The Bulls are in the unenviable position of knowing that this current group has top graded. Deng isn't going to get tremendously better, he's been in the league for eight seasons. Joakim Noah is as good as he'll be, and Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, Carlos Boozer and Keith Bogans are all who we think they are (thank you Dennis Green).
Derrick Rose can still get better, sure, but how much better of a season can he have than the one he just did, and how long can he play at this high level before he starts to break down? Most guys who rely on their athleticism like he does start to break down after seven or eight seasons...Rose is just going into his fourth. The window isn't open indefinitely and the sky isn't the limit for them...the Eastern Conference Finals is the limit for these guys.
They HAVE to make a deal.
Now Deng is absolutely untouchable. He isn't great at anything, really, but he's good at so many things you couldn't fill his void with just one guy, so you can't move him, and on that, I agree with you. Plus, his defense on LeBron was top top top notch, and if you figure it's the Heat the Bulls need to beat, then you have to keep a guy that can limit LeBron's impact.
Noah is a different story, though.
First of all, Noah is the guy who was assigned to Chris Bosh, not Boozer. Boozer covered him on switches at times, but most of the time it was Noah leaving Bosh to go get whomever was coming down the lane and Bosh would drift to that wide-open 18-footer he likes so much.
Second, what does Noah really do? He rebounds well, yes, but so do Boozer, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson. He's active on defense, but so are Gibson and Asik, and Asik is actually better because he plays on his feet instead of jumping all the time and getting called for stupid silly fouls.
Add to that the fact that Boozer struggles offensively when Noah is on the court because Noah is so dumb offensively that he constantly brings the double team right to Boozer. There is a reason that the best games Boozer played this season were the games that Kurt Thomas and Omer Asik were the centers; they don't play offense by running around and getting in the way.
Plus, the Bulls' defensive numbers were the BEST THEY WERE ALL SEASON with Asik, Thomas, Boozer and Gibson. I've said that over and over and over again and no one is listening. Noah is great, but he is so emotional it is so easy to take him out of games. A couple of stupid fouls and suddenly he's out of the game mentally and calling fans by homophobic slurs.
Again, what is Joakim Noah? He's a highly-paid role player that has value because the rest of the league hasn't figured it out.
That's why you move him. The Bulls don't need Noah to go to the ECFs, but they do need a big-time scorer to get past the Heat.
Enter Monta Ellis. Is he selfish? Possibly. Is he a ball stopper that needs the ball in his hands to be effective? Maybe. Is he a poor defender that might get beat night in and night out? At times it will seem he is, though again, I say that a guy that averages two steals a game is doing something right.
Those are all the things we think about Ellis, but in the NBA, you deal with the things you know. He is a dynamic scorer, not just shooter but scorer, and that cannot be denied. That is fact, and that is what the Bulls need. He is lightning quick, maybe even as fast as Rose.
Imagine how tired Dwyane Wade would get chasing him around for 40 minutes a night. Imagine Rose if Wade and James couldn't take turns on him because one of them had to be on Ellis. In the NBA, you trust what you know and believe that your coach can fix what you don't, and you know Ellis would be an upgrade over everyone else on the roster...except maybe for Rose.
Keep in mind that neither Paul Pierce nor Ray Allen were good defenders before Thibodeau got his hands on them. They were also both known as selfish players who quit on their team at one point or another. It's the coach's job to get a guy to buy into his system, and then his job to tailor his system around that player.
If Thibodeau is the coach we think he is, if Rose is the guy he says he is, if Asik, Gibson, Thomas and Boozer are who they have shown they can be, then this is an easy trade to make.
You can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals with this group and watch the Heat celebrate on your home court again, or you can make your team better.