Derrick Rose for Nerlens Noel... just do it, Gar Forman

Derrick Rose for Nerlens Noel... just do it, Gar Forman
The Sixers have stated that they are open to trading center Nerlens Noel (left). (NBA Images)

As I pointed out in a recent article, the Bulls really need to move on from the Derrick Rose era. While he feels he is still an All-Star, all of the statistics, both traditional and advanced, show that he is, for the most part, a liability on the floor at this stage of his career.

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The Bulls are officially Jimmy Butler's team now, and as we found out last season, Butler put up LeBron numbers in games he played without Rose being active. In case you have forgotten, the Bulls went 9-2 with Jimmy sans Rose last season, and in those 11 games Butler put up MVP numbers:

27.7 points
7.2 rebounds
7.0 assists
2.0 turnovers
1.36 steals
0.91 blocked shots
.505 field goal percentage
.820 free throw percentage
.382 3-point percentage
9.1 free throw attempts

While most Bulls fans are downright disgusted with the Bulls' front office right now, there is no way that Forman, Paxson and Hoiberg can't see the difference in this team when it belongs to Butler without Rose around, trying to be an All-Star. The question is, do they have the stones to move on from a still very popular Derrick Rose this summer, or do they waste a season of Butler's prime forcing him to share the ball with a player who just isn't that good any more?

The Bulls have no choice this summer but to completely turn this team over to All-Star SG Jimmy Bulter.

The Bulls have no choice this summer but to completely turn this team over to All-Star SG Jimmy Bulter.

The problem the front office faces - besides the obvious one of Derrick Rose being a hometown hero who still has thousands of fans - is that Rose doesn't seem to have much trade value around the NBA. What team is interested in a point guard who can't shoot 3's (career 30.2% from behind the arc), who only has one year left on his contract, who didn't bother playing defense last season, and who thinks he's a much better player than he is?

Maybe a young team that hasn't won many games lately, that is full of young players but in dire need of veterans, that might take a chance that Rose can actually stay healthy, and that thinks there is a chance that Rose might return to something near his All-Star level of play?

To many people, that team is the Philadelphia 76ers. After blatantly tanking the last few seasons, they are a team full of young, talented players who were high lottery picks. They hold the #1 pick in this summer's draft. They just hired Jerry Colangelo to help the team transition from tanking to competing for a playoff spot. Most of their young talent are power forwards and centers, and they are in dire need of a point guard.

Word out of Philadelphia is that the Sixers are looking to trade either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor. Colangelo told Bleacher Report Radio last week that "everybody is thinking about winning as opposed to prolonging the rebuilding process." Coach Brant Brown added "For the first time in my four years, we're going to enter a legitimate approach to free agency."

Obviously, free agents aren't going to be flocking to Philly to play for a team that has won 19, 18 and 10 games the last three seasons. It would seem as if their best shot at landing some veterans is to do so through a trade, which is precisely why Noel and Okafor are on the block.

The Bulls can not only offer Rose, they also have veterans Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy to offer in a trade - and the two of them are probably as good or better than any veterans they could sign as free agents. The Sixers have at least $60 million in cap space, enough to absorb all three contracts and still have more than $30 million available.

The Bulls have the #14 pick in this summer's draft to add to the deal, and they won't find a better fit than Noel if they keep the pick. Noel is a perfect fit with the Bulls, the young, defensive-minded center they need to replace Joakim Noah (who, if he isn't on his way out, certainly isn't the player he was).

taj gibson bullsville

Taj Gibson is exactly the type of vetreran the Sixers are looking for in free agency this summer. (Image by Bobak Ha'Eri)

Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy, and the #14 pick in the draft for Nerlens Noel. It's a good return for Philly, and it gives the Bulls the center they badly need (plus an extra $30 million in cap space).

If the Sixers need a couple of second-round picks, or a future first-rounder (lottery protected) to get the deal done, do it.

Forman, Paxson, Reinsdorf, just get 'er done.


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    Noel is a great young player, but man, those three players, plus a draft pick (#14) is way too much! Rose plus one player and the 2nd round pick is more reasonable, or even sign and trade Brooks to go with the deal if they need 3 vets. I'd keep Taj or Dunleavy because we also need a vet at that position. Plus, they don't need another draft pick!

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    That does seem like a massive overpay, but maybe that's the homer in me talking. Not sure that Noel is that highly regarded around the league, and he may not even be a legitimate starting center while being unfit to play PF in today's NBA. But I like the thinking, if the Bulls can get a starting caliber player for Rose they should just do it and be done with it.

  • You both could be right Anthony Hinton and BigWay, and if you can get Noel for less, you do it - what I proposed was my absolute, final end-of-story offer.

    Philly doesn't need another pick, so maybe you can get Noel just for 3 vets. Or make them give us #24 and #26.

    But Rose doesn't seem to have much trade value around the league, and MDJ is a salary dump for us. Taj still has some value, but I know BigWay knows Taj seems to have stopped playing much defense, which was always his greatest value.

    Push come to shove, I do the deal I proposed.

    Folks probably didn't notice that Noel was not only 1st Team All Rookie, he was 7th in the NBA in blocks and 10th in steals as a rookie - it's a pretty rare feat to be top-10 in both, incredibly rare for a rookie with one year of college ball who sat out his draft season.

    His numbers dipped last year, because he was forced to play a lot of PF with Okafor. Like BigWay pointed out, he's not at all a PF in today's NBA, but he's the perfect defensive center for a team that wants to run and shoot 3's.

    Noel was an absolute MONSTER at UK when he got hurt - he averaged 10.5 pts, 9.5 reb, 4.42 BLOCKS and 2.08 STEALS before he got hurt. UK was 17-6 when he got hurt, and went 4-6 the rest of the way. Even though he missed the final 10 games, in addition to earning All-SEC first team honors by the league's coaches, Noel earned first-team honors from the Associated Press. His injury was the only thing that prevented him from being the #1 overall pick.

    Like I mentioned in the article, if the Bulls do this deal, they clear all kinds of cap space. Their team salary would stand at $35,914,528 for:


    $38,631,883 with cap holds.

    That's just over $53 million in cap space.

    I'll take that chance, especially if we can get a better deal than the one I proposed.

  • In reply to Bullsville:

    How about we expand the deal, Rose and Niko for Noel and the rights to Saric. I know that you're still on the Niko bandwagon, but man was he a pathetic pussy on D last year and just in general physically. He really turned me off on his long term potential. At this point, his ceiling seems more like an instant offense 6th man, a taller version of good Ben Gordon for those who think there was a good Ben Gordon.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That might be worth it, Saric could turn out to be better than Niko. The problem with Saric was always his 3-pt shooting, but he hit 40% this year in Euroleague.

    If you're going to do the Butler trade, it makes sense to swap Niko for Saric as Saric is 3 years younger.

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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