Found June 27, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
PLAYERS: Luol Deng
TEAMS: Chicago Bulls
A rumor surfaced earlier this week stating that the Chicago Bulls had exploratory discussions with the Washing Wizards about acquiring the 3rd overall pick in Thursday’s 2013 NBA Draft for All-Star forward Luol Deng. On paper, this seems like a terrible move considering the Bulls are a championship caliber team when healthy. Yet they haven’t been totally healthy over the past two years and the upcoming season is his contract year, meaning he’ll be a free agent after next season. This trade presents an intriguing scenario, and I think the Bulls should pull the trigger on this deal if they receive the right offer. Deng has been a great asset for the Bulls since he joined the organization after the 2004 draft. The former Duke Blue Devil has never been a star, but he is a solid contributor. If the Bulls were to trade Deng, they’d be losing an iron-man capable of playing 40 minutes a game while matching up against the opposing team’s best perimeter threat. Additionally, he’s an adequate third scoring option, averaging 16 PPG throughout his nine year NBA career. But Deng does have some limitations that hinder Chicago’s offense. First off, he can’t create for himself off the dribble. Secondly, his explosiveness and athleticism are average according to NBA standards and they’ll continue to decline with age. But most importantly, Deng has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. So why wouldn’t the Bulls at least explore the possibility of trading him for a younger prospect with more upside? The proposed trade scenario has the Wizards acquiring Deng for the 3rd overall pick and center Emeka Okafor, who would have to opt in to the last year of his contract – worth $14.5 million – for everything to work out. Chicago could potentially fill two needs this offseason with this trade scenario. Okafor would fill the hole at backup center, spelling All-Star center Joakim Noah for 12-15 minutes a game. Limiting Noah’s minutes next season should be a priority for the Bulls coaching staff since the talented center has dealt with nagging injuries throughout his career. Okafor’s contract expires after next season, so it would free up $14.5 million in cap space for 2014. Therefore, this move doesn’t impact Chicago’s long-term financial flexibility. Obtaining the 3rd overall pick presents an opportunity for GM Gar Forman and company to land an elite wing to play alongside Derrick Rose. Who should Chicago target with the 3rd pick in Thursday night’s draft? Victor Oladipo should be at the top of the Chicago’s draft board if they acquired a high lottery pick. The first team All-American’s defensive tenacity and athletic ability would be a perfect fit in between Rose and rising star Jimmy Butler. Oladipo displayed an improving offensive game during his junior season at Indiana University, so he’s not the scoring liability that some scouts have made him out to be. Indiana’s former star still needs to work on creating shots for himself as well as his perimeter jumper. His outside shooting did progress last season but it needs to come further along to be considered “NBA ready.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgWJGiJJAwk The prospect of a back court featuring Rose, Oldipo, and Butler has to have head coach Tom Thibodeau drooling over his clipboard. Imagine the defensive possibilities and the athleticism Thibodeau would have at his disposal on the perimeter. Drafting Oladipo would make Chicago, without a doubt,  the best defensive team in the NBA. GM’s around the league are high on the former Indiana standout, so there’s a chance he could be picked in the top 2, but it’s unlikely as of now. Furthermore, the Bulls love drafting players from winning programs and Oladipo helped lead Indiana to a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a share of the Big Ten regular season crown for the highly ranked Hoosiers. Who else should the Bulls target if Oladipo is off the board? “Hey Jerry Reinsdorf, can we go thrift shoppin’?” That line was a reference to the popular hip hop song “thrift shop,” as well as Ben McLemore, the sweet shooting star from Kansas University. McLemore is an elite athlete – much like Oladipo – and a lights out shooter. The freshman sensation has drawn lofty comparisons to Ray Allen for his shooting abilities. That would certainly help a Bulls offense that ranked 29th in the NBA in three point field goals made during the regular season. McLemore needs to work on his defense in order to play big minutes and  gain Thibodeau’s trust, but his scoring abilities would put him in the rotation immediately. He could be Robin to Derrick Rose’s Batman. I think Oladipo is the overall better fit, but McLemore is a more talented offensive prospect, and Chicago definitely needs added perimeter firepower if they want to overtake Miami in the Eastern Conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHaCrtbL_zg The remote possibility of trading Deng shows that the front office is looking towards the future. His cap hit is approximately $14.2 million this upcoming season, and the two time All-Star will most likely seek an extension with an annual salary close to that figure. So there’s a chance Deng won’t be with the Bulls after next season even if they keep him. The Bulls have a chance to contend next season with a healthy Rose and company, but they don’t have enough offense to beat the Heat. Acquiring star power via free agency is easier said than done, so the draft might be Chicago’s best chance to pair Rose with a complimentary backcourt star. With that in mind, exploring potential deals for the forward isn’t  a bad idea. But the Bulls shouldn’t make a deal just to make a deal. They should only trade Deng for the right price. Picking up a center like Okafor in addition to the third pick seems like the right price because that gives the Bulls organization a chance to draft the dynamic perimeter player along with front court insurance. So, yes Chicago should trade Deng if the right offer comes along, but either Oladipo or McLemore must be a part of that offer.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
ON THE BENCH

Scalabrine to coach Warriors?

A report says NBA journeyman and fan favorite Brian Scalabrine is in talks with the Warriors about taking a coaching job.

Joakim Noah Thinks Bulls Will Be Heat Next Season

Joakim Noah believes his Bulls will be the team to beat the Heat and end their championship streak next season. According to USA Today’s For The Win: “At first I said I didn’t care, but I was lying to myself,” Noah told For The Win at The Steve Nash Foundation Showdown in New York City Wednesday night. “I was driving in my car and I just didn’t feel good about it at all...

Source: Nate Robinson Not Expected To Re-Sign With Bulls

Nate Robinson is not expected to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls this offseason. Robinson and his representatives have already made it clear with the Bulls that the two sides will part ways, according to a source familiar with the situation. Robinson is reportedly seeking a multi-year contract.

Report: LaMarcus Aldrige Wants to be Traded to the Bulls

  According to a report by Ben Golliver of SB Nation via Mike Mcgraw of the Daily Herald, Portland Trailblazers power forward LaMarcus Aldrige, wants to be traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he would have an opportunity to contend. Word is, Aldridge wants to escape from Portland’s rebuilding project and has made it known that he’d like to land in Chicago. Deng for Aldridge...

Report: Bulls & Cavs Offer 1st Round Pick For Thomas Robinson, Bulls Want To Use Him In Another Trade

The Chicago Bulls (20th pick) and Cleveland Cavaliers (19th pick) have reportedly offered their 1st round picks to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Thomas Robinson.  Should the Bulls get the forward who was last year’s No. 5 pick, they intend to use him in an additional deal. The Rockets are trying to move Robinson to clear more cap space in order to offer Dwight Howard a max...

Carlos Boozer gets photobombed by a dolphin while yachting

Who says that animals can’t photobomb? Check out the below photo that Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer posted on his Instagram account which shows him relaxing on a yacht. Check out the dolphin photobomber that ends up stealing the show behind him: *** Carlos Boozer gets photobombed by dolphin [Bleacher Report]

Joakim Noah was not happy that the Heat won another NBA title

Former Florida superstar Joakim Noah sounded off about the Heat winning the 2013 NBA title instead of his Chicago Bulls.

Carlos Boozer Gets Photobombed By A Dolphin

Carlos Boozer seems to be greatly enjoying the leisure and relaxation that comes with the NBA offseason. The veteran forward posted this photo to his Instagram today, and it would appear that he got photobombed by the Chris Bosh of dolphins.   [Instagram] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

Carlos Boozer Photobombed By Dolphin On His Yacht

Carlos Boozer just happened to get photobombed by a dolphin while cruising on his yacht in Miami on Wednesday – talk about perfect timing: via @mrcbooz on Instagram

Who should the Chicago Bulls draft with the 20th pick?

The Chicago Bulls have been scouting center and shooting guard prospects during the NBA Pre-Draft Combine in Chicago. However, the bulls draft targets should’t include a big man. They’ve positioned themselves to potentially land an impact rotational player, that can play alongside Derrick Rose in the backcourt. The Bulls don’t have the salary cap space to sign an effective...

Report: Brian Scalabrine in Talks With Warriors About Assistant Coaching Job

One of the most beloved bench players in NBA history may be making a return to the league. Brian Scalabrine‘s playing days are unfortuntely behind him, but the Golden State Warriors are considering bringing the former Celtics power forward in as an assistant coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojarowski. Scal, as he was known by many in Boston, turned down a similar...

Report: Brian Scalabrine In Talks To Become Warriors Assistant Coach

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, former NBA player, Brian Scalabrine, is in talks to become an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Tom Thibodeau asked Scalabrine to join his staff as an assistant after his final NBA season with the Bulls in 2011-12 but he turned it down to pursue broadcasting for Comcast New England. The Golden State Warriors are...

Joakim Noah 'didn't feel good' about Heat winning title

The Miami Heat are fresh off winning their second consecutive championship and that isn't sitting well with Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah.“At first I said I didn’t care, but I was lying to myself,” Noah told For The Win at The Steve Nash Foundation Showdown in New York City Wednesday night. “I was driving in my car and I just didn’t feel good about it at all after...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.