So, while the Nets, Pistons, and Nuggets wheel and deal to send Carmello Anthony to the Brook-er New Jersey Nets, the Bulls could end up a likely beneficiary from this trade as well. It is no secret that Bulls fans would love to swap Deng + Taj plus picks for the rights to Anthony but that doesn’t look to be in the cards. However, that doesn’t mean the Bulls have to walk away empty handed.
Chauncey Billups, "Mr Big Shot" himself, has had his agent go on record to state that he would like to be bought out from his contract if he was included in the proposed three way trade. If this did occur, would he go back to a dismal losing situation in his hometown Denver? Or perhaps, would he do what many veteran players have done over the years and hook up with a contender? If Billups was looking to go to a contender, why not the Bulls? Paxson/Forman would be wise to extend Billups a contract for whatever is remaining of the cap space and a starting job with a dynamic young point guard that he played alongside during the summer.
The Bulls are currently lacking a true outside shooting presence in the starting line-up. Bulls fans have had to suffer Keith Bogans starting when we’d prefer anyone BUT him alongside Rose in the backcourt. Since Hinrich was traded, the Bulls have lacked a secondary ball-handler to spell Rose and to direct the offense while he sits. CJ Watson has tried to live up to that role but he is clearly a scorer and not a passer (see Exhibit A: any time Watson was in the game while Rose sat versus the Celtics).
On the season, Billups is averaging 17 points a game and 5 assists. He’s 34 years of age so this wouldn’t be a move that would solidify the 2-spot for years to come but it would give the Bulls a veteran shooter who could stretch the defense with his 3 point shooting (.431% on the year) and stabilize a second unit when Rose would need to sit....for this season at least.
Currently, Thibs likes to start the second quarter with a group made of mainly the bench with Watson at the point. If the Bulls had Billups, he could start the second quarter (leaving around 3 minutes to go in the first to be subbed by Brewer at the 2) with Asik at center, Boozer at the four and Korver or Brewer at the small forward spot while Watson takes over the 2 spot. This is superior to playing Deng 40 minutes a game and wearing him out just to have a starter/shooter in the game.
Also, opposing teams love to double Derrick Rose in the backcourt to get him to turn the ball over. With Billups, Rose could move over to the 2 spot at times (as he did last year with Hinrich) and play off the ball. So, while it would be sad to see Melo go east and not be in a Bulls uni, the signing of Billups after he is bought out would be a nice consolation prize. Once Noah returns, I’d see a line-up of Noah-Boozer-Deng-Rose-Billups having enough firepower to be legitimate Finals contenders.