Blog Entry

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 11:49 am
Posted by Matt Moore

You want to know the real problem with the market inequality in the NBA? It's not the profit-margin differential. (Yes, it is.) It's not the lack of competitive equality. (Yes, it's that, too.) It's not the inability of small markets to sign or keep stars. (Yes, it so much is.) The real problem is that both fans, media, and sometimes team authorities start to believe when they're good that they can just go out and get anyone. Have a good team but need a point guard? "SIGN CP3!" even though he's under contract, the fans cry. Need a wing defender? "We can just go get Gerald Wallace, right?" is often the discussion. And in the case of Dwight Howard, no matter what he says, every big market and their fanbase will think they can go get him. Including, apparently, the Chicago Bulls.

Mike Wilbon of ESPN said last Friday on air that "credible people" in Chicago indicated to him that the Bulls intend to make a play for Dwight Howard. This was prior to Howard's outburst saying he loved Orlando and wants to be there and all the other things everyone says on their way out of town as is the new model A.D. (After Decision), and before rumors of a contract extension being worked on came out. 

Here's a question. Why would the Bulls think they need to upgrade so badly that they would go after a player who would demand the player cost in trade of Dwight Howard? Didn't they win 60 games this year? Didn't they get the top seed in the East? Weren't they right there in the four games they lost to Miami in the Conference Finals? And wasn't all of that success predicated on a "greater than the sum of its parts" approach to the roster, using timely and well-considered contributions from multiple players as opposed to raw star power? 

To acquire Howard, the Bulls would have to give up some combination of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer, plus some young talent and some picks. It's not an impossible situation, those are good players. The Magic would never come near Boozer's contract unless it was laden with a ton of other assets, but those other guys are worth the price, as long as, again, a lot of other nice things are thrown in. It would mean sacrificing the things that made the Bulls so good this year. Their depth down low (even with Asik coming back). Boozer's post offense. And most importantly, Deng's slashing, cutting, perimeter shooting and defense, which was downright phenomenal this season. 

And how would Howard work in Chicago? In case you haven't noticed, Derrick Rose likes to shoot quite a bit. Those are touches Dwight Howard's not getting, and he feels he needs the ball to be productive. Rose isn't a great alley-oop passer or high lobber out of the pick and roll. Yes, Howard makes it exceptionally easier by being a freak of nature, but there's still a zillion reasons why this wouldn't be a perfect fit. 

And what about what the Magic would demand they take back? Orlando's not doing this deal without sending back either Gilbert Arenas or Hedo Turkoglu's contracts. Those are sinkholes on the Bulls' roster, far more than Boozer, even with them being shorter. Do the Bulls really want to wind up paying the luxury tax just to get the Defensive Player of the Year and an MVP candidate with incredible size, speed, agility and finishing ability? 

Okay, yes, probably. But it's still an obstacle. 

Then again, anything the Magic would get from the Bulls would be better than what they'll pull in from a potential Lakers deal. But this just seems like it's wishful thinking in Chicago, especially with Chicago (just barely) not being the media market L.A. or New York is. But hey, it's been a year since The Decision, Amar'e is in New York, Melo's in New York, and no matter what Howard says, the question won't be closed till he signs that extension in the minds of front office officials or the reporters they talk to in those big cities. 

Get ready, kids. The Dwight Out (GET IT?!) is still coming soon. 


Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:27 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

I was about to post and then I read yours and you summed everything up beautifully, well said!  I absolutely despise Boozer due to his lack of defensive effort and think his offensive game is going nowhere but down.  There's no way around it, he's flat out lazy, doesnt move his feet and then takes horribly obvious and sometimes flagrant fouls to make up for the lack of effort. A Howard/Rose tandem would work great, like you said, Derrick would adjust his game and give up the scoring if it meant high % buckets by Howard.  Defensively it would be a no-brainer as Howard is an absolute lane clogger.  Ideally we give up Noah and Boozer, eat some of Boozer's contract and maybe take on one of the 2 horrible contracts from the Magic.  I think people forget that the Bulls had enough $ to sign 2 max players last year so their cap situation is actually decent.  Noah/Boozer 
;would be much more than Orlando would get from the Lakers who would obviously be offering an oft injured Bynum and some other role player.  With Noah and Boozer, the Magic would be getting a Defensive/Offensive tandem with a ton of rebounding.  I don't know what's going to happen but if we somehow get Howard and are able to retain Deng we would be atop the NBA for best record again especially considering our weak division.  I think it all depends on what Howard truly wants.  Does he really feel loyalty to Orlando?  I doubt it.  The next question invariably is:  Does he want the Hollywood glitz and glamour, huge endorsements, movie deals with an aging team or does he want to flat out win now with a young corp and the youngest MVP ever?  Regardless, I love our upside, Howard or not! 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:11 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

If Dwight goes anywhere it will probably be the Purple and Gold.... just sayin.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:03 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

He's an over rated no show bitch.  He will never get a ring, can't finish. Looks the part, just cant play it.

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:58 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Howard would look better in green.

Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:57 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Hey Bulls fans, welcome to what we had to hear about Iverson 10+ years ago. He was a phenomenal shooter/slasher like Rose, and could pass too. Unfortunately none of his teammates could hit a freakin' shot. His assists oer game would have been close to 10 in my humble opinion. Get ready to hear that Rose doesn't like to pass; over, and over, and over...

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:23 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

I've always felt Howard would be better suited as the second or third player on an NBA roster. Not that he is miles behind Rose but I think with Rose being THE MAN  in Chicago Howard can focus more on rebounding and banging home buckets rather than have the entire NBA world questioning his leadership skills.

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:55 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Rose is a GREAT passer, he just didn't have a quality option. This would be a ridiculous tandem.

Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:22 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

And how would Howard work in Chicago? In case you haven't noticed, likes to shoot quite a bit. Those are touches Dwight Howard's not getting,

In case you haven't noticed Boozer is not a post scorer it was evident in his soft lay ups everytime he got the ball inside, Rose knows Dwight will not faire so poorly...sgtop playing the Rose takes shots all the time card, he does what he needs to do to win, he can adjust for Dwight

Since: Feb 20, 2011
Posted on: June 1, 2011 4:17 pm

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Well, so much for reporting without bias or emotion.

Some points. First, when you mention Boozer's post offense, are you referring to his jumping ability (hooray for a 5" vertical) or his inability to protect the ball from being stripped or blocked on a regular basis? When he began the season last winter (after missing the first several weeks because he broke his hand tripping over... luggage), he started off great, posting 20 and 10 on a regular basis. The more observant fans realized that those games were in the cupcake part of the Bulls schedule, against the dregs of the NBA, but hoped he would gain confidence for the tougher teams. After this recent playoff run, I'm ready to cut ties. Injuries are understandable, and are somewhat based on luck, but when you have Reggie Miller calling your defense 'statuesque' on a national TV station, maybe you shouldn't be out there. The worst part is that he just hasn't shown ANY defensive effort or desire to work on that side at all. Maybe if Noah didn't have to constantly cover TWO positions on the floor, he wouldn't have been so darn exhausted in every game. I'm sick of Thibodeau having to cover for Boozer by calling out the rotations and saying the group effort has to improve.

Deng was great all season, but it's a stretch to call the guy phenomenal. My standard for phenomenal defense means making LeBron work for all of his points - a high standard, no doubt, but that's the definition of 'phenomenal', and LBJ handled Deng well in Games 2 - 5 of the ECF. The perimeter shooting and slashing were borderline great, but mostly good. Mentally, Deng is a prototypical offensive third option, and is obviously most comfortable in that role.

Rose did take a lot of shots this season (of which, by the way, Boozer missed a large part). What most people miss is that Rose's role is offensive option A, because the Bulls don't have the offensive options other teams do. If the Bulls had a Durant, Wade or Melo, Rose would be first to volunteer for 18 and 10 rather than the 25 and 8 he averaged this season. No question though that Rose's passing can improve, but it's not the stretch you think it is, Matt, to imagine Rose lobbing alley-oops to Howard, or slashing to the rim and having Howard clean the boards for put-backs.

A zillion reasons this wouldn't be a good fit? Hardly. I shudder to think of Thibodeau's defense anchored by a dude like Howard. More than anything though, I shudder to think of the king's ransom the Magic would demand for Howard - I'm sure they see the Melo trade as a prototype and would want to duplicate it. In this new era of star team-ups, is it worth it to gut a team to get the stars first, then wait a season or two to acquire / dredge up the surrounding role players? Maybe. This is a monster created by LBJ and company, and while I hate the big market advantage in the big picture (even being a Bulls fan), you gotta compete the best you can with the options available in the system that exists.

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