NBA Trade Rumors: Are Chicago Bulls Making a Secret Play for Dwight Howard?
The Bulls are keeping their plans tight-lipped, but fans want to know whether the franchise will choose to sit tight, make changes around the edges and ride out Derrick Rose's injury or move aggressively to add another superstar to the team.
Although Chicago has not announced which strategy they will pursue, there have been numerous interesting rumors coming from the Bulls' franchise.
Three days ago, ESPN reported that Luol Deng, Chicago's star small forward, believes Chicago might be shopping him and would not be surprised if he is traded. Joakim Noah, their star center, may not be untouchable either so the question is: What gives?
Deng and Noah are team leaders and top performers, so who could be the Bulls' target?
Considering that the NBA draft has passed and the possibility of trading one for a high pick is gone, is Howard the only player good enough to be worth shopping the two stars?
The answer, to put it mildly, is hazy.
The Bulls would love to add another franchise-level star to play alongside Rose, and with Deng, Noah, Taj Gibson and future draft picks, Chicago brass have the assets to make that deal. In fact, the Bulls could put a better offer on the table than any rival, except perhaps the Houston Rockets.
But Howard has requested the Magic trade him to the Brooklyn Nets specifically, according to USA Today, and will not sign an extension with any other team, which would clearly be a deal-breaker for the Bulls.
If Howard refuses to sign long-term with Chicago, this trade will never happen. Yet the Bulls may be quietly keeping their assets available in case the Magic center changes his mind.
Howard's favored options are rapidly dwindling: Brooklyn wants him but is rumored to be going after Joe Johnson, and the Nets cannot add both stars. Dallas cannot both sign Deron Williams and trade for Dwight Howard, and the Lakers appear unwilling to part with current franchise center Andrew Bynum.
So, if his only real option after Williams signs is the Houston Rockets, will Howard reconsider his choices and decide he wants to play with Rose and form a new Bulls dynasty?
Perhaps. In the meantime, Chicago seems to be considering its options. Deng and Noah are both highly desirable players and the Bulls could ship them elsewhere.
Noah could go to Sacramento in return for DeMarcus Cousins and another young player, and Deng would be a great addition to most NBA teams. So, while Howard evaluates his options, the Bulls will evaluate theirs.
And, perhaps one day soon, Bulls fans will welcome Howard to Chicago.
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