Now that Dwight Howard has said he would be willing to come to the Chicago Bulls, according to Vaughn McClure in the Chicago Tribune earlier this week, if God wanted that to happen, we can discuss what it would take to bring him over.
It didn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but at least this time he didn't positively rule it out, so let's explore the possibilities.
Many Bulls fans don't want to break up the chemistry of the team, but if you can get a big man who is one of the best players in the league, you have to at least consider it.
I'm not saying this is a legitimate trade offer. At the current time it's hypothetical, but it's also very interesting.
The trade is Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, the rights to Nikola Mitotic and the Bulls' draft pick from Charlotte that is unprotected in 2016 for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu.
On paper you're losing Noah and Deng from this year's team and adding Howard and Turkoglu. I think that's a no-brainer, even for those Deng lovers out there.
With Deng's injury situation, you don't know how much he will help this year, and Howard is a huge upgrade from Noah.
That trade gives the Bulls a much better chance to win this year and the coming seasons, because they still have the rest of their team intact.
With two of the top five players in the league, the Bulls are now a much tougher matchup for Miami to defend. It gives Derrick Rose a post player to dump the ball off to inside.
Some will argue that the Bulls will still be in the same predicament at the end of games with Howard, saying they will foul him because he's a notoriously poor free-throw shooter.
I say the addition of Howard makes it more likely the game might not come down to the last minute.
Howard draws a lot of fouls, and that could put key members of the Heat in foul trouble. Yes, that's right, this trade is about beating the Heat, because they are the team between the Bulls and the championship.
On defense, Howard helps to keep the Heat from attacking the basket, adding an intimidating presence who's not afraid to commit a hard foul. It might make them think a bit about going to the hole.
He also makes Carlos Boozer a better defender. When he fails to move his feet and slide over to help, Howard will be waiting to swat the ball away.
And, with Howard under the basket rebounding, Miami will have to send more players to the rim to contest him, which would hurt their vaunted fast break.
Turkoglu adds another player who can shoot the three. He's much better at it than Deng. He's also a guy who can break down a defense off the dribble.
While he's not the defensive player Deng is, he give the Bulls additional length, which puts Miami at even more of a size disadvantage.
Where it works for Orlando is they are getting players that can help their team now, and future pieces that could be invaluable down the line.
The Charlotte pick could end up being the first overall draft selection in 2016, because I don't see much on their team now that gives them hope moving forward.
If Orlando gets lucky the year they get the pick, they can add a Rose, a LeBron or a Howard just from the draft. That already makes the trade a winner for them.
Then on top of that, you add Mirotic coming over in a few years, and it's a slam dunk for Orlando. He was Euro league player of the month in December, and there are those who say he will turn out to be the best player taken in the 2011 draft.
The question is do you keep the team together and hope to beat Miami this year or the next few years, or make a proactive move that turns you into the favorite?
The Bulls could be dominating for years to come with Howard just 26, and Rose 23 years old.
If you stay put, you have both Deng and Noah who will turn 27 during the season, Mirotic at least two years away and that draft pick four years from now. They are then 29 or 30 when Mirotic comes over, and in their thirties when they finally get the pick.
Do you risk them starting to get old, and hope that Mirotic and the pick pan out?
It's really a dilemma, because both ways could work. The Bulls just might beat Miami with the current roster (though I don't think so), and add those pieces for the future.
Or they might fall short, Mirotic turns out to be Darko Milicic and Charlotte resurrects itself and makes the playoffs in 2016, so the pick loses its value.
Howard is a sure thing.
Him and Rose together equal rings. Multiple rings.
I say if you can do it, you have to make the trade.
What do you say?
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