Will the Bulls ship Luol Deng out of town?
The Chicago Bulls are expected to have a quiet offseason, making only a few minor moves. Then again, the team could shock everybody by pulling off a major trade or two. You never know.
Some Bulls fans would like to see Carlos Boozer pack his bags as soon as possible. Yet, it’s highly unlikely that the two-time All-Star is amnestied or dealt this summer.
Free agents Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli will both draw interest from several other teams this summer. It wouldn’t be very surprising at all if neither player was retained by the financially-strapped Bulls.
The team won’t have to worry about finding a coach either since Tom Thibodeau is signed all the way through the 2016-17 campaign.
What is the Bulls’ perfect offseason plan?
It seems like Luol Deng is mentioned in trade rumors each and every year. Maybe this is the year that the Bulls move the former Duke Blue Devil.
One deal the Bulls should pursue is sending Deng, along with the No. 20 pick, to the Washington Wizards for the No. 3 pick and Emeka Okafor.
Why on earth would the Wizards trade a high draft pick for a 28-year-old veteran? Deng, a multiple NBA All-Star and one of the league’s best defenders, could immediately help the team earn a playoff berth.
Why would the Bulls deal one of their core guys in Deng for an unproven fresh-out-of-college youngster?
Well, that youngster could have the potential to be a much better player than Deng down the road. Plus, the Bulls wouldn’t have to worry about losing Deng for nothing next summer when he becomes a free agent.
With the acquired pick from Washington, the Bulls should draft Indiana guard Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo is coming off a stellar junior year for the Hoosiers, finishing as the runner-up for National Player of the Year honors.
He plays lockdown defense and is known for his crazy athleticism. His leaping ability and jaw-dropping dunks remind fans of a famous No.23 who played for the Bulls during the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Okay, Oladipo isn’t the next Michael Jordan, but he does have the potential to be a quality NBAer.
The Bulls could start Oladipo at shooting guard and slide Jimmy Butler over to small forward. Those two could ultimately form one of the top defensive duos in all of basketball. Plus, a Derrick Rose-Oladipo backcourt would be quite entertaining to watch.
One would think that Carlos Boozer is basically untradeable, as the jump-shooting power forward is set to make a combined $30 million over the next two seasons.
The Atlanta Hawks managed to move Joe Johnson’s gigantic contract last offseason, meaning that nobody is untradeable.
The Bulls should attempt to ship Boozer to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Ben Gordon and Brendan Haywood.
Boozer averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season. He would be a nice pickup for the struggling Bobcats who finished 26th in scoring and 27th in rebounding.
Gordon, who spent the first five years of his career with the Bulls, could serve as a spark plug off the bench in his Windy City return, replacing the soon-to-be-departed Nate Robinson.
Meanwhile, Haywood would make a decent backup center for Joakim Noah.
The Bulls desperately need a shooter, and Matt Barnes would be an outstanding acquisition. The 6'7" forward knocked down 111 three-pointers this season for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Not only can Barnes shoot the rock, he can also play hard-nosed defense, which would easily make him a favorite of coach Tom Thibodeau.
Playing for the veteran's minimum this year, Barnes would like to receive a pay increase. Hopefully, he winds up signing a deal with Chicago for the same amount. We're all aware that the Bulls don't have a ton of dough to offer him.
He would instantly strengthen Chicago's bench, playing behind starter Jimmy Butler.
With the aforementioned Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer trades as well as the Matt Barnes signing, the Bulls would sport a rather re-tooled roster in 2013-14.
Tom Thibodeau would likely opt to start Derrick Rose, Victor Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Emeka Okafor. That’s quite a defensive unit.
The new “Bench Mob” consists of Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Matt Barnes, Taj Gibson and Brendan Haywood. And don’t forget about Marquis Teague, Malcolm Thomas and Brandon Paul (drafted in the second round, 49th overall pick).
While this squad isn’t exactly capable of beating the Miami Heat in the playoffs right off the bat, it has the upside to win a title or two in the future.