CHICAGO — The biggest story in the NBA, and the one that’s had the longest life this year, is the mystery surrounding where Dwight Howard will play next year and how long he has left in a Magic uniform.
Howard initially stated he’d only play for Dallas, Los Angeles or New Jersey but that list is slowing growing as his distain for the Magic snowballs. Howard added Chicago back to the list of possible destinations this weekend when he expressed interest to the Tribune’s Vaughn McClure about playing with Derrick Rose.
A trade to the Bulls would be one of the longest shot trades in the history of professional sports actually coming to fruition, but it’s not impossible. Howard’s statements can (and very much should be) dismissed as him just wanting out of Orlando so bad he’d play anywhere.
Also who wouldn’t want to play with Derrick Rose?
But as preposterous the idea of Howard actually getting traded to the Bulls is, it creates a dialogue about just how strong the Bulls lineup is. If there is a team in the NBA that Howard has expressed interest in playing for, the Bulls perhaps have the best shot of putting together an attractive enough package without completely gutting and destroying their team.
But the thing to take away from this is that the Bulls have probably the best roster in all of basketball from head to toe.
If Chicago was able to make a two way trade with solely their own resources, how is this not the best roster in the NBA?
The Bulls would have to give up pieces people would hate to see go, but in the case of this hypothetical let’s assume the team Chicago puts together post a Howard trade would make a serious run at the title.
First of all, there seems to be this notion that the Magic would accept Andrew Bynum straight up for Howard. That won’t happen. The Magic would want Bynum and Pau Gasol which is a deal the Lakers won’t do even for Howard.
The Mavericks simply don’t have the firepower to match even a straight up Bynum for Howard deal and it’s been common knowledge their best shot at Howard is in free agency.
The Nets have the resources to trade for Howard and is the favorite landing spot for Howard. But if the Bulls were to jump in and make an offer they could blow the lid off the trade talks by offering the best possible deal for the Magic.
New Jersey has potential win later resources for the Magic. The Bulls would have that offer with the added bonus of it being laced with win now potential as well.
Scenario #1: The Two Way Tango
C Dwight Howard
PF Hedo Turkoglu
C Joakim Noah
PF Carlos Boozer
SG Kyle Korver
1st Rd Pick (CHA Protected)
1st Rd Pick (CHI Future)a
Chicago would have to give up Jokaim Noah in any proposed deal they would make. Chicago, in this scenario, would also offer Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik and two first round picks (Charlotte’s protected pick and a future first of their own).
This would give the Bulls a starting five of Rose, Hamilton, Deng, Turkaoglu and Howard with a Bench Mob of Watson, Brewer, Gibson, Butler and the Mamba.
Immediately both teams get upgraded as the Magic could even move Noah to power forward and start Asik along side Boozer in their lineup.
Scenario #2: The Bartzy Buster
C Dwight Howard
PF Ryan Anderson
C Darko Milicic
C Joakim Noah
PG Carlos Boozer
SF Micheal Beasley
SG/SF Wes Johnson
C Brad Miller
SG J.J. Reddick
SF Hedo Turkoglu
C Omer Asik
The Bulls have the resources to make a two team deal but if they involved the Minnesota Timberwolves in the deal, all three teams could perhaps put together the best deal possible for Orlando and all parties involved.
In this scenario, as proposed by Brandon Bartz, the Bulls would trade Omer Asik to the Wolves while sending Noah and Boozer to Orlando. Minnesota would send Darco Milicic to Chicago while sending Micheal Beasley, Wes Johnson, Brad Miller and picks to the Magic. Orlando would then send Howard and Ryan Anderson to Chicago while sending J.J. Reddick and Hedo Turoglu to the Wolves.
This would make the most sense because the NBA loves gigantic blockbuster deals when moving their superstars midseason. Just look at the Carmelo Anthony trade last year which included the Wolves.
Chicago would get a starting five of Rose, Hamilton, Deng, Howard and Anderson with Watson, Gibson, Milicic, Brewer and Butler coming off the bench.
It’s an attractive trade all around but it would redefine the definition of ‘facelift’ in reference to an NBA roster. Minnesota would have a starting five of Rubio, Reddick, Love, Turkoglu and Asik. The Magic upgrade as well making it the best possible deal all around.
But all of this is the equivalent of predicting where players will go in the third and fourth rounds of the NFL draft, it’s all mostly a fantasy. The only way either of these trades go down and are approved by Gar Forman is if he’s on an NBA2K12 bender. There is absolutely no way the Bulls make these deals or any deal for Howard.
It’s a nice thought to think of a front court in Chicago that has Deng, Howard and at the worst Taj Gibson. But the thing to take away from this is that the Bulls have probably the best roster in all of basketball from head to toe.
If Chicago was able to make a two way trade with solely their own resources, how is this not the best roster in basketball?