2012 NBA Draft on Trial: Should the Chicago Bulls Trade Up?

With Derrick Rose’s ACL injury, the Bulls are in need of a temporary replacement at the point guard position. What they would like to do is sign a veteran point guard. This year’s free agency market has a good bunch to pick from: Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, former Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, and more.

The Bulls are rumored to want to trade up to possibly draft North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. (Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE)

The problem for the Bulls is money. They need to create more salary cap space to achieve this. With that being said, a trade could be made to accomplish the task.

As the 2012 NBA Draft nears, there has been a lot of speculation about the possibility of Luol Deng being shipped off for a higher pick in the draft. Even more recently, Joakim Noah has been involved in a few rumors as well. If a trade including either Deng or Noah were to occur, it could turn out to be beneficial.

The Defense

An obvious benefit to such a trade would be the addition of as top draft pick. Having a new, young player would provide much talent. With a higher draft pick, there would be more players to choose from, a better chance to get the best.

Trading up for a higher pick also, as aforementioned, allows the Bulls to have more salary cap space. They could rid of a large contract, such as Deng’s, sign the draft pick to a rookie contract, and have plenty leftover to sign a veteran point guard and possibly more.

Depending on what the trade consists of, it is possible the Bulls could not only acquire a top draft pick, but they could also acquire other players in the league. Chicago could trade Deng/Noah and their 29th pick to another team for their top draft pick and possibly one or two members of their roster. The Bulls could pick up some new and experienced talent that could help in ways Chicago does not already have.

The Prosecution

It is obvious that a player drafted in the top ten of the Draft is better than one drafted 29th overall. If the Bulls were to have a top ten pick, they could utilize that talent quickly. Deng could possibly be out for the beginning of the 2012-13 season, depending on whether or not surgery is necessary to fully repair his torn left wrist ligament. With that in mind, the Bulls would be missing a vital part of their team to start off the season. Having a top ten draft pick who is capable of playing immediately will be beneficial. His talent could be utilized quickly, and he could get acquainted with the NBA much faster.

As appealing as it sounds to have the opportunity to own a top draft pick, the Bulls do have to consider the possible outcomes where trading up can go wrong.

Could this be Luol Deng's last season in a Chicago Bulls uniform? (Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE)

Deng and Noah are the two Bulls involved in rumors concerning trading up for a higher pick, Deng being the more popular subject. Either way, by trading either of them, the core of Chicago would be broken. One reason the Bulls have been able to experience so much success is because of their chemistry. In the 2010-11 season, the starters were Derrick Rose, Keith Bogans, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah. The Bench Mob that complemented them consisted of C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik, Kurt Thomas, Brian Scalabrine, and John Lucas III. Fast forward a year later, replace Bogans with Richard Hamilton, subtract Thomas, and add rookie Jimmy Butler and veteran Mike James. They know each other so well that it translates into good basketball. No one want to tamper those bonds.

Another downside to trading up would be the lack of experience. Deng has been in the league for eight years, and Noah has been there for five. The new young gun will not have that experience to use. He will make rookie mistakes, and it might take a while to get the hang of the NBA, not to mention how he could lack maturity. As a professional, one must be mature, but unfortunately not all professionals actually are.

The Verdict

The possibility of trading up is a tough one. It definitely has its benefits, but it also has its downsides. It is difficult to tell whether or not it is best to go for it. To make the best decision, Bulls management must decide whether or not the pros outweigh the cons.

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