A month after the 2008 draft, the exhibition games are over, the Summer League's over, and the offseason is coming to an end.
Now we turn our heads back and realize—maybe Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley should have swapped places in the draft. That would have helped both of them gain a more appropriate role, and also helped their teams fill an empty hole that they had been searching for over a long period of time.
Of course, each of them being drafted in this particular order is nothing wrong. It may do both teams some good—but I believe that if they were to switch positions on the draft board, more good may be done.
Derrick Rose, a 6'3", 196-pound point guard from Memphis, is a Chicago boy. His athleticism, potential, and decision-making skills are undeniable. In fact, his game is so versatile it is compared to the likes of future Hall-of-Famer Jason Kidd. His ability to attack the rim is as good as any point guard in the league, if not better. Add in his defensive abilities, and he sounds like a dream PG for any team.
Michael Beasley, on the other hand, is a 6'8", 239-pound forward. After a stellar year with Kansas State, Beasley arrives on the grand stage. He is a reliable post player, good shooter, and a terrific rebounder. His defense may be questioned, but his potential is very high. Size may be a problem, but he is a solid big man. Sounds like a good player to draft for a team that needs a big man.
So the Chicago Bulls, who fought against the slightest chance of winning the first overall pick, goes first, while the rebuilding Miami Heat looks to draft second.
And the Chicago Bulls decided to draft their hometown star.
At first look, it makes sense, right? He's a Chicago native, he's the best player out of the draft pool—what better player could they have asked for?
How about Michael Beasley?
Beasley would have been the best choice for the Bulls, for a number of different reasons.
First of all, he is a legitimate big man, a reliable post player who is willing to clean up the glass as well. When required, he can shoot the outside jump shot to spread the floor for the post players—Joakim Noah, Drew Gooden, and perhaps even Tyrus Thomas.
By taking Beasley, the Bulls would have solved their biggest problem for years—the lack of a solid big man. But instead, with the addition of Rose, not only have the Bulls deepened their roster with star guards, but it also adds a new problem to the organization.
Kirk Hinrich vs Derrick Rose.
Who gets the starting job? Should Hinrich be traded? Should Hinrich play SG? If so, where does Ben Gordon go? Back to the bench, like he did before? Then does Larry Hughes need to go somewhere too?
Would Gordon not re-sign with the Bulls if that happens? If Gordon goes, would Luol Deng go too? If two star players leave, would Kirk Hinrich or Derrick Rose want to go?
On and on and on...
With the addition of Derrick Rose, the Bulls do get a highly prestigious point guard—but what they face now is a list of big problems.
But the biggest problem of all is still the lack of a solid big man to put them in contention in the not-so-competitive Eastern Conference. With star players Gordon and Deng, it is a mystery why the Bulls decided to go with Rose. After all, the draft is suppose to help the team strength their playoff possibility. It's not about drafting the best player there is.
Then on the other side of the story, we have the Miami Heat getting the leftover Beasley.
With Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion leading the way for the Heat, they would be able to get some help from a good big man, but what they need most is a solid point guard to run the show. Jason Williams is getting old and is very injury-prone. When he is out, Chris Quinn is the only other real PG. But for most of the time, Wade takes the spot.
Dwayne Wade playing PG means the Heat lose a lot of offense. That means losing a game.
Wade is everything to the Heat. Marion can't win games by himself, Ricky Davis is too inconsistent, and there is no one else that can actually score in a hurry.
If the Bulls picked the right guy, then the Heat would benefit too, by drafting Derrick Rose.
In this case, I think the Bulls gets the blame, because they drafted first. In addition, Heat recognized their lack of point guards, and drafted Mario Chalmers in the second round.
But they had to pick Beasley second, because they could use a big man as well, since Mark Blount and Udonis Haslem can't be relied upon on a nightly basis. And the next decent PG after Rose on the draft table was D.J. Augustin.
If they picked Augustin, that would have meant passing on O.J. Mayo, Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Jerryd Bayless. The Heat had to pick Beasley.
The result of the decision by the Bulls? The Miami Heat, to some extent, managed to fulfill their needs—maybe not to their expectation, but they did.
The Chicago Bulls, on the other hand, are still a pile of torn-up pieces of paper waiting to be bound into a book. The problem is, the paper is burning—Gordon and Deng might choose to play with some other team.
So the Bulls better do something about their roster now, or they may not get the chance to try again any time soon.
Maybe the Bulls can trade Rose to Heat for Beasley?
That would solve the problem.
And Derrick Rose gets to keep "No. 1 Overall Draft Pick" on his resume.