So many articles talk about certain offseason moves that the Chicago Bulls should consider. Countless amateur fans and writers discuss trades and free-agent acquisitions that could potentially put the Bulls over the top.
Anyone familiar with my previous work knows that I am a firm believer in developing chemistry in a team and taking small steps towards a championship. I stand by the expression "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." So rather than talk about the next big name the Bulls could acquire to put them over the top, I've decided to analyze a number of the popular considerations, and why they wouldn't work out well for the Bulls.
2010-11 Stats: 8.0 PPG, 44.2 FG%, 34.1 3PT%, 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 23.4 MPG
Career Stats: 20.4 PPG, 43.5 FG%, 33.7 3PT%, 5.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 33.7 MPG
The biggest reason for Tracy McGrady's name being floated about as an option for the Bulls is likely due to the fact that he can create his own shot. Obviously, this is an area of need for the Bulls at the shooting guard position, as Derrick Rose's fatigue was apparent when the season wore down and he began to see many more double-teams.
A shooting guard who can create a shot would ease the pressure on Rose, and allow the offense to flow in multiple different directions with a different ball-handler at the helm.
Why It's a Bad Idea
His health is another major issue. He played in 72 games in Detroit last season, but he played in just 30 total games for the New York Knicks and Houston last season, and just 35 in Houston the year before that. He has never in his career played a full 82-game season.
One should also consider his shooting percentages. They may be above his career averages, but he averaged 7.1 field goals a game last season. That's eight points on seven shots. Numbers like that don't bode well for developing chemistry with another volume scorer in Rose.
Finally, his personality comes into question. Obviously, this is a big grey area, as nobody can predict what chemistry he could potentially develop. But the important thing to consider is this: McGrady was once a superstar in the league, and it has been proven time and again that former superstars have difficulty accepting a supporting role, and especially one in which they come off the bench.
2010-11 Stats: 14.0 PPG, 43.7 FG%, 36.1 3PT%, 3.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Career Stats: 22.2 PPG, 44.5 FG%, 37.4 3PT%, 5.2 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Vince Carter is Tracy McGrady's cousin. Again, his name was floated as a potential signing for the Bulls due to the fact that he can create his own shot, easing the scoring and facilitating load for Rose. He, too, is a former superstar with the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets.
His three-point shooting is a little better than his cousin's, as well as his ability to attack the basket. Unfortunately, he is not as good a passer, and his defense is passable at best.
Why It's a Bad Idea
Carter is 34 years old. He, too, has lost more than a step since his prime. His poor defensive efforts would not be a good fit in Tom Thibodeau's defensive scheme, though.
As with McGrady, Carter's shooting comes into question. He averaged 12.2 field goals a game to go along with those 14 points, and as we know, one volume scorer does not complement another.
Finally, Carter falls into the same "former superstar in a bench role" conundrum that Tracy McGrady does, and I think he would be less willing to accept a supporting role than McGrady would. Furthermore, Carter's contract with the Phoenix Suns last season was worth $17.3 million. I seriously doubt he would want to take a contract at or under the mid-Level exception (if it even still exists after the lockout).
2010-11 Stats: 14.1 PPG, 42.9 FG%, 38.2 3PT%, 2.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Career Stats: 17.7 PPG, 45.0 FG%, 34.7 3PT%, 3.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG
In his prime, Rip Hamilton was a big energy guy for the Detroit Pistons, especially during their title run in 2003-04. He can attack the rim with ease, dribble effectively and despite his spotty three-point shooting, he converts from deep when it counts.
He was also floated as a possibility for the Bulls due to the fact that he can effectively create his own shot (noticing a recurring theme here?). He is at his best, though, with the ball in his hands, not as a spot-up shooter.
Why It's a Bad Idea
Rip is 32 years old (noticing a recurring theme here?). His energy is not what it used to be, although his shooting has remained relatively consistent over the years.
The biggest knock against Rip would have to be his three-point shooting. For a better perspective, let's take a look at Keith Bogans. Bogans did not fare well in the Bulls offense, and his career marks from deep are currently at 35 percent. I doubt the Bulls want a guy who not only shoots about the same from deep, but plays weaker defense as well.
Finally, his contract with Detroit last season was worth $12.5 million. Like Vince Carter, I don't think Rip will want to take a contract under the MLE to potentially play with a contending team.
2010-11 Stats: 11.3 PPG, 40.7 FG%, 36.4 3PT%, 2.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Career Stats: 16.0 PPG, 43.8 FG%, 37.8 3PT%, 3.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Here we get into some of the top-tier players that the Bulls have been rumored to be in discussions for. O.J. Mayo enjoyed two successful years with the Memphis Grizzlies before being benched in his third to Tony Allen. He is an excellent jump shooter, and he shoots well in traffic as well as while in motion.
His name had surfaced in a lot of teams' trade talks around the trade deadline, the Bulls included. In fact, there was a deal in place that nearly sent him to the Indiana Pacers for Josh McRoberts and a pick, but it fell through, being processed just minutes after the deadline had passed. Because of this, many people believe that the Bulls can get him at a reasonable asking price.
Why It's a Bad Idea
The only concern I have with Mayo is his character. A quick scan of his Wikipedia page shows that, during his college career, he received money from his childhood mentor that was in direct violation of NCAA rules, and as a result, USC had to forfeit its 21 wins on the season.
Also, he was involved in a fight with Tony Allen over a gambling debt last year. Finally, he tested positive for a steroid substance and was suspended 10 games as a result.
Of course, there's no way to predict or know whether or not he has cleaned up his act, but why take that risk? Character issues aside, Mayo fits the Bulls' needs very well, being a good shooter and shot creator. But the likelihood that the Bulls can acquire him without giving up essential pieces in the process is very small.
Memphis is very strong at the 2 and 3 spots. They are weak in the frontcourt, so it is likely that they would demand Omer Asik or Taj Gibson in a deal. Combine that with his character issues, and it becomes quite a gamble. Since the Bulls have been known to be conservative, I don't expect them to take the chance, and rightfully so.
2010-11 Stats: 14.1 PPG, 44.5 FG%, 33.7 3PT%, 5.8 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Career Stats: 15.6 PPG, 46.2 FG%, 32.3 3PT%, 5.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Andre Iguodala is another name that has been thrown around in Bulls trade talks as of late. It's easy to see why, as Iguodala is a fantastic defender, both on the wing and in the post. He runs the floor, can create his own shot, and can even facilitate an offense from time to time. Not to mention the fact that he finishes at the rim with ease.
Why It's a Bad Idea
I'm sure that I'll take some guff for this one, but there are a few complications I could see with Iguodala joining the Bulls.
First off, he is a top-tier player who commands a top-tier salary. For the Bulls to pull off a trade with the 76ers, they would need to make it enticing. The only way they can do so is by offering up Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer, plus other pieces or picks. At that point, the Bulls have to ask themselves what they gain by trading Deng (the likely piece to be moved for Iguodala) for a guy who posted similar numbers.
Sure, Iguodala can facilitate the offense, and when Deng dribbles the ball to the paint, he rarely passes out. But Deng is a better rebounder and shooter. Also, Iguodala is a slasher, plain and simple. He scores the overwhelming majority of his points by moving to the paint and drawing fouls as he drives. Rose plays this exact same style, so Iguodala would not be the floor-spacer that the Bulls are looking for to complement Rose's game.
Let's also not forget that he is a 32 percent career three-point shooter.
2010-11 Stats: 24.1 PPG, 45.1 FG%, 36.1 3PT%, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Career Stats: 19.4 PPG, 46.9 FG%, 33.1 3PT%, 3.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Make no mistake, Monta Ellis is a dynamite scorer. He is incredibly quick, both in transition and in lateral quickness. He attacks the rim, he spots up and he shoots from deep. About the only thing that Monta could develop in his scoring ability is his post game.
As a defender, he tends to play passing lanes more than he sticks to his man, resulting in a rather low defensive efficiency and inflated steals. That's not to say that he is a bad defender; it's just the style of defense he prefers to play.
Why It's a Bad Idea
Monta's issue has actually been addressed already in the previous slide. He, too, is a top-tier player with a top-tier salary that the Bulls can only get their hands on if they trade away valuable pieces that they already have.
A common trade scenario swaps Carlos Boozer for Ellis and other pieces to make the salaries match. The problem with this trade is the fact that the Bulls lose their post presence inside. Taj Gibson's post game is still underdeveloped, as is Joakim Noah's.
Also, Ellis needs the ball in his hands to be effective. Like Derrick Rose, he dominates the ball. So unless one or the other could learn to play off the ball, it would cause chemistry issues. However, I will say that if the Bulls can pry Ellis from Golden State without losing their frontcourt presence, it would likely be a good idea to consider it.
2010-11 Stats: 22.9 PPG, 59.3 FG%, 0.0 3PT%, 14.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.4 BPG
Career Stats: 18.2 PPG, 57.8 FG%, 3.8 3PT%, 12.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.2 BPG
Do I really need to point out what Dwight Howard brings to a team? Everyone knows he is the best center in the league. He blocks an obscene amount of shots. He cleans the glass better than anyone (except maybe Kevin Love). His post game has gone from passable to formidable in a year's time, and he led the league in dunks last season.
He is literally everything you could want in an inside presence.
Why It's a Bad Idea
Here's where I'm going to take a lot of guff. Yes, Howard is one of the best players in the league. Yes, it would be incredibly entertaining to watch Rose and Howard run the break. No, I do not wish the Bulls to engage in trade talks with Orlando regarding him.
My disagreement with the pursuit of Howard lies in the Orlando Magic's front office. Everyone watched the fiasco that saw LeBron James scorn the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat, and how Cleveland was left with little else after he departed. Everyone watched as Amar'e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh did the same thing (but not quite as tastelessly) to their teams.
Everyone also watched how the Denver Nuggets reacted when their superstar, Carmelo Anthony, demanded a trade. Denver refused to be the next team to lose their star player for close to nothing, so they forced the New York Knicks into trading a lot of valuable assets in return. After the Carmelo Anthony trade, the Nuggets went 18-7 and made the postseason. The Knicks went a measly 14-14 and limped into the postseason.
The moral of the story is that Orlando will do much the same thing to the Bulls if they are serious about acquiring Howard. There is no way that the front office in Orlando just lets Howard walk like James, Stoudemire and Bosh did last year. It all boils down to risk versus reward. If the Bulls can pry Howard away from Orlando for Noah and little else, it's worth it. If they're forced to include players like Boozer, Deng, Asik or Gibson in the deal, they would be smart to stay the course they're on.
But of course, this is only my opinion—I could be wrong.