The trade rumors have already begun.
Every offseason, there is always some superstar that is linked in a trade rumor with the Chicago Bulls, whether it be Kobe Bryant, Amar'e Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett or more recently, Pau Gasol. Even though none of these rumors have come true, there's certainly a reason for linking these players specifically to the Bulls.
It's because the Bulls have some pieces of trade value, but no stars necessarily.
Derrick Rose, healthy or not, is off-limits to everyone and every team in the NBA knows this. But secondary players like Joakim Noah have drawn attention. Most notably, in the recent trade rumor for Pau Gasol. So it got me thinking of whether it's worth it for the Bulls to move Noah for the right player.
Now, the right player isn't going to be some scrub. I'm talking about a bona fide secondary star to put alongside Rose. Noah is entering his sixth season, and this is probably as good as he'll get.
Yes, I know he's planning on training with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the summer, but I assume his post won't resemble that of Abdul-Jabbar's next season. Far from it, actually. So taking Noah as he is right now, at 27 years old, his trade value is as high as it's going to be.
Consummating a trade package around Noah, cap fillers and multiple draft picks may be enough to entice a team to give up its star, who is going to leave anyway.
The biggest name that comes to mind is Dwight Howard. And yes, I know he's a prima donna, but he's still the best center in the game, and Noah is far from it. The truth of the matter is that stars, not a star, wins titles.
Howard is just that. Pairing him alongside Rose would wreak havoc in the East and immediately propel them over Miami.
Another big name the Bulls could look to get is Al Jefferson from Utah. The Jazz have a surplus of bigs in the middle in Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. They need to give their young big men some needed minutes and touches to help them grow, and Jefferson eats up a lot of time and touches.
The Bulls could flip Noah for Jefferson. This would allow the Jazz to let their other bigs get touches down low, as Noah generates most of his offense from put-backs and rebounds. While the Bulls would get a legit back-to-the-basket scorer in Jefferson, who you can legitimately throw it down to and he'll get you two points. He's highly underrated.
I could even make a case that Bulls should go after Andrea Bargnani. He's a 20-point scorer and can easily become the team's second-best offensive option. When Rose penetrates to the line, Bargnani can spot up.
As for the rebounding loss, you still have Carlos Boozer, Omer Asik and maybe Taj Gibson (depending on who Toronto would want). Say all you want about Boozer's defense and lack of post game, but he's still a very good rebounder and does very well when he doesn't have another big man clogging up the middle.
The point I'm trying to make is, you can replace Noah. He's not a franchise-type player, nor is he an All-Star. Heck, Kris Humphries averaged better numbers than him last year.
If the Bulls have a chance to acquire a secondary star, and the asking price is Noah, then the Bulls need to consider it.