I must be dreaming.
The recent rumors in the Chicago media circles is a possible trade of Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol to the Chicago Bulls, for what undoubtedly would have to include Carlos Boozer. These are rumors, but one thing about rumors is they have a funny way of becoming reality. In the case of this trade, it is something I would not entertain as a reality - catalyst to a championship.
As I See It, of course.
Pau Gasol is a 2-time NBA Champion and once was the "star" player on a Memphis Grizzlies team during the early 2000's when there were not alot of them. So Pau understands the pressure of having to "carry a team" (went to playoffs with Gasol as the leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker) during those seasons. Pau then enjoyed championship success playing under a demanding player in Kobe Bryant - and an even more demanding coach in our's truly Phil Jackson.
Please do not misinterpret this to be a post knocking Pau Gasol, he's a good player, but just not good for the Bulls.
The Pau trade as I stated before would almost undoubtedly include Carlos Boozer and another warm body. And I would further that assumption to include warm bodies not being the names John Lucas III, Mike James, or Brian Scalabrine. In that case, this trade is bad on all accounts.
Initially, I was not a big believer in the "chemistry" mantra general manager Gar Forman and President of Basketball Operations John Paxson were preaching. However, as the Bulls continue to lead the Eastern Conference during reigning MVP point guard Derrick Rose's absence, I'm moving more and more to the front of that bandwagon.
Carlos Boozer would be the cornerstone of the trade, if it stays a 2-team deal. Boozer's defensive inefficiencies have been well documented over the past season and a half in Chicago, ultimately leading to low late game minutes and an absence on the court when head coach Tom Thibideau decides to go with defense in clutch minutes.
It has also been well documented that Pau embodies that same "softness" on the defensive end. Even to much chagrin of Kobe Bryant,
You be the judge.
So as the climate is currently set-up, losing Boozer who is currently scoring more points than Pau and playing better - at least offensively - than he did last season, it doesn't seem worth losing any of the current role players on the Bulls. If the Bulls are willing to give up Boozer and any warm body outside the aforementioned players nearing the deadline, a hit-and-miss on Dwight Howard and settling for a lesser name in the front court would aid the team this season far more than giving up hell in a hand-basket for practically the same player.
You can give me all the stats you want about Pau compared to Boozer on the defensive end - as they are slightly better throughout their respective careers. However to say that the Bulls are better equipped to contend in the playoffs with Pau is ludicrous. At best he only adds Finals championship experience and that doesn't translate in the here and now.
And although he's been injured for the majority of the season, the Bulls still have Rip Hamilton (2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons leading scorer). So I plead with Bulls fan to hold steadfast and let the team grow as it is currently constructed, it would be truly detrimental to this season if they were to shake up the roster too much just to pick up a near 32 year old forward with limited defense.
We already have that.