NBA's reigning MVP needs more running mates
The NBA season is on its way back and the exhaustion from the lockout is slowly going away. I honestly was starting to go through hoops withdrawal, so I am ready to do cartwheels.
WELCOME BACK, NBA!!!
Last year, Rose was the youngest MVP in league history in helping the Bull go to the conference finals. This season with the lockout, the young legs had a chance to rest an extra month and some change, and if certain things come to fruition, the Bulls have as good a chance as any team to make it to the Finals.
To do so, Derrick Rose will need some more help on both sides of the floor. While everyone pointed out the offensive deficiencies as the chief reason the Bulls couldn't get past Miami in the playoffs, I think it was the defense. More specifically, the perimeter defense.
Name one player on the previous Chicago Bulls roster that was a great one-on-one defender? Luol Deng is solid and Joakim Noah is solid as well, but as the center, his job is to clean up the slashers coming to the lane.
Perimeter defense is what they were lacking. Great individual perimeter defense. LeBron James doesn't have the lift to get his shot over Noah if he is forced to work on the offensive end. His legs were tired after seeing defense from Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd and DeShawn Stevenson in the finals.
It's an underrated detail, but it's key to everything a defensive-oriented team can do. Make them work and, by the way, hit a couple of key baskets while you're at it. Just enough to keep the opposing team honest.
The Bulls addressed the need for perimeter defense in the draft with Marquette's Jimmy Butler (my choice at the starting two-guard spot), but they need more help.
Who would I choose to join Derrick Rose if I were running the Bulls?
One of the Pistons only bright spots last year, Stuckey has played out of position ever since Chauncey Billups was traded. His length on the perimeter allows him to guard well for his height (6'5") and he can score averaging 15 points. The problem is the only way the Bulls can get him is through a sign-and-trade. Would Detroit take Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver in a deal for Stuckey? I say even trade but highly unlikely.
Grant Hill provides everything the Bulls need; defense, timely offense, leadership and value. The Bulls love Duke players and the lockout helps Grant Hill stay fresh. This move is a small one that would pay great dividends.
Xavier Henry is a young player with a lot of promise who didn't play much last season, only appearing in 38 games but with so much financial unrest in Memphis he might be available . I would offer a future pick for Henry who at 6-6 would give the Bulls some length and athleticism in the backcourt. Unfortunately this won't happen.
And the main player I would go after is...
Brandon Roy is almost guaranteed to become an amnesty cut casualty just as much as he is almost guaranteed to sign with a contender soon after. Put him in a Bulls uniform and you can almost guarantee a finals berth. You might be thinking Miami and New York if the Knicks get Chris Paul and I know that I may get some '"heat" for suggesting this but how did Dallas defeat Miami? By taking a group of players, give them roles, and remind that with a star already established on the team, all including he will be held accountable. Then give them a chip to put on their shoulders. Brandon Roy is the perfect player for this Bulls team, even at half of what he used to be although I think he's not done. 12.2 points a game last year for a guy who gutted it out in the playoffs isn't bad. The lockout also helped he continue to relax and strengthen his knees. He reminds me of a younger Grant Hill and he works on both ends of the floor. Derrick Rose and Roy would get along great in the backcourt especially once the Bulls go into half-court sets.
Sleeper Pick: Sonny Weems
Sonny Weems averaged 9.2 points a game and is a guy who is under the radar.
Anybody else have any suggestions? Let's bounce our ideas off of each other.