I know, I know, I'm beating a dead horse, setting myself up for heartbreak, etc., but the recent statement by Dwight's agent that he will not be signing an extension, and will be exploring free agency, gave me a tiny speck of hope. Sometimes I wonder, through this whole saga, if the Bulls and Magic front offices might be engaging in quiet, intense negotiations, with all of the Brooklyn, LA stuff partly headline and attention-grabbing noise, and partly defining Dwight's current trade/market value. I don't think he said he wouldn't play here, and frankly, I'd even take one year, especially without Derrick until the later part of the season. Is it too fantastic to imagine, in this angst filled off season, that Orlando and Chicago are actually trying to come to terms on a trade? I can't think of a team that could offer more, help Orlando have a very good, entertaining to follow team, (tough competition in Miami's division to boot!) and maybe future assets, and still be a top-flight contender. With the uncertainty of where he goes after this season, the Bulls could be trying to give less in trade, and of course, Orlando wants as much as they can get.
It looks like there are at least 5 or 6 different combinations that would give both teams pretty good, if not great rosters. All of them include Dwight for Joakim, with various combinations (mix and match Taj, Rip, Lu, Charlotte pick, from Bulls, JRich, QRich, Duhon!, BBD from Magic) giving a little better deal to one team or the other. When I look at the moves the Bulls have (and haven't) made this year, and overlay that on a scenario where we might actually be trying to trade for Dwight, they make a little bit more sense (rationalizing or grasping at straws??). In the end, we could lose several excellent players for a 1-year rental, but holding the Bird rights for Dwight would net us at least a little bit of return, and I can't think of any other player now, or in the near future, that would be worth losing those players for. Make no mistake, I would miss all of our current players that would be involved in that trade, but for the chance of seeing Dwight and Derrick together... I wouldn't even gouge out my eyes if I had to see Duhon in a Bulls uniform again.
I'm sure I sound like a hopeless, lovesick fool -- and there's a 99.9% chance that this is complete nonsense... He'll be following Shaq to LA, or being signed and traded to Brooklyn for JJ... and for reasons beyond any of us fans really knowing, the door may truly be shut for the Bulls, but until he has been traded to a team that is likely to keep him, I will still stubbornly hold out hope that our front office can make a creative, game-changing move.