Ever since Dwight Howard made it public that he would like to be traded away from Orlando, just about every Bulls fan has contemplated as to whether or not the Bulls should make a strong push for him at the trade deadline. Orlando has made it clear that if they are going to trade their all-star center, they want a lot in return. After listening to many NBA analysts on ESPN and TNT, it has become clear to me that the Bulls would have to trade away too much for Howard.
The reason that the Bulls are among the league’s best teams right now is because of their depth. When everyone is healthy, their starting lineup looks like this: F Carlos Boozer, F Luol Deng, C Joakim Noah, G Richard Hamilton, and G Derrick Rose. Rose and Deng both made the all-star game this year. On the bench, they have Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver, Jimmy Butler, Brian Scalabrine, and John Lucas III. For those who watch the Bulls on a regular basis, you know just how valuable each bench player is to this team. Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, and possibly Omer Asik could be starting on some other teams in the NBA right now. When talking about a possible trade for Dwight Howard, it seems as though the Bulls would have to trade away Noah and Deng for sure, and either Gibson, Watson, Asik, or Brewer as a 3rd player. Possibly even two of them. To me, that seems like it would destroy the strength of this team; their depth. Think about it. Derrick Rose, the best point guard in the NBA, has missed 10 games so far this season, and yet the Bulls still have a record of 29-8 after last night’s big win in San Antonio. The reason that they were able to continue winning with Rose out of the lineup is because of their bench. If you trade away Noah, Deng, and Gibson/ Asik/Watson/Brewer, you’re not only losing an all-star, but also most likely 2 of the most valuable bench players in the league. With all that said, having Dwight Howard in your starting lineup is never a bad thing.
If the Bulls were to give up enough to get Dwight Howard, then their starting 5 could compete with any other team in the league without a problem (yes, I am including the Heat). Howard is dominant force down low that no one in the NBA can seemingly contain. His addition to the Bulls would be huge in terms of their starting 5. However, once the Bulls would start to bring in their bench players, all of a sudden they are without possibly Gibson, Brewer, Watson, or Asik. Like I said before, maybe even 2 of them. To me, it just doesn’t seem quite worth making the trade. I don’t think the Bulls can afford to lose Deng and 2 of their top bench players (I’m not mentioning Noah because he would obviously be replaced by Howard).
Assuming that the Bulls don’t make this trade, they will be heading into the playoffs as a top 2 seed in the East with arguably the deepest bench in the entire NBA. Odds are that they will meet up with the Heat again in the Conference Finals, with the assumption that neither team gets upset in the early rounds. As we all know, Richard Hamilton was brought in as another scoring option to help relieve Derrick Rose (let’s not kid ourselves either, this move was made specifically to try and beat the Heat). Hopefully his presence on the floor will be good enough to get by Miami this year, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts on a possible Dwight Howard trade?