No, this has nothing to do with the irrelevance of his grades or SAT scandal or whatever other "character flaws" people feel have been brought up in the past week. Personally, I roll my eyes at that talk. Next, there is an assumed premise that if the Bulls can acquire Bosh or Amare with another trade not involving Rose that would be preferable. I consider this trade only if that proves impossible.
That being said, let's say a trade of Derrick Rose + Luol Deng + Jerome James for Chris Bosh was on the board. The trade gives the Raptors more value for Bosh than they could possibly hope for under normal circumstances, so they seem likely to complete such a trade if offered.
For the Bulls, the trade frees up considerable salary space as we take
back Chris Bosh's 15.7 million in salary while sending out 22.1 million
in salary, Toronto being far enough under the cap to absorb the
difference. The Bulls also nab a 6.6 million dollar trade
exception in this deal which may or may not prove valuable. The
salary savings gives us room to offer Ben Gordon a 6/54 deal and bring
him back next season.
The trade leaves the Bulls with a starting lineup as follows: Hinrich,
Gordon, Salmons, Bosh, Noah with Tyrus, Miller, and their two
first-rounders. A follow up move to bring in another guard for Tyrus
or Miller (preferably one on a one-year deal) would then make a world
of sense to balance out the roster unless we feel that our two first
round draft picks bring enough value at the guard/wing positions.
First, this team is vastly more talented than last year's team as well
as distributing the talent much better. The odds of this team winning
50 games or more are high as long as everyone stays healthy. On top of
this, the trade leaves the Bulls in outstanding salary position going
Bosh, Kirk, Ben, Salmons Noah, 2 2009 1st rounders and the 2010 1st
rounder will be under contract for about 46 million in total salary.
After cap holds for minimum salary players, the Bulls would still have
nearly 10 million in cap space to use. If Salmons opts out, then it
would be close to 15 million, which would leave the Bulls only two
million or so away from being able to sign LeBron. Something the
Bulls could accomplish by moving Hinrich in a cap savings trade if
there is a chance to do so.
On top of having the cap space to potentially sign LeBron, they'd also
become the premier destination for him if he becomes a free agent.
They'd have Ben Gordon, Chris Bosh, and Joakim Noah in place as a core
around him which makes the perfect set of a super duper star, a near
superstar, and and a border line all star, a defensive center, and
three young first round draft picks over the past two years on the
However, if the LeBron pipe dream doesn't pan out, which is most
likely, then you still have an incredibly balanced roster with a good
PG, SG, PF, and a defensive anchor center with three draft picks and
John Salmons or cap room to sign a near max player. Either way, the
Bulls would remain young, talented, balanced, and have tremendous
financial flexibility in that off-season to try to make a push moving
The downside, of course, is losing the super star potential of Derrick
Rose. If Rose fulfills his potential then the Bulls could look
comically bad for making this trade and on top of that, they'd take a
massive public relations hit for trading away a Chicago based project
who goes as far to ignore his college and use "from Chicago" on his
introductions. The downside risk makes this a trade the Bulls won't
consider, however let's examine the prospects of building with Rose in
The salary consequences of the trade are close to break even for the
next three seasons until Rose demands a max extension at which point
the salary of Chris Bosh will be far less. The Bulls could attack FA
with a similar amount of cap space by having a core of Rose, Gordon,
Hinrich, Salmons, and Deng though it's unlikely we'd bring them all
back and that we won't replace the one we lose with a significant
If we jettison someone, we're losing an asset like Hinrich or Gordon
for nothing which is one downside whereas all our assets are
efficiently used in the Bosh trade. Also, we still lack balance on
the roster as all of our talent will still exist in the backcourt and
on the wings. In 2010, we might be able to bid on Bosh or Amare, but
there's a greater chance that both come to extensions this summer (with
trades or not) meaning that we won't have a premier big man to pursue
with the cap space.
Building through Rose leads to a great deal of uncertainty because
there's no obvious way to get the talent we need around him. He's not
a great fit with any player presently on the roster except perhaps
Joakim Noah who's role as defender/garbage collector probably fits on
any team as a center. Hinrich isn't enough of a shooting guard,
Gordon doesn't give you enough defense and forces an ultra small
backcourt. Deng doesn't have three point range. Maybe Salmons fits
best skill wise, but his age probably prevents him from being a
If he's good enough, these are all temporary problems. The Bulls
simply take the time to bring in the right pieces even if that will be
challenging and take a couple of years. That's the real question
though, will he be good enough to go through the trouble for? The
Rose/Deng for Bosh solution may give us a lower ceiling if Rose becomes
a tier one superstar. Though even in that instance, the Bosh move may
lead to a higher ceiling if it leads to LeBron following.
Bulls fans will bristle at the idea of trading away Rose, but if he
doesn't become a tier one superstar then that's exactly what they
should do given that they can acquire a borderline tier one superstar
at a position that's a greater fit who's still young enough to have six
plus years in his prime. So how much do you believe in Rose? He's
going to need to be a star's star to make it worth passing up a trade
like this. He may do just that.
So leave your comments below and let me have it, I know I'm asking for it.