Kevin Garnett three years ago, Pau Gasol two years ago, and Kobe Bryant last year. Throughout the last three years of sub-par Chicago Bulls basketball, GM John Paxson has had an opportunity every year to swing a deal in which the Bulls could receive an elite player, one in which they haven't had since the end of the Michael Jordan era.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have begun to engage in trade discussions with the Phoenix Suns about bringing All-Star Amare Stoudemire to the Chicago Bulls.
In exchange for Stoudemire the Bulls would send over Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas, and Thabo Sefolosha as well as the expiring contracts of Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmon.
They should somehow try to find a way to throw Ben Gordon in there and everything would be gravy. It is still very early in trade discussions, and the Bulls are still not convinced that Stoudemire is the right fit.
If I were Paxson though, and I wanted to keep my job for the next decade, I would do whatever it takes, short of trading Derrick Rose, to bring Stoudemire to the Bulls.
Stoudemire, 26, has yet to reach the peak of his career. He is one of the top big men in the league, and when a player like that is available, you take a chance.
Following his surgery in 2005, he has still averaged over 22 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He has been on three All-Star teams, three more than ANY Bulls player in the last ten years.
Teaming him with a developing Derrick Rose, will provide the Bulls with an actual foundation to build around for the next decade. Granted, Stoudemire has an opt-out clause following the 09-10 season, but what big man would not want to play in the national spotlight alongside the likings of D-Rose?
Having Stoudemire and Rose will also prep the Bulls for the summer of 2010 free agent boom, and will allow the Bulls to focus on signing a dominant shooter (Michael Redd possibly?).
Whether or not these rumors are true, if the Phoenix Suns show any interest in trading Stoudemire to the Bulls, short of giving up Derrick Rose, Paxson should do whatever it takes to bring Stoudemire to Chicago.