Chicago Bulls: The 5 biggest “what-ifs” in history

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30: Joakim Noah /
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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. What if the Bulls kept LaMarcus Aldridge instead of trading him for Tyrus Thomas?

With the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 Draft, the Bulls selected Texas product, LaMarcus Aldridge. Unfortunately, his Bulls tenure was short-lived – he was flipped on the day for Tyrus Thomas (selected 4th overall) and the contract of Viktor Khryapa (don’t bother looking him up).

Thomas was touted as a high-upside big-man with freakish athleticism. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of his pro-level talent. He didn’t have a bad career – he played 10 seasons in the NBA, averaging 7.7PPG, 4.8RPG and 1.3BPG – but he didn’t have the career nor the team fit that you’d want considering who the team traded away to acquire Thomas.

Aldridge, however, went on to become a 6-time All Star, averaging 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game so far in his 12-year career. Should the Bulls have held onto Aldridge, they would have retained the low-post presence they sorely needed since the departure of Elton Brand, whilst also preparing for the future additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah…

…what if the Bulls were able to (eventually) trot out a lineup of Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Aldridge and Noah? Is that a Championship team?