The Chicago Bulls are a team that could contend for a championship already, but they have an Achilles heel in that they have but one superstar, Derrick Rose. They might be able to win without him in the regular season, and they can possibly win with just him in the postseason, but to win multiple championships they need someone to help him.
Carlos Boozer was supposed to be that player, and he hasn't worked out so well. While he offers more help than some credit him for, it's not enough, which is why he is criticized. Luol Deng has the heart, but not the ball-handling skills, to be a superstar.
Joakim Noah may be emerging as the Bulls star without Rose, but it's hard to envision him as the second player who can handle the ball and take the pressure off of Rose when opponents put the trap on him.
Here are five ideas of players who could help the Bulls and Rose, the link to verify the trade proposal would work, and the pros and cons of each trade for each team. Remember, though, you have to give something to get something, and you have to give something other teams want.
The Bulls get: Wilson Chandler
The Denver Nuggets get: Richard Hamilton and Marquise Teague
Why the Bulls Do it: Wilson Chandler is a versatile player who has the size and athleticism of LeBron James-lite, he just has never blossomed. He has the potential to be a real superstar though if he's developed properly and Tom Thibodeau has been tremendous in getting the most out of the talent he coaches.
Why the Nuggets Do it: Chandler hasn't worked out great for them and they're flush with wings. On the other hand, their backup point guard, Andre Miller, whom they rely on quite a bit, is aging. Teague has the potential to be a star point guard; he just needs time to grow. Denver would have just enough time to groom him before Miller retires. Hamilton would be a bit useful in spurts, but mostly he is thrown in to make the money work.
Why the Bulls Don't Do it: With Derrick Rose injured, they're already short on point guards; that's part of the reason they drafted Teague in the first place.
Why the Nuggets Don't Do it: While Chandler hasn't worked out the way they expected, they're probably not ready to get rid of him. There is just too much potential there to abandon this early.
The Bulls Get: Rudy Gay
The Grizzlies Get: Luol Deng, Rip Hamilton
Why the Bulls Do it: Rudy Gay is a true scorer who would be an excellent complement to Derrick Rose. Rose combined with Gay, Boozer and Noah would carry an offense that would be hard to stop. It would certainly prevent teams form loading up on Rose.
Why the Grizzlies Do it: Buyer's remorse on Rudy Gay could be a big incentive. Gay's contract is more than he might be worth. Deng might also fit better with the Grizzlies' style of play and mesh better with the rest of the frontcourt as he wouldn't contend for touches.
why the Bulls Don't Do it: The biggest reason the Bulls don't do it is money. Gay's contract is pretty bloated and would add another $3.5 million to the Bulls guaranteed salaries for next season over Deng's, bumping it up to $78 million for eight players. It would pretty much assure the Bulls would have to amnesty Boozer and replace him with a mid-level exception or else see owner Jerry Reinesforf really commit to paying the luxury tax.
Why the Grizzlies Don't Do it: The Grizzlies roster has been stable, but the front office is all over the place. The team was just bought out and Jason Levin has been installed as the new CEO. Ryan Hollins is in the final year of his contract. It might not be the best time to go monkeying with the roster of a highly competitive team.
The Bulls Get: Monta Ellis
The Milwaukee Bucks Get: Luol Deng
Why the Bulls Do it: Ellis and Derrick Rose would combine for the best scoring backcourt in the NBA and would certainly solve the problem of not having someone else who can create shots. In fact, after Rose and Westbrook, Ellis might be the next best at carving through defenses in the league.
Why the Bucks Do it: There's a good chance they lose Ellis at the end of the season regardless so anything they can get for him is gravy. Luol Deng though is more than gravy. He's an All-Star small forward who fits in well with the Bucks roster and who played under coach Scott Skiles in the past.
Why the Bulls Don't Do it: There are two big reasons to think twice about this one. The first is that they'd have an undersized backcourt, and Ellis has hardly been known for defensive tenacity in the past. The other is that they'd be digging one hole to fill another. Sure they solve the shooting guard problem, but what do they do for small forward now?
Why the Bucks Don't Do it: It's hard to think of a reason to not do it for the Bucks. If there is one, it's that they've started off so well and you don't fix what ain't broke.
What the Bulls Get: Josh Smith
What the Atlanta Hawks Get: Luol Deng
Why the Bulls Do it: Josh Smith is a fierce player at the rim and an outstanding defender who could have a real place in Tom Thibodeau's system. Offensively he could give the Bulls what they wanted from Boozer. He loves to play defense and is combination of athleticism and power would be complemented well by the way the Bulls play.
Why the Hawks Do It: Josh Smith's jump shot. Nuff said.
Why the Bulls Don't Do It: Josh Smith's jump shot. Nuff said.
Why the Hawks Don't Do it: They might prefer to just let Smith walk and see what they can get with the cap space.There are rumblings they haven't given up on Dwight Howard. Regardless, they have space for two max players and would love to add Chris Paul and Howard to Horford. Deng would stymie that dream.
What the Bulls Get: Tyreke Evans, John Salmons
What theSacramento Kings Get: Luol Deng
Why the Bulls Do it: When Evans was slicing up the Bulls defense in their opening game, it was hard to not be wistful about the idea of him playing in a Bulls uni. Evans has a great ability to penetrate and would be a wonderful complement to Rose in the backcourt. At 6'6" he wouldn't provide the same undersized conundrum that Ellis would either.
Why the Kings Do It: Tyreke Evans' jump shot. Nuff said. Well, there's that and and unloading John Salmons horrible contract.
Why the Bulls Don't Do It: While some would love to suggest trading Rip and either the Charlotte pick or the rights to Nikola Mirotic, it's not enough for the Kings and too much for the Bulls. As a result, they end up digging one hole to fill another. John Salmons would take over as the starting small forward, but he's no Luol Deng and he's overpaid.
Why the Kings Don't Do it: While it's a fair deal, the Kings might try and hold out and see if they could get more for Evans. Teams have a tendency with young players to give them more value than anyone else does. Plus Evans supposedly worked on his jump shot this summer, though the .185 field-goal percentage on it shows it's still taking time to show up on the court.