In lieu of Derek Rose's season-ending surgery, the Chicago Bulls are now in the a terrible position of trying to figure out whether to still compete in the terrible eastern conference and then lose to either the Pacers or Heat in the playoffs or simply accept the fact that they need to tear down and rebuild again around Derek Rose 2.0.
Jay Patt of SB Nation's Bull a Blog seems to concur with the second option:
"Now Bulls management has some work to do. With another lost season, a rebuild pretty much has to occur. I'm looking to trade Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, while also entertaining all offers for guys like Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson."
I agree. I believe they'll choose to rebuild and here's why: the Bulls are built around Rose's unreal athleticism and ability to explode to the basket. Now, Rose may never be that guy with both knees having surgeries. I think the Bulls management at this point are considering a rebuilding process in order to get more athletic play makers who can take the pressure off Rose when he returns. The idea would be about getting more youth and potential, especially if the Bulls can get a high draft pick in the deep 2014 draft, such as, hometown legend, Jabari Parker.
Now this is where the Trail Blazers factor in. They have a need in veteran front court depth and overall bench depth for their win now mentality. The Bulls have a need for youth and draft picks and also a need to get rid of veterans who probably want to be traded to a contender. The Blazers have youth in McCollum and Crabbe, a draft pick, and potential in Leonard and Robinson. Ideally, the Blazers could trade such players to the Bulls to get one or two of their big front court players but as some have pointed out, this is nearly financially impossible. The Blazers and Bulls would need a third team to get involved.
If this trade situations arises, the Blazers have to pull the trigger.
Why? The Blazers have too many players that are currently in their prime or just about in their prime. This is not a young rebuilding team but a re-tooled team. These veteran players are four of the starting five and also the bench's Williams and Wright. The window of making the playoffs and making some noise is wide open. They have to take advantage. Also, there is nothing real exciting about the Blazers current youth and depth with the exception of Lillard and maybe McCollum. Yes, Batum is only 24 but you already see what he's about and we all know that 20 is the new 24. You honestly can't rebuild around any of the other guys and say they are going to lead us in the future. Your future is simply Lillard and he is going to need a lot of help. However, the veteran talent is here and now.
Here's also the biggest reason to go after the Bulls' talent. Their veterans all have significant and recent playoff experience unlike the majority of the Blazers. This in itself has to be considered.
If the Blazers have a shot of getting Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson. I think the best situation would be to get Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler. You get a defensive superstar and also another young shooting guard who has already proven himself as a capable 3 pt. shooter. However, Kirk Hinrich wouldn't be a bad option either since he can play both point and guard. Luol Deng would be nice but with Batum and Wright, he's not necessary. Boozer would be great as well but he seems to be the least likely with his age and desire to start. The most likely option and the one where the Blazers can keep their current starting line-up is getting Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. Gibson isn't the greatest or tallest player but he can play both PF and for a while, Center. He does block shots on a consistent basis and rebounds well. Butler is a 6'7" SG but can also play SF. He's only 24. Both these guys would be fantastic two-position players which would bolster the bench significantly.
Either way, the Blazers don't have a lot of time. They need help. The current win streak is great but it might not be sustainable especially if the injuries start happening and starters begin to wear down like last year. The minutes need to be spread out and the only way Stotts would do that is to get more vets whom he knows he can trust.