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.
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:
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 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).
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.