I like puzzles.
To me, this bulls roster, or rather, the idea of upgrading it back to a championship level team is one hell of a puzzle. After watching some preseason games, and this very early start to the regular season, i have come up with some trade ideas. This is just the first.
While the front office may be going about it the wrong way, stating that 2014 would be a good year to strike for gold (championship that is) isn't really a bad idea. The way they went about it however....
We don't have a time machine however, cant undo moves this organization made, all we have is the now and the future. And as difficult as the organization has made it for themselves to make moves, it cant be impossible can it?
Here is my first of perhaps ( i dare not use hopefully) many trade ideas.
Bulls Trade: Luol Deng and Boozer
Lakers Trade: Pau Gasol, MWP, Clark
Bobcats Trade: Matt Carol, Reggie Williams.
Why The Bobcats do it:
The Bobcats get an upgrade at small forward...Really.....they do. MWP might be over rated, but hes still a pretty okay player. Hes a very good man defender still, and while his offense is streaky at best, he has a very physical game and size that the bobcats sorely lack. The bobcats are filled with scorers and ironically, MWP can act as a calming factor to an other wise incoherent mesh of players. His 2 year contract fits with the bobcats plan of expiring contracts allowing them to get in on that 2014 plan of their own. Earl Clark is sf/pf tweener, low floor high ceiling. Mostly hes just an expiring filler.
Why the Lakers do it:
Championship. Steve nash, Kobe bryant, Luol Deng, Boozer, and Howard actually seems like a very very very good team. Luol Deng is a far better team defender than MWP, and isnt as 'greedy to prove he belongs in the lime light. He adds a bit of class to the roster, and just helps everything mesh together without demanding touches, and yet still finding ways to score. Its a great situation for luol and the lakers. Even mike brown couldnt fuck up luols contribution to the Lakers. As for boozer, if there was any place for him to hide his completely lacking skills, its on a team of superstars where he can play like the 4th option cuz he really is. HIs passing would work well with the 'Princeton' offense or whatever bullshit mike brown claims to be running, and while he is an obvious total downgrade from pau gasol, he probably has no problem being used as nothing more than a screen setter and facilitator on a winning team.
Why the bulls do it:
The lineup without deng and adding pau becomes this for right now
Kirk/Rip/belli/Pau/Noah. I think that is a very good starting group.
Belli has been nothing short of dissapointing, and i think at his best hes more or less the same but just knocking down more of those otherwise terrible shots. And not that much more....Still he has decent size and is pesky enough to be 'Okay' at sf defensively, and might have enough of a deceptive athletic ability to get a few more open shots against some sfs. Plus he gets a lot more playing time, and u know what they say about players and playing time....more time to grow the brand makes them happy. And a happy marco....just might hit some more terrible shots as opposed to just completely suck.
Matt carol is there to do what belli couldnt.....shoot open 3s and act as a poor mans kyle korver. Carol isnt as fast as korver, but he is a slightly better passer and isnt allergic to putting the ball on the floor (though not good at creating anything). He does have a very quick shot and is a better shooting specialist than belli by a long shot.
The big deal is more or less Pau Gasol. Hes a huge upgrade over boozer even in his aging, less superstar-esque form. I think production wise Pau is only a slight upgrade over boozer on offense (they both arent real post players, they both are getting more jumpshooty as they age, they both are good passers, and they both are soft on defense) but hes still an upgrade. More importantly though is that unlike boozer, pau will have matchups where he can be isolated with a defender and find ways to get efficient buckets close to the rim.
The best part of this trade for the bulls is that it allows the bulls to have all the cap space they covet in 2014, and it allows them to resign pau gasol and still go all in for iggy. ( i think....any cap gurus want to confirm if pau's bird rights are indeed transferred to the bulls?)
So to recap here is what the bulls look like this year
Also bulls save a couple million with this trade. So they can sign some good stop gaps, Rodney Carney and Azuibuke are my choices, tmac is also still available i guess.
So thats my trade idea, lakers win championship, bobcats get out of the lottery sooner than we may like, but hey....bulls dont suck balls for the next two years (but might still suck a bit) and are in GREAT position to win a championship with this potential lineup
* (i assume deng will sign a 2 year deal for the mle, doing so will enshrine him as an organization guy and his jersey will be enshrined with kirks in JR's home as the epitome of what it means to be a chicago bull.
Cap wise, with taj's new contract (and just existing contracts ) the bulls will be at 40 million. so that should be about 18 million of spending money. Iggy will probably take half, deng gets about 6, rookies get remaining 3, mirotic gets mle, pau gets signed with bird rights, kirk gets veterans minimum, rip gets veterans minimum. I think thats all legal and the bulls pay tax, but we are so winning