The Brooklyn Nets are making traction on a Dwight Howard deal centered around MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez, and draft picks with Kris Humphries being picked up by Cleveland to save Orlando the salary. Chicago needs to step in and block this trade for a couple of reasons.
Right now, the Bulls have a chance to win the title every season. Miami is the better team and will remain so for the conceivable future. However, any given year they could have injuries, bad luck, or any number of things could happen for the Bulls to leapfrog the Heat.
If the Nets form a second super team with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Dwight Howard this thing is over for Chicago for the next five seasons. The Bulls won’t even have a punchers chance of coming out of the East anymore, not with two teams that are significantly better than them. Not hoping for two teams to have horrible luck, injuries or some type of problme.
However, the move goes beyond attempting to block Brooklyn. It’s never a good idea to sign a player just to stop some other team from getting them. They need to make sense for you too.
Dwight Howard makes sense for pretty much any team. He’s said he won’t commit to an extension for the Bulls. He’s said he doesn’t want to come to Chicago. He’s been a whiny bitch in his efforts to leave Orlando. First, I believe Howard. There will be no extension of the Bulls trade for him. He’ll also be pissed off initially to come here.
He almost certainly has an understanding with Adidas that will pay him significantly more in a major market outside of Chicago since they’ve already got Chicago covered with Rose. However, as pissed off as Dwight may be initially in coming to Chicago, the PR hit on him if he attempts to leave will be tremendous.
Adidas can’t dare pressure him to leave once he’s here, because if they break up their superstars in this way the negative publicity for them will vastly outweigh anything positive they get out of it. Once here, Adidas’s best play is to make it work and hope they win titles by defeating the Nike superteam.
For Dwight personally, he’s going to have to recover from the PR hit of leaving Orlando and quickly jilting Derrick Rose to go play for a considerably worse team in Dallas or Houston won’t exactly help his image as a winner anyway. Whatever Dwight wants now, if Chicago trades for him then his best play in a year will be to resign with the Bulls.
If he doesn’t resign with Chicago, then what’s the worst that can happen? The Bulls presumably don’t match Omer in a Dwight Howard trade scenario and likely move Deng + Noah. They could then look to add salary relief by sending Korver + Hamilton for Turkoglu + Richardson. The Bulls could then add their 2013 draft pick and the charlotte pick to sweeten the deal.
If things don’t work out, the Bulls amnesty Boozer in 2014 and will basically have Rose, Teague, Butler, Gibson [presuming they extend him] and Richardson under contract with Mirotic possibly coming over. That should give them a ton of cap room and a great situation to offer whomever the best FA is to come to Chicago and expedite a quick reloading of the talent pool. The Bulls would likely need to reload at that point anyway as their present core probably isn’t going to do it.
In the end, the long term risk isn’t much different than where the Bulls are now. They’d replace the Charlotte pick and Joakim Noah with a bunch more cap room rather than what they could do presently. Not a bad scenario, especially since any team Dwight leaves the Bulls for will be in the West, so at least they’d be rebuilding without two superteams to go up against.
In short, dark days are going to descend around Bulls basketball if this deal goes through with the Nets while a legitimate chance as championship favorites can come about if the Bulls aggressively pursue Howard even without an extension. It’s an aggressive move, it’s a move with epic fail opportunity, but it’s also the best chance the Bulls have to win a title and not making it could lock them out of realistic contention for most of the Derrick Rose era.