12 July 2012
Say Derrick Rose misses all year.
Say Luol Deng's wrist continues to hamper him.
Say Luol is subconsciously disgruntled after being supposedly shopped on the trade market pre-Draft day.
Alright ... say all of these are reality ... what about just one? Two? Three? In any situation, the item to address is Luol Deng.
Fast forward to March next season and Derrick might still be in street clothes on gameday. Something the Bulls won't be hunky-dory with. In that case, Chicago needs a facilitator. Someone that can take the pressure off of D-Rose when needed by handling the rock and making plays for not just himself but others. That guy is Andre "Iggy" Iguodala.
As an all-star and current USA Olympic Team member -- not to mention taking eight seeded Philadelphia to game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals post knocking out the Bulls in round one -- Iggy has proven he is a beyond good player in the league.
His knack to facilitate soundly and lockdown defensively make him a prime asset for any team. Iguodala's high IQ is accompanied by superb athleticism and explosiveness both on and off the ball.
Deng is also a great defender, but nagging injuries have slowed him up. The Great Britain native is also a much better shooter, but nowhere near as good of passer. Sure, Luol is more of a system guy than Iggy and has been NBA bred by the Bulls but that shouldn't shy the Bulls away from upgrading the position.
Iggy, as noted above, can have the ball in his hands when Derrick Rose can't. We all know what Derrick can do with the ball. (He's really the only playmaker the team has, period.) Andre can be that second playmaker.
I threw this proposed deal into ESPN's NBA Trade Machine and got positive results for both sides. The Bulls were projected to win five more games in a season with Iguodala rather than Deng. Iggy loves guarding LeBron James ... LeBron hates being guarded by Iggy. Therefore, the equation to match up better with the Heat for the Bulls starts with this trade.
The Sixers gain a more cap-friendly contract and negotiator in Deng. Luol is younger than Iggy and fits alongside iso man Evan Turner and the developing Jrue Holiday slightly better. Deng could really stretch the floor for Turner and Holiday to make plays for others. Philadelphia also receives a higher volume scorer in Luol, something they need.
(To this point I've pretty much shed pros and cons about the trade with their impact levels and how they would change the composition of the team, bare with me.)
In 2010, the free agent market was plentiful. Guys such as LBJ, Chicago-native Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Joe Johnson were for the picking.
I came across an article on the web (may have been on ESPN, SI, HoopsHype, HoopsWorld or something else of that nature) stating that looking back, Derrick Rose wouldv'e rather had Joe Johnson than anyone else of the max-contract guys available, reportedly even more than LeBron. The column expressed Rose's feelings about the impact as a facilitator that Joe Johnson would have -- don't forget he drops 18+ in the score books regularly. Obviously, due to a beyond paramout contract, Johnson can't be traded to the Bulls (Brooklyn was the only team that could do it and give no one in return, sorta). I think Iguodala is the next best thing to pair with Rose at this point given the situation. Rose wanted a facilitator who could command the ball and score. Iggy can do that.
To me, if the Bulls were willing to trade Deng for a lottery pick, why wouldn't they be open to taking on Andre Iguodala? In the deal though that I haven't mentioned yet that a commitment that Iggy would sign an extension -- because he only has one year left on his contract -- is imperative.
On Philly's side, Deng too would have to commit to an extension. And if the Sixers were willing to part ways with Iggy for not-so-much in return, why wouldn't they want to nab Deng?
Both teams need to consider the idea of a swap. It's a rather flexible deal, actually. Both in-part because Iggy and Deng make about the same amount of money and your trading players of the same position.
Look into it, Chicago ... you too, Philly.
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