NBA news has been dead for a while now when it comes to the discussion of player movement. Time to start stirring the pot once again.
The Bulls had another disappointing season, this time without Derrick Rose’s health to blame. They’ve since made a coaching change — Tom Thibodeau out, Fred Hoiberg in — but at this point, it feels like they need a roster shakeup to boot.
One of the most troublesome times for the Bulls last season, surprisingly, was when Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah shared the floor together. NBA.com has already examined the idea of one of them coming off the bench and allowing either Taj Gibson or Nikola Mirotic to step into the starting role.
It would likely be Noah that would have to accept the bench role, not to mention, Hoiberg has picked a bone with Joakim in the past …
Look away kids! pic.twitter.com/5TLECVJb7u— Fred Hoiberg (@ISUMayor32) May 11, 2013
What if Chicago (who also used the No. 22 pick in the draft on big man Bobby Portis) decided to take things a step further by dealing away Noah — who is entering the final year of his contract.
The Celtics are the perfect team to partner with. They are very flexible in terms of having numerous tradeable assets, and are also on the hunt for a rim protector, a center, a star — all qualities that Noah falls under.
Something like the trade above could work well for both sides. Boston gets its man in the middle, while the Bulls get much deeper with a combination of young talent. Bradley, a lockdown perimeter defender, could start in the backcourt alongside Rose, while Jimmy Butler plays SF, or come of the bench for extra firepower.
The Sullinger/Olynyk duo gives the Bulls even more depth in the frontcourt along with Portis and Mirotic/Gibson, whichever of the two isn’t starting. However, if the Bulls feel adding both those bigs in exchange for Noah would give them too many bigs, Evan Turner could easily replace either Sully or Olynyk in the trade. Turner would be a nice bench piece, but also has the versatility to start at SF for the Bulls with a Rose/Butler backcourt.
Despite giving away such a good player in Noah, the Bulls are now simply a deeper, more flexible, more versatile team. And if they wanted to feel even more comfortable about their future, it’s likely they could also command a draft pick in the trade as well, since the C’s would be getting the best player (and have stacked up an impressive array of picks).
For Boston, the trade is a no brainer. The Celts would realistically have their sights set as high as the three-seed in the east for the 2015-16 season, coming off an unexpected run to the playoffs last year.
Isaiah Thomas is getting ready for his first full season in green, Marcus Smart is one year improved/wiser, Jae Crowder, a diamond in the rough from the Rondo trade, is signed long-term, and both Amir Johnson and David Lee have been added to bolster the veteran presence.
Gifting Brad Stevens with Noah could put that team over the top, not to the point where it competes with Cleveland, but at least everyone else in the east. A Conference Finals appearance would show the rest of the NBA that the C’s are back, and capable of making serious noise with the addition of a legit scorer, as they’re in search of.
Boston probably comes out the winner of this trade, but it’s something Chicago would have to consider given the state of the franchise.
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