Now that I have everyone’s attention. I’ll say it again Luol Deng must be traded from the Chicago Bulls at or before the trade deadline. Yesterday while I was watching that straight to BET game where the Bulls beat down the Brooklyn Bricks…I mean Nets 95-78, the announcers had to fill time discussing the trade status of Luol Deng. Deng did not play yesterday, and to some looking at how well the Bulls played without him might agree with me. However the reason is not for this season but for the Bulls future. Let’s break this down shall we.
Let’s get started with Luol Deng as a player. He is a great player. He’s been an all-star, he’s the Bulls’ best defender (which makes him a Thibodeau favorite) and most importantly he is one of the few Bulls players that can create his own shot. If he was a Laker or a Knick, he probably would be a superstar. If he was with the Miami Heat you could pencil in another title for Lebron and company. The only problem is he happens to play on a team that has Derrick Rose who has the most dynamic game anyone has ever seen in Chicago since some guy named Michael Jordan left. Luol Deng has the game that is likened to a guy this website is named after Scottie Pippen. Luol Deng does the little things that is not going to make SportsCenter’s Top 10 for breaking ankles or dunking on someone. He gets his 15 to 18 points a night, a few rebounds and chases the other team’s best player. He is extremely important to the Bulls now but he can be very important to the Bulls’ FUTURE as well.
Luol Deng has made it clear that he wants to stay in Chicago. I respect that. He has not had a television special on ESPN like some dude that went to Miami ambushing a franchise in the process (You know that Lebron dude). He did not have a quote every week lying to everyone saying he wanted to stay knowing he wanted out like some center in Houston. (I don’t remember Luol Deng throwing Tom Thibodeau out in the desert with no shade or lemonade like Dwight Howard did Stan Van Gundy.) But I digress, this is a different situation. No matter how professional Luol Deng has been over the last couple of years with this contract situation, he needs to go to help the franchise long term.
If I was Derrick Rose, I’d be real concerned right now. The Chicago Bulls have hit the ceiling on how far they can go for a championship. They were never championship contenders even with Rose in the line up. They do not score enough and the bench has been downgraded for the second year in a row. Last year the Bulls were EXTREMELY lucky to nab Nate Robinson on the cheap. He was out the league and believe me he had burned bridges with every locker room he was in up to that point. Now he has taken his act to Denver and the Bulls have not found a strong replacement for him. Plus with all of the injuries to the Bulls’ backcourt now the team has to depend on DJ Augustin for support. Think about it… he was run out of Toronto people! Before that he was so far down on the bench in Indiana he needed a box office ticket to get to the bench! My point here is the Bulls need assets! They need draft picks and players that will fit into Coach Thibodeau’s system. I would assume a player of D-Rose’s caliber does not want to be a part of a rebuilding project. If Deng is not traded in my opinion, that is what you will be dealing with trust me!
To all you Bulls fans that are wondering why the team just doesn’t hurry up and make a deal, check this out. I don’t think that Luol Deng’s salary demands are going to met. If that was the case he would have been signed up probably weeks after D-Rose got his deal. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf has been a hard negotiator for years. Scottie Pippen was stuck in that 7 year 21 million dollar contract for years with NO negotiations. He got his money in a sign and trade with the Houston Rockets. I just don’t see a contract resolution coming. You want one more example? He went head to head with Michael Jordan with those two one year deals at the end of Jordan’s tenure. Luol Deng is good but not that good.
Finally, it just makes good sense to trade Deng NOW! A number of teams are calling the Bulls for the availability of Luol Deng. That’s a good thing, it means he has some value. The only other trade piece Chicago might have is Carlos Boozer who has one more year left on his deal. Who else on the Bulls would anyone want? Joakim Noah is not going anywhere. Derrick Rose is the face of the franchise. Look down the roster, Luol Deng makes the most sense. Trade Deng away for a proven scorer that can create his own shot or a reputable big man that can back up or team with Noah. (Nazr Mohammed needs to retire folks.) The Bulls really are starting to look like the team that is worried about the bottom line as opposed to putting a winning product on the floor. Think of the players that have left…Kyle Korver, CJ Watson, Omer Asik… now look at the players that have replaced them…Mike Dunleavy, DJ Augustin (who just made Shaqtin a Fool last night) and if you are looking for the replacement for Asik keep looking because they haven’t replaced his quality of play on the bench.
Now I realize trading players these days is about as difficult as understanding Obama care but here’s a dream trade that might work. Call Pat Riley in Miami and offer Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and some draft picks for Chris Bosh and some of the players that model Miami Heat gear on the bench. Now you realize Miami wants Chris Bosh out right? No one should be making 100 million dollars plus and just refuses to rebound. Plus Chris Bosh can come to Chicago team up with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and have a big three of their own. Plus you get rid of two players that you were not in any danger of resigning anyway and you get a star in return that you can justify to fans. Just Sayin!
We all know Marquis Teague got a ticket to the D-League. Hey Marquis, sorry about that but at least you can take this to Iowa, Your brother Jeff is doing fine in Atlanta. He dropped 34 points and dished out 14 assists and dropped a game winner against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But seriously, if you want to get back in Chicago you had better learn to defend. You defense was awful. How bad was it? If you could play just a little defense DJ Augustin could have been cut because he can’t play defense either.