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Top Five Chicago Bulls 2013 NBA Trade Possibilities
Unlike other sports that may experience one or two minor deals in a season, the NBA has developed a reputation for not only massive but numerous trading of both players and draft picks. The Chicago Bulls are one team people will have their eye on as the playoff contender mulls what it must do to take that next step towards conquering the Miami Heat and competing for a championship.
Luol Deng to the Orlando Magic for bench help and 2014 pick
The Bulls are really handcuffed with what they can do in free agency in 2013 simply because they have too many big contracts tied up in their roster. Deng is one of them. His deal doesn't expire until next season and nobody knows for sure if the All-Star forward will take a pay cut to stay in Chicago. So if they want to get the most out of his value they must trade him this off-season because no team will touch him after the next trade deadline.
The Orlando Magic make sense for a lot of reasons. They are rebuilding after losing Dwight Howard, so their prospects for at least the next season or so aren't great. This means trading for draft picks with them could net the Bulls a potential lottery pick in a 2014 NBA draft that is projected to be loaded with talent. Orlando has young potential but they lack veteran leadership and an All-Star presence on the floor. Deng can bring both. He is only 28 and in no danger of a drop off despite nagging health problems. While the second overall pick is out, Chicago could collect some bench depth and a first round pick for next year while elevating Jimmy Butler to replace Deng.
Carlos Boozer to the Philadelphia 76ers for bench help and second round pick
There is no player fans want to get rid of more than Boozer. His bloated contract has caused several financial headaches for the team including the need to pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history. That said, his value to the team was clear throughout the season. He was durable, missing little time and averaged a respectable 16 points and 9 rebounds for the year. While his defense isn't much better than when he played in Utah, his post scoring ability is very valuable for teams in need of front court help.
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the bigger enigmas this off-season. Many expect them to end their ill-fated attempt to make former Lakers star Andrew Bynum their centerpiece. However, the team doesn't seem too eager about that idea. Some inside the front office believe they should stick it out with the young center and see if he can return fully healthy. If he does then the 76ers will want someone at power forward who can take advantage of his presence and become scorer from the post. That is what Boozer does best. The Bulls could sent him to Philadelphia, clearing his contract off the books early and getting some young role players to fill out the bench. A second round pick is also a possibility since the 76ers have two.
Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for 19th overall pick and bench help
Sensing a theme yet? Deng is the most tradeable commodity the Bulls have. His defensive presence and range are hard to come by, never mind the valuable experience he has. One team that badly needs help in the front court is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They boasted the sixth-worst defense in 2012-2013 and need somebody to give them help on the perimeter to help star point guard Kyrie Irving. They can do this both by trading for Deng and with the first overall pick. In this manner they gain a talented young player and a veteran All-Star. In return the Bulls get something back before Deng can leave next year, perhaps the Cavaliers' other first round pick at #19. That would give GM Gar Forman, who proved his prowess for late first round picks when he drafted Butler, two shots at landing some quality young talent to put around Derrick Rose.
Boozer and Deng to New Orleans Pelicans for Ryan Anderson and first round pick
The New Orleans Pelicans got their next young superstar when they drafted Anthony Davis out of Kentucky. Their goal from this point is to put pieces around him that can take advantages of his abilities. Most agree finding a point guard is first priority but close behind is building a solid front court. It starts at small forward where they only got 7 points and 7 rebounds from their starter this season. Deng would solve that with his 16 points, not to mention 4 assists per game. In order to balance the deal out, the teams would exchange power forwards in Boozer for reserve Ryan Anderson. While Anderson is younger (25-years old), Boozer is a better rebounder (three more per game). A first round pick in 2014 would seal it. New Orleans gets more physical and experienced in their front court while Chicago clears up cap space and add some good help to their bench and another potential high draft pick.
Joakim Noah, Boozer, Deng and two first round picks for Kevin Love
This is by far the trade everyone can't stop thinking about. The need for adding a second superstar next to Rose runs deep for fans. They know it takes a powerful starting lineup to win championships in the NBA. Kevin Love rates as a star for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before an injury ended his season the 24-year old was averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds per game. His career three-point shooting percentage is a surprisingly impressive .352. The good news for Bulls fans is he's voiced quite a few times over the past months about his displeasure with Minnesota not doing a better job putting a better team around him. That is prime grounds for trade discussions.
The big debate is value. Love is still growing into his prime and is already the best rebounder in the league. His added impacts as a post scorer and three-point shooter make him just the kind of threat Chicago wants next to Rose. That means if they want him it will take an expensive deal. That means key pieces like Boozer, Deng and center Joakim Noah. Based on trends over the past few years it would likely take one or even two first round picks as well. So in order for this to happen the Bulls would have to make absolutely sure that Love is a.) Healthy and b.) The second superstar they need to help get Rose over the top. At this point experts aren't optimistic.