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NBA@2: Chicago Bulls Chasing Dwight Howard?
Posted By Bill Ingram On June 25, 2012 @ 2:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
When the curtain dropped on the Chicago Bulls’ season, the work out of Chi-Town was that the Bulls were not going to be making any major changes over the offseason. They would make a tweak here and there, try and ride out the loss of Derrick Rose until he could return, and hope to make a deep playoff run once Rose was healthy and back in the mix.
The closer we get to free agency, however, the more unlikely that scenario is starting to sound.
Over the weekend the news surfaced that the Bulls were, indeed, considering a major shakeup, potentially putting starting center Joakim Noah on the market along with Luol Deng. While some sources are saying that Noah is being dangled as a means to move Deng, and that the Bulls are interested in keeping Omer Asik and potentially CJ Watson and looking for the cap space to do it, it hardly seems logical for a team hoping to compete for a championship.
Frankly, the only way it makes sense for the Bulls to trade Noah is if they are getting a starting center in return, and the only star-caliber starting center who is potentially available this summer is Orlando’s Dwight Howard. if the Bulls were packaging Noah with Deng and taking back Howard and Hedo Turkoglu, or perhaps got involved in a bigger package that brought back JJ Redick, as well, it all makes perfect sense. Howard could carry the team while they waited for Rose to get healthy, and together they could lead the Bulls to postseason glory.
That would be the plan, anyway.
Anything short of such a bold move would be a huge risk for the Bulls, who owned the East’s best record even without Derrick Rose for long stretches of games in 2011-12. There’s no reason to believe they couldn’t win multiple championships in their current form once everyone was healthy, and giving up that chance for anything short of a homerun swing would likely derail the team and send them off in the wrong direction.
Is Joakim Noah really available via trade? Perhaps. But rest assured that it will take nothing less than a headline-grabbing trade to get Noah out of Chicago.
Danny Ferry In As Atlanta Hawks’ GM
As expected, today the Atlanta Hawks replaced GM Rick Sund with former Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs executive Danny Ferry.
“Over the past nine years Danny Ferry has earned tremendous respect as a front office executive in the NBA,” said Hawks’ co-owner Bruce Levenson in a press release. “His philosophy, character, and commitment to creating enduring and successful organizations exemplify exactly what we are looking for in a leader of the Atlanta Hawks. Danny’s systematic and value-driven approach has helped him become one of the preeminent minds in basketball. He is passionate about building an organization the right way, knows how to win and knows how to forge winning teams. We look forward to having him as our leader of basketball operations.”
After winning a championship as a player with the Spurs in 2003, Ferry went on to serve as GM of the Cavaliers from 2005-2010, building an NBA Finals team around LeBron James in the process. He spent the last two seasons as Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Spurs.
Given his track record, Ferry could be the perfect choice to lead the Hawks going forward. They are still at least one piece away from competing for a championship, and Ferry has proven he understands what it takes to find a championship balance on an NBA roster.
Houston Rockets Closing On #5, #8 Picks In the Draft?
The Houston Rockets are the talk of the rumor mill this week, as the team has ramped up efforts to get into the lottery. In fact, we’re hearing that the Rockets may have a line on two picks in the top ten in this week’s NBA draft.
First and foremost, there’s the #5 pick. Sources close to the situation told HOOPSWORLD last week that the Rockets were closing on a deal that would send out Samuel Dalembert and the 16th pick and get Houston into the lottery. It’s now being suggested that the Sacramento Kings are the other team involved, and the Houston would land the 5th pick in the draft. The Kings have been looking for a starting center to put next to DeMarcus Cousins, who could slide over to the power forward position, and Dalembert is a know commodity in Sacramento. He’s not an exciting player, but he is a solid defender and rebounder who is content to work without the ball. Of course, he could also be bought out and give the Kings some maneuvering room for free agency. For their part, the Rockets have a lot of interest in Andre Drummond, and believe he would play hard and turn into a dominant low post player under head coach Kevin McHale’s watchful eye. Drummond would be available at 5, as things stand today, but probably not much lower.
Over the weekend another rumor surfaced involving Houston and a lottery pick, this time the #8 currently held by the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have long had an eye for Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry, and the emergence of Goran Dragic this season made Lowry somewhat expendable in Houston. Given that Toronto is looking for help at point and at the three this summer, adding Lowry would absolutely solidify one of those positions for years to come. They could then use Jose Calderon as bait in a move for a small forward.
Given that the Rockets are also looking to move Kevin Martin this summer, they could draft Austin Rivers to play behind Courtney Lee at the two, or perhaps look to shore up the front line with John Henson. Given that Houston is also talking to Orlando about a trade for Dwight Howard, they could use any combination of the aforementioned players as pieces in a trade, as well.
It’s going to be a make-or-break year in Houston, where team owner Les Alexander is growing impatient with the slow development of the team. If GM Daryl Morey can pull off a couple of draft day surprises the Rockets could finally be back on course as a perennial playoff team in the ever-tougher Western Conference.
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