mentioned before, don't lie. Comparing Howard's 21.0 PPG and 14.8 RPG to the combined totals of the current centers on the Bulls' roster (Joakim Noah and Omer Asik), they only combine for 13.2 PPG and 15.2 RPG.
You don't lose anything on the defensive end of the floor, and you improve dramatically at the offensive end. It's a move they need to make.
It's a No-Brainer
Quite simply, anytime you have the chance to pair the best big man in the NBA with the youngest MVP in NBA history, you do it.
They have plenty of time to attempt to convince Howard that Chicago is the place for him.
Forget all of the Big Threes out there. Pairing Rose and Howard will make the Bulls as good, if not better than anyone in the NBA for years to come.