Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not that strange...

So NBA free agency signings are winding down, and LeBron James' decision to leave the Heat for his hometown Cavaliers changed the balance of power in the East.  Suddenly the Heat are an aging Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng.  Not bad, but not the superteam that they were with LeBron and Wade near his prime. 

My Bulls made an important signing, though not exactly where they probably needed one.  With a dearth of impact free agents at the 2 and 3, they instead signed Pau Gasol, an aging big man who can score with his back to the basket.  Will he be what Derrick Rose needs (assuming Rose can stay on the court after two years of injuries)?  Maybe.  Boozer is gone, but Gibson remains.  And so does Dunleavy and Butler and Hinrich and most importantly, Noah.  Added to the team are draft pick Doug McDermott and Euro star Nikola Mirotic.  Is that enough to surpass the Heat and (now) the Cavs and the Pacers?  Maybe.  Just maybe.

So now the big talk all over is a potential trade.  It seems that the Cavaliers are really pushing to get Kevin Love from the T-wolves.  They've offered their number one pick, top overall selection Andrew Wiggins (no, not the kid from Ender's Game, this is Mitchell Wiggins' son) and other assets in an attempt to acquire the all-star power forward.  And the Bulls are in the hunt as well.  According to at least one report, they've offered Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott for Love. 

I'm torn.  Is it too much?  Does it decimate their depth in order to get a superstar at a position where they're not all that weak?  Is Love plus Gasol that much greater than Gasol plus Gibson?  Is it enough better to absorb the loss of Mirotic's and McDermott's potential scoring?  On paper I'd say no.  I'd say that if they were going to move that many assets, they should instead go for an impact shooting guard or an impact small forward.  Are there any of those such players available?  Or is it Love or nothing? 

On the other hand, Mirotic and McDermott are, at this point in time, nothing more than "potential".  Let's put it a different way.  If they had, two months ago, dealt Gibson, their 16th and 19th picks in the draft, and the rights to Mirotic for Love, would I have applauded the deal?  (This before the Gasol signing...)  I think I would have been cool with that deal.  I was nervous about including Butler in the deal but that was because I knew what Butler brought to the table in a more concrete sense.  But this is basically the exact same deal as that one. 

In the end, does it make the Bulls a better team?  I'm not sure it does.  Unless I'm sure, I don't think I'd get behind such a deal.  Love's a good player, but I've heard it pointed out that he got those boards and points on a bad team with very few options for scoring and rebounding.  On the Bulls, where Noah is the rebounder and Rose will also score, does he really have the impact?  Or is the hard-working Gibson just as valuable to this team?

If there's a deal out there for a SF or a SG, I'd rethink the deal.  Otherwise, for now - no deal.


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