Simmons is at it again, with his annual trade value list. Its not a player ranking - its more of a bang for your buck type thing. The lower salary, better players (guys on rookie contracts) are valued higher than guys like Deng and Noah who have gotten paid but perhaps have no more room to grow. (So don't freak out that only 1 Bull makes the top 50 - guess who?)Only the first part is up, but that did give us a few Bulls tidbits -
Andre Iguodala, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay: Quality starters getting paid like franchise guys. Deng was the toughest omission — not only is he playing splendidly, I can't remember the last time a radical haircut transformed my opinion of someone this dramatically. You might have to go back to Demi Moore in Ghost.
Now I don't believe Deng is paid like a superstar - but this seems like a good group to have him with. These are his contemporaries, although I think Iguodala merits top 50 trade value status, even with his contract.
Joakim Noah: The bad news: Making $60 million through 2016 … and we have no idea if the Bulls can survive offensively playing Noah in crunch time in June. The good news: He's played better after a botched attempt to sabotage his own trade value in the Dwight Howard talks. The great news: It's really fun to Photoshop his hair on other NBA players. As we're going to prove in Part 2 of this column.
I definitely think Noah is a top 50 trade value guy. I don't for a second believe that there is a question he will be on the court at the end of games (although the Bulls overall lack of offensive firepower is a concern). Centers don't come cheap and good ones can change the game. Noah qualifies. He is certainly better than some of the big man listed ahead of him and though he may be highly paid, I'd still rather have him than Varejao (40), Chandler (41), Josh Smith (48), Hibbert (49) among others.
Check out the 1st part of the list - here.
You knew Rose would be near the top. And you knew Lebron would be #1. So where was Rose?
3. Derrick Rose
2. Kevin Durant
You'd never think of these guys as our next Bird-Magic rivalry … but when you remember their ages (23), mind-sets (basketball-only, all the time, nothing else matters), positions (one's a guard, the other's a forward), conferences (one East, one West), situations (contenders for each), characters (everything they do is about their team), styles (balls-to-the-wall all the time), crunch-time chops (significant) and humility (you never hear either of these guys talk about himself as a brand, just a basketball player), suddenly that Bird-Magic tag isn't so farfetched. Kobe mentioned recently that he never had a "rival," which was technically true (although I blame Vince and T-Mac for not holding up their ends of the bargain). Rose and Durant have each other. Maybe. Regardless, whenever I think to myself, I love this season, I love the league and I love where we're headed, I think of these two guys first. A good sign for the future.
I'd say the Lakers fans love of Kobe surpasses our love of Rose, but its close. I think its a good list, especially at the top. Can't see rating Love over Howard though.
Plus there is this picture of Rondo with Noah hair -