Let’s preface this discussion by saying what a great player we think Derrick Rose is when he’s healthy. That being said…
The Bulls will never win an NBA Championship with the current Derrick Rose model. Even when those knees aren’t breaking down, he’s not enough to get this team past the Miami Heat, who can do everything the Bulls can, but better. So why not trade him? Why not let him lose and start all over this season? Blow it up. Tank.
Dish Rose and an early second rounder for a lottery pick.
Ok, maybe that’s a bit ambitious, but you get the point. This team needs a change and now’s the time to do it.
We digress. Changing the foundation of a franchise is not simple. Tanking doesn’t just happen. Trades rarely benefit the more desperate team. And lottery picks don’t guarantee a top three spot (nor do they guarantee the guy you select won’t end up like Anthony Bennett). Plus, if the other night was any indication, Tom Thibideau isn’t a big fan of losing. Ok. Point taken. We can start the rebuild from there.
You don’t have to lose on purpose to get a top pick.
Trading up for top picks, though less common than earning one through insufferable mediocrity, is definitely possible when you have a star-caliber player like Derrick Rose just laying around. Sure, his injury history is officially a deal breaker, but packaging him plus a second round pick could work with a team like the 76ers, who are young, but could win their division with Rose playing limited minutes for an entire season.
Or you could just trade away all your talent and effectively guarantee a terrible final record — which would land you in lottery pick territory.
That’s more reasonable (and easier to tolerate for Bulls fans who still want to give Derrick Rose a chance). Let’s start with the veteran Luol Deng, who offers three-point shooting, some rebounding, and can defend multiple positions, but most importantly, is a $14 million expiring contract this summer. Dishing Deng to a division rival, like the Cavs, would work for both teams. Dishing Deng and Hinrich would be even better.
Then there’s the possibility of both.
That’s right, trading off the bigger contracts (for bargain basement prices), thus tanking, AND amnestying Carlos Boozer’s $16 million contract this offseason to make room for a splashy free agent signing. Getting Rose back for next season and pairing him with a discounted Dwayne Wade and maybe Zach Randolph. Couple that with a top pick — like Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins — and there’s serious reason to get excited.
Keep your heads up, Bulls fans. There’s hope if your team acts now.