The draft is done. Derrick Rose is a Bull. All the Beasley drama is done. Ben Gordon and Luol Deng are both free to test the Free Agent market. So what do the Bulls do now?
Rose is reportedly battling tendinitis in his right knee, but it isn't hindering him, and he is still participating in the Summer League. So, with most of the questions besides Gordon and Deng answered, what is ahead for the Bulls?
The Bulls are offensively challenged. There is no way around saying that. However, they have helped themselves by adding Rose, who is a solid 20/10 prospect.
However, two of their best offensive weapons are on the free agent market. The Bulls have good back-up options at each position, with Larry Hughes behind Gordon and Andres Nocioni behind Deng, but neither of these players are upgrades.
They need to find a way to keep at least one of the two starters testing the waters—and I think that Deng is the person to keep. If they keep Deng, then they can help get rid of some of the traffic jam at the guard position. Letting Gordon go also opens up more money in trades in case a team is trying to alleviate some financial problems.
I'm not saying the Bulls should get a washed-up guy who is making to much money—but certain teams have players who are making money and playing well, but are just sitting in bad situations.
The Bulls have trade bait—to say the least. They are jam-packed at the guard position and should be looking to deal some of their extraneous pieces for somebody that can help them win now. I am personally expecting some sort of blockbuster moves, and in my mind, I have a few crazy ideas already. Don't worry, baby birds—papa's about to feed you. The Dallas Mavericks are in a position where they aren't getting any younger, and they are about to let some stars go to waste. Why not help them start the rebuilding stage a year early, and avoid the whole first-round knockout that is destined to ensue? Remember those wasted contracts I was talking about? This is a prime example. Dirk Nowitzki is about to lose any chance at a Championship if he stays with the Mavs. The Bulls can offer a package of Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, and Aaron Gray for Dirk—a power forward who can really give the Bulls an inside scoring presence.
In return for one superstar, the Mavs get two young players that can help them start to transition into a new era, as well as a decent backup center to give them depth. The trade also fits salary restrictions set up by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Who else could the Bulls make a move for? I have heard the name Yao Ming thrown around by the media, so why not have a little fun with it? The Rockets don't have a really good point guard, and Hinrich could step in and become a starter for them. Luis Scola is a good, but not great power forward. Tyrus Thomas could challenge for the starting job or push Scola into a better player. Either way, I think he would help the team. In return, the Bulls would get Yao Ming, who will give them an inside offensive and defensive presence—as well as allow Joakim Noah to move to PF. The trade would end up being Yao for Hinrich, Thomas, and Cedric Simmons, who was added to make the salaries match.
What the Bulls Will Do
The consensus has been that the Bulls are going to make some sort of move and not sit on their stack of guards. I have included Thomas and Hinrich as trade pieces, because they seem like the most tradeable players on the Bulls current roster. Expect the Bulls to find an inside scorer to pair up with Joakim Noah, who is a more defensive player. This should give the Bulls exactly what they need to make a run in the playoffs. Do not expect any of the crazy scenarios I have thrown out there to happen. They are lovely scenarios, they make sense from both teams' point of view—but the Bulls are more likely to find a player who is looking to be traded on a team that is looking to trade, rather than convince a team that a trade is a good option. Whatever they do, expect it to make them contenders for next season.
What They Shouldn't Do
I have seen this thrown out there by fans, and I seriously hope that this is not going to happen—but I have a problem with Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets coming to Chicago. This would hurt the Bulls because they would be given another offensively-challenged inside player who plays great defense. We had it once with Ben Wallace—we don't need another center who averages under 10 ppg. I love what Camby does rebounding and defensively. He is an extremely good player and fits on a lot of teams. One of those teams isn't the Bulls.
I'm Joe W.