Dwight Howard is expected to become a Laker

Bulls fans will wonder whether it could have been us. I'm sure there will be calls for the front office to be sacked for not topping an offer that ultimately gave the Magic Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, and 3 future 1st rounders. Could the Bulls have beat the offer? Should they have taken the risk?

From what I had heard earlier, the Magic weren't particularly interested in veteran players that could keep them afloat but lacked high upside which makes the trade seem all the more crazy for the Magic. Aaron Afflalo is a solid player, but he's not a star potential player. Al Harrington's an aging scorer with a selfish game with three years left [though final two are only 50% guaranteed]. The Magic didn't appear to shed all that much negative salary either only parting with Jason Richardson which is offset considerably by taking on Harrington.

In the end, we'll see what they get out of the 3 1sts, but they basically got crap back for Dwight Howard and only moderately helped their financial situation. When I thought the Magic required young guys with star potential then I thought the bulls were probably out in the cold, but this deal? How do you not take Luol Deng and Joakim Noah + Rip Hamilton + 2 1sts for Jason Richardson and Dwight Howard if you're the Magic? How do the Bulls not make that offer?

There will always be the argument that Dwight Howard wouldn't have signed an extension, but presuming the Bulls refuse a sign and trade, where the hell else was he really going to go next year? Adidas may have been upset about him residing in the same city as Derrick Rose, but they'd be unlikely to want to destroy his image even more by encouraging him to move and negatively impact their other key star.

You have to wonder if the Bulls were starting this season with a healthy Rose if this deal gets done, and if the Bulls would have felt that with a healthy Derrick that they could convince Dwight to stay but with an unhealthy one it was a toss up. We'll never find out.

This was one of those very rare opportunities to swing for the fences though. It was a chance to have a dynasty. There were many ways it could have failed, perhaps epically. However, the path the Bulls are on is also likely to lead to failure as is every other path they're likely to take. Odds are always highest that you fail in this league.

The Howard move, while it may have become an epic failure if Howard split town, had the potential to also create a dynasty. It had the potential to bring a championship back to Chicago. There are no other moves I can think of [that the Bulls actually have a chance of pulling off] that have that upside. When you're an ECF/2nd round team that can make a move that's 50/50 going to make you a champion/finals caliber team if it works and a 1st round team if it fails then you take the chance.

It's much harder to move from where the Bulls are to the team holding the trophy than it is to move from the 1st round back up to where they are now. In the end though, it wasn't in the cards for Chicago. That's simply too bad, another opportunity like this likely won't come along soon.


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  • seems like the lakers have some sort of sorcerer behind the scenes who uses mind control to force teams to make shit deals to help the lakers. This has been goin on since the 60s... if you are a fan of that team you can expect to contend 95% of the time forever... wow

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    They go for what they want. Plain and simple. They fight for it and force it. You hear all the time that no one in the league likes or deals with Jim Buss or Kupchak, but they always get their guy in the end. The Bulls... not so much. Playing it safe doesn't work unless you have MJ on your team or get lucky with another #1 overall pick on a 1.7% chance. These things aren't happening again. It doesn't just fall in your lap... not again.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I think being based in LA rather than Chicago has a lot to do with it too. Athletes want to go live in LA, Chicago not so much.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Also, historically spending into the luxury tax TO WIN AT ALL COSTS gives you LAL some credibility with players.

    Even now, the Lakers are about $13mil into the luxury tax. They swapped Bynum for Dwight, which adds about $5mil more, and they added Nash for about $8mil in addition to that.

  • Well said, Doug. If the goal is "Championships" (one, or many), then there really wasn't much of a risk at all.

    I'll take my chances trying to win with Dwight this year, and bet he re-signs in the offseason, rather than trying to scrape by with this current group and hope to catch a bunch of breaks. I think the saying is "Fortune favors the bold", and the Bulls are definitely not that.

    It's really hard to criticize the Bulls at times because when you examine their moves they seem like sound decisions (except for Hinrich. wtf was that?), but when you take a step back, and look at the big picture, I think you see an organization that never takes any chances, and seems far too content to sit on their hands and hope that something good happens to them instead of going after what they want. There's just no sense of urgency

    It's pretty frightening to think about where this franchise might be if they never got that number one pick.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    If they didn't get that #1 pick, the Bulls would have been happy with 1st-2nd Round purgatory, while collecting the most profits in the league.

  • In reply to Juiceboxjerry:

    Why do we listen to that lunatic from the other blog which houses a bundle of them. They just masquerade as Bulls fans. Not too long ago, they wanted to trade the entire Bulls team, with the exception of Rose. They have always been trying to trade or give away Noah. Their insanity is frightening!

    Noah will have a surprise for them with his superb allround game when the season starts. Asik, the statue, that Juiceboxjerry and many of his lunatic backers on this and the other Blog, love and adore, will also have a surpprise for them with his ineptitude. I'm waiting, breathlessly!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Let's hope you run out of breath completely. And shove your exclamation marks up your arse, fucktard.

  • How are the Lakers doing this without "flexibility"? I mean, they're luxury tax payers. That's THE definition of "inflexible".

  • They had a TPE to acquire Nash, and they had a player that people actually wanted (Bynum) that could facilitate a trade for a superstar. The Bulls' TPE is smaller (and won't be used) and Noah/Deng wouldn't bring as much in return as Bynum.

    I am really in envy of the Lakers' FO. I don't have any confidence that GarPax can pull off a deal to get Harden, Love or Aldridge. I get the sinking feeling Rose is going to end up as the Reggie Miller/Patrick Ewing of his generation.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    I pretty much agree, I was just taking a shot at how the word "flexibility" is often used as it relates to the Bulls (them not paying luxury tax, trying to get cap space, etc.).

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    They obviously could have made this trade directly with the Magic, since what they rec'd was NOT better than Deng/Noah charlotte pick, filers.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    It's worth noting the move the Lakers made with Nash will be illegal next year.

  • Deng and Noah are both 27. Moe Harkless is 19, and Nikola Vucevic is 23.

    The Magic are going HARD into tank mode, why would they want a pair of All-Star caliber players on big contracts?

    So they could win 35 games the next two years and draft 10th instead of winning 25 games and drafting in the top 3?

    I know Doug is writing to his front-office hating audience, but it's blatantly obvious why the Magic preferred the deal they got over taking on two big contracts that are attached to guys who are always injured (according to the comments I read here).

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Even if the Magic didn't want our players, a third or fourth team might've. We'll never know. The fact that Orlando took a deal that doesn't offer the amount of draft picks or salary relief that other (reported) deals would have leaves me confused.

    And it's not just the lack of a deal for Howard that caused me to lose confidence in the FO. The lack of foresight on Asik, $13M in NG contracts that netted a TPE that probably won't be used, hard-capping themselves without even acquiring an All-Star, are much bigger problems.

    Supposedly, there's a plan to make moves when big contracts come off the books around 2014, so they couldn't sacrifice "flexibility." But previous flexibility moves haven't been cashed in (PJ Brown, Bench Mob), so they don't get to fool me a third time. If 2014 comes and goes and we don't end up with a player of the caliber I mentioned above, we'll know they were full of it.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    No, ORL is just flat out dumb. You thought their FO stupidity left when they fired Otis Smith, but apparently their stupidity stems from the higher up execs (isn't Alex Martins married to the Owner's daughter?).

    If they wanted to 'tank', they would have took the HOU deal (who had better and MORE prospects), instead of taking Vucevic, who got exactly 3 mins in 13 playoffs games last year.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    It would have been trivial to flip Deng/Noah for prospects that are better than Harkless/Vucevic and whatever picks the Magic got in this deal before the Bulls even added guys like Mirotic or the charlotte pick [both of which might be better than any picks they received].

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That depends. If you go with the assumption that Bynum > Noah and Iggy > Deng, you have to wonder why Philly and Denver would have gotten involved in the deal.

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    I've recently read some tweets from Woj that said Houston was pretty much offering a full rebuild (cap relief/high picks/etc.), but it didn't work out. If that's true, the Magic really made a mess of this. And yes, I'm still peeved the Bulls didn't at least make a concerted effort to get this done.

  • In reply to Jay Patt:

    ORL FO is just dumb, plain and simple.

    Afflalo, Harrington, Harkless, Vucevic, and potentially 3 protected 1stRounders are NOT better than some combo of Jones, Lamb, Morris, Motiejunas, Parsons, Patterson, White, and Unprotected Lottery Picks.

  • One more team clearly better than the Bulls. One step further away from the title.

    At least Mirotic has a cheap and easy buyout for the 2014 season, right? Right????

  • I'm glad chicago isnt taking part in the team-stacking business

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    It will be another 14 years before the Bulls win another championship too. The Bulls need to try and stack the roster with all star or good players. And Bynum goes to Philly, I knew they wanted to trade Iguodola... but they came out even better getting an all star center. Bulls management looking very dumb and incompetent. The media and homer Bulls fans can try to sugar coat this fact as much as they want but its just too plain to see, this organization is taking a cheap route, they're not looking good to other future free agents as far as wanting to win, and its just not a good situation for the future of the Bulls.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    So what you are essentially saying is, you're glad CHI doesn't try and win, but instead, continue to make the most profits in the league.

    Thank you for failing.

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    We're stacking. It's just mediocrity that we're stocking up on right now.

  • I think the Magic did ok in the trade getting Al Harrington who isn't bad and Affalo who we would love to have as our starting SG!
    They also get a few protected lottery picks and without Howard they are in full rebuild mode anyways!
    The Lakers got Howard and gave up Bynum which is pretty much a wash!

    The team that got the upper hand is the 76ers a small market team who is going to be really scary this coming season!

    It really sucks when small market teams do so well in the East especially and we the Bulls downgrade! The Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Miami, and Pacers are all respectable teams that can best us with or without Rose this coming season!

  • In reply to smiley:

    The Magic got robbed. Two sub-All Stars and protected draft picks for the best C in the league? Plus they only off-loaded one of their bad contracts. That's criminal.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    The Magic didn't get rob, because they WANTED to give up Dwight for the poo-poo platter they received back.

    Every team wins in this trade but ORL.

  • The loser of the trade is the Nuggets, giving up Al Harrington, Affalo, and a protected 1st round pic for Iggy!

    Breaking Down the Dwight Howard Trade
    Team Acquires:

    Lakers: Dwight Howard

    Nuggets: Andre Iguodala

    76ers: Andrew Bynum & Jason Richardson

    Magic*: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless
    * Magic also receive:
    * Future first-round pick from Philadelphia (with some protection, likely through the Lottery)

    * 2014 first-round pick from Denver (lower of Nuggets' two first-rounders that year; Denver also has New York's first-round pick from the Carmelo Anthony deal)

    * 2017 first-round pick from the Lakers

  • In reply to smiley:

    Here is my list of winners in order:

    1) PHI
    2) LAL
    3) DEN

    Loser: ORL

    DEN swapped Afflalo for an upgrade in Iggy. They dumped Harrington's contract by throwing in a lottery-protected 1st to do so (same as when the Bulls did when they dumped Hinrich to WAS).

    I think the biggest thing for DEN was to dump salary and become FA players for the 2013-14 Season.

  • In reply to smiley:

    It appears the Nuggets played a heck of a lot of value on getting out of long term commitments to Afflalo and Harrington in order to have a shorter commitment to Iguodala.

  • I have always known thus fact, but I see why the Lakers have so many fans. They go and get the players that they want and need. I envy and am in awe of the Lakers organization and I am slowly becoming one of the many Laker fans.

  • great, we get to watch the Fakers versus the cHeat for the next 4 years in the Finals. This sucks but at least he's out of the east and Nets doesn't seem so formidable afterall. Plus I'm not sure this makes the Sixers a better team? They lose scoring speedster Lou Williams and uber athletic Andre Iguodala, both who have given Bulls big problems. You have to admire the Sixers trading Iguodala when his value is at its peak instead we see the Bulls falling in love with Deng and Hinrich, its like they are eternally stuck in the past. Don't lose hope fans, we are still going to get Mirotic sometime next decade and how can we forget the golden 2014 plan or should we call it the bad contract in waiting award.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Rather be the LA Fakers or Miami Cheat than the Chicago Fools.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I agree although I think the sixers got better. Nick Young for Lou Williams is basically a wash. If you can add a top 3 Center for a Borderline all star SF you do it. I think that Bynum for Iggy and a protected first is a big get for Philly.

    I am so down on the Bulls their FO is just pathetic. First time I am seriously considering following a new team. And I stuck it out through the Post Jordan era! Their management is a complete joke. I know this is going to be a down season so not expecting big spending but this middle of the road crap is annoying. Dumb and Dumber (Gar and Pax) either have no clue or are just scared to commit to a strategy. We aren't spending but we also aren't going young and developing we are doing some half ass version of both. Stupid.

    There is no 2014 plan that is just what the media assumes they are going for but realistically I am positive they have no plan. If they don't give a shit about the product on the court why should I? Rather watch a team with talent and management that can recognize it and goes after it. Tired of watching subpar talent grind out regular season wins just to get booted in the first or second round. GarPax will never build a championship team I am 100% conviced of that.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Chad wrote: "I think that Bynum for Iggy and a protected first is a big get for Philly."

    It is provided he resigns with Philly, and provided he stays injury-free. But if either of those happens, then Philly got creamed on the deal.

    As for the Bulls, don't lose hope yet. They could contend this year. How? They trade Deng and Hamilton and the Charlotte pick for an SG at the deadline; the new Bench Mob proves to be better than the last one; Thibs upgrades his coaching, uses subs more wisely and does not overwork his starters.

    As for the future, see below:

    1) No real problem letting most of the Bench Mob go. They all had a few good games, they all had some real duds, but in crunch time, not a one was solidly consistent, as we saw for two years. So, see if you can upgrade for cheaper. Made sense to me. If the current bench turns out worse, still not a huge loss -- the guys the Bulls had weren't going to put them over the top.

    2) It would have been a good year to take on some expirings to get some #1 picks. And it would have been a good time to buy some #2 picks. Yeah, there would have been some misses, but whoever hit may have been both solid and cheap. Those are low risk/high reward gambles. But those deals are not always available.

    3) I would not have given up Mirotic in a deal for Howard (unless he would have signed an extension, which he clearly was not going to do). Mirotic is NBA unproven, but he is 20, still developing yet winning awards, is 6 '10" and can hit 3s and play at the rim -- in short, he might, notice might, turn into an NBA Allstar. (No GMs saw Nowitski developing like he did).

    The Bulls took a flyer on Mirotic, but he sure looks promising for a #23 pick! I'm glad they didn't screw it up and trade him (unless they were getting an Allstar who was signing the extension.) Even if Mirotic only becomes a solid starter, he was a steal.

    4) If Mirotic progresses and comes over in 2014/15, then the Bulls "only" need to sign an Allstar SG and amnesty Boozer, and they will be in contention for the championship. Especially if they keep Taj and he progresses.

    5) If the Bulls get under the cap this year or next, then they could even keep Noah, resign Deng, sign the SG and go into the tax for 2 years to shoot for the ring. Honestly, a solid Mirotic, Deng, Noah, with Rose and another Allstar SG in the backcourt -- they would give any team fits!

  • The Bulls need to be sold plain and simple to an owner that cares about the game of basketball cause this is absolutely ridiculous watching other big market and even small market teams make huge moves to better their teams while the Bulls sit and do nothing but pass off some lame ass supposedly plan for 2014 and wait for some euro player that won't be with the Bulls for another 4 or 5 years while the media and some fans try to say it will be 2 years for the euro player...PLEASE!!!! Save that flat our lie homer Bulls fans that don't know any better.

  • I remember going to a Van Halen concert once(yes 80's reference equals OLD GEEZ as my younger son calls me even though I'm only 45), and David Lee Roth says in a stoner drawl to start the show, "Yeah,(stoned pause to recollect his thought) We've been to Chicago, and you know what? Shit on Chicago, next time we'll just come right back here to Rockford." Obvious bone toss to a somewhat toasted crowd. "HAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH"< toasted audience crowd roar(ha, ha).

    Roth may have been a tool, OK David was definitely a tool, but he was very precient in his remarks about Chi Town at least within reference to one Windy City entity, the Chicago Bulls.

    Come on, at this point castigating the Bulls over the Dwight Howard trade is like some dingy hotel drunk mumbling curses to the faded shadow of the girl who left him three days ago. Futile and pathetic.

    The Bulls FO's "all in" lasted "all" of two seconds and didn't even reqire paying any tax(they will barely incur anything if they stay where they're at, but likely will steal Teague's bank bonds left to him by his grandparents to avoid it all together), and being reknowned cheapskates as such have no business posessing a shiy, expensive superstar. And that includes Derrick Rose.

    Never, have I seen one sports franchise associated with the word cheap so relentlessly as I've seen lately across NBA web sites like Hoopsworld, CBSSports NBA, YahooNBA etc. etc. I mean really do we think a guy like Howard despite his faults really deserves to come to a shoddy, inept franchise like the Chicago Bulls? Think about it, lucking into Derrick Rose and the one proven defensive genius enabler of their shitty playoff offense with no legit scoring partners for the said Rose? The same Bulls who signed a declining, past his prime 30's Ben Wallace? Injury prone defensive milk toast Boozer? What offensive talent, aside from departeds like Artest and Brand, themselves flawed, have they ever obtained to entertain the highest revenue paying fans in the league?

    We keep hearing the Gar/Pax excuses why they "had to" settle. FLEXIBILITY. 2014. BULLSHIT. You know what the Lakers flexibility is? Their OVER the tax. That's their f-ing flexibility. Teams know they always have offensive talent name players to trade and will take on salary with their TPE(traded player exceptions) unlike some other cheap ass, middling franchise who will remain namelss.

    And the 2014 cap space to sign and trade for who? You ever see the show Hoarders? That's Gar/Pax. They f-ing hoard there players as if they are golden, untouchaBulls. In their houses they probably lay stacks of old magazines(not nudy, their too sterile or those), autographed photos from Doug Henning(Googlee 70''s peace and love magician flake), and other "priceless" artifacts. Which is exaclty what Noah and Deng will be rapidly approaching come 2014.

    Who in the hell are the Bulls going to get in a sign and trade in 2014? Answer: some old fart has been. just like thy always do.

    The time to bring in offensive talent is over. This latest gutting and loaded draft jilting have stamped the cheap moniker over the Bulls once and for all. Unless they luck out in future drafts this team for the near term is done. Derrick Rose you poor(once bro Reggie gets done "managing" your cash), dumb bastard.

    Yeah, come to think of it, Dave was right. Shit on Chicago

  • A couple of things.

    According to Friedell, sources say Chicago stayed in the chase.

    We'll probably never know to what degree, but the assumption the FO was sitting on its hands when this happened is almost certainly unfair.

    Yeah, it's a head scratcher looking at what Orlando did get, and it opens the door to say we could have done better — but that ignores the fact that the deal Houston could have given them still seems a ton better than either. Chances are, even if we were offering our best possible package, it comes up no better than third on the Magic's list of consideration. Especially since they clearly preferred to trade him to the West.

  • In reply to kukoc4cocopuffs:

    Yeah, if not for their recent injury history, I'll admit Deng and Noah might have attracted some attention for a superstar IF, they had a competent, dynamic FO to utilize them.

    However, lining up prospects, picks etc., and dynamically getting a MegaDeal done like that, Gar/Pax?? Mitch Kupchak yes. But IMO there's no way in hell the Bulls FO pulls this off. And unlike the Lakers who pay the fans back, Chicago particulalrly Jerry Reinsdorf finds the notion revolting which is why Howard would NEVER have resigned here. Oh, but he'd give up $20 Million etc!! A couple of years with him and Addidas in L.A. with Kobe, Nash etc. will make the difference negligible. Bulls sandbagged their chances of getting Howard and have only themsleves not a fickle Magic to blame. Alibis for the Bulls FO be damned.

  • In reply to kukoc4cocopuffs:

    I've defended Friedell against delusional homer criticism, but I cannot defend him here.

    He's a flat out shill for the Bulls right now.

    Every article he's written up to this point was about how the Bulls do not want to go after Dwight, about how they don't have the resources to go after Dwight, and from an objective viewpoint, it makes no sense to go after Dwight...but NOW we're suppose to believe the Bulls were always in the Dwight chase?


    Forget Dwight for a second, the Bulls weren't smart, creative, or the had the balls to go and try to get Bynum.

  • Forget Dwight Howard, the Bulls weren't even smart, creative, or had the foresight to go after Andrew Bynum.

    PHI gave up an expiring Iggy, an expiring Harrington, 15th Pick Harkless (unproven), and 2011 16th Pick Vucevic (who got exactly 3min in 13 playoff games) ...for... Bynum.

    Are we suppose to believe Deng (Iggy), Taj (Harrington), CHA Pick (Harkless), Mirotic (Vucevic), and possibly Butler and Teague weren't good enough to get Bynum?

    If everybody took a step back and looked at this, there's a reason why the Bulls didn't try to get Bynum, even if they wanted to.

    1) Bulls would have had to take back JRich and/or Davis (= more $$$)

    2) Because the Bulls were so dump and cheap and purposely locked themselves in at the $74mil hard-cap, even if they wanted to add salary to get Bynum, they couldn't.

    And the reason why they put that hard cap on themselves is so they can use the excuse 'we wanted to add Player X and/or Player Y, but we can't because we're locked in at a $74mil hard cap'.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    This is a good point. I'm more than willing to give them a pass on Howard because I don't think that trade was ever there, but it does bear considering that Bynum may have been a realistic get.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    ^It could also work as a convenient excuse to justify dumping Hamilton's contract and lose yet another trade asset (his contract being an asset for matching salaries in a potential trade sometime this year, or even next year if they don't waive him).

    Their argument, then, could be: "What's the point of keeping Rip if we can't even make a trade with him due to the hard cap?"

  • I guess after Rose gets use to his millions he will start to complain about how his team is basically nothing without him and he will never win a championship in the city of Chicago. Sounds like Lebron James to me but HEY!... it got him a championship. If I were Rose and being the competitor that he suppose to be I would be furious with management and trying to find a way out of Chicago. But again I guess the millions hes being paid will ease the losing.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    He may come to regret signing that 5-year extension with no opt out. I'll change my tune if they end up with Love or Aldridge, or maybe Mirtoic and CHA pick turn into superstars, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Didn't bother reading the article or other comments, but just wanted to say that every offer that Orlando got was better than this one. Bulls fans should not hold it against the front office on this one. Orlando fans should be storming the offices of the Magic to demand all their money back for this comming season. I would rather be a Bobcat fan right now than a Magic fan. The only way this works for Orlando is if they get the number one pick and he becomes a Super Star.

  • Bulls weren't in on this because they are too incompetent. Flat out they have never made a bold move or trade with Paxson at the wheel. After the Kobe and KG screwups he is too scared. For the Bulls FO their mantra is think small lose small. It is all about keeping a solid team together and honestly I don't see them being real threats anywhere in the near future. Just more mismanagement by Dumb and Dumber.

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