The NBA trade deadline and All Star game near and this is the time when most NBA fans want their team to make the big trade. To most fans like me, a trade is about more than just improving the team. It gives us a reason to tune into every game much like we did at the start of the season. When the season starts we watch each game because it has been a long 3 months since we’ve seen a professional basketball game and so we can see the new players and gauge the quality of the team. As we get into December and January, most fans don’t catch every game but a new player gives us a reason to get back into the team. But while a trade would regain fan interest, would it necessarily improve the team?
After looking at the current Bulls roster and the standings, I see no reason for the Bulls to make another move. The team is currently 6th in the East and are on pace to finish around .500 again. They’ll make the playoffs and be out in the first or second round like last year but I wouldn’t expect one more player to make enough of a difference to push the team into the semi-finals or finals. Even if the Bulls could make a blockbuster deal for a player like Stoudemire or Bosh, they’d have to give up a significant number of players to match salaries. Though the players they’d deal (Hinrich, Salmons, Noah) aren’t stars on a championship team, they are solid role players. If the team waits until 2010 free agency to snag a star, they can do so and still hold on to role players that will help the Bulls make a push for a top 2 or 3 seed in the Eastern conference in 2011.
I’m not opposed to an ‘addition by subtraction’ move like unloading Tyrus Thomas (suspended again yesterday) for another expiring contract but I see no reason to acquire Boozer, McGrady or Jesus Shuttlesworth for the rest of this year. The Bulls would not sign any of the players above to a long term deal and I see minimal benefit to adding them for half a year. Would one of those players help the team? Certainly… but I see no long term gains by making it to Round 2 instead of Round 1 of the playoffs. Instead, let the current players keep getting minutes so Rose can continue learning to finish games, Noah can keep improving as a rebounder and Deng can keep improving his numbers for an off season trade.
I doubt Aaron Gray for Devin Brown will be the only move the Bulls make before the 2010 trade deadline passes but if it is, I’ll have no problem with the current Bulls losing in the first round of playoffs again. Their short stint in the 2009 playoffs was entertaining, going to game 7 and inciting altercations .
Look forward to the summer of 2010 when the Bulls can add 1 more star to play next to Derrick Rose.