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NBA Atlanta Hawks

Could The Bulls Swap Carlos Boozer For Golden State’s Monta Ellis?

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Flickr Photo via Keith Allison

You don’t need to be an NBA expert to know that Carlos Boozer‘s first season as a Bull can be labeled as a disappointment. The Bulls had hoped he would bring a strong scoring presence to the paint for Chicago when they signed him to a 5-year, $80 million deal last summer.

That never really happened. Boozer struggled to find offensive consistency and couldn’t maintain chemistry with his battery mate in the paint, Joakim Noah. His inconsistency really burned the Bulls in the postseason, when he disappeared on both ends of the court, and had many questioning whether or not Boozer was a good choice for the franchise.

Those questions weren’t new, though. When the Bulls signed Boozer, after missing out on the likes of free agent big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh, the questions about Boozer’s health and consistency were instantaneous. And he would prove both of those concerns to be valid over the course of his first season in the Windy City.

It’s because of those struggles in his one season that have left many wondering whether or not Boozer will be a Bull in the 2011-12 season (if there is a season). Despite the woes Boozer experienced this year, he did do some good things, which has left a rumored interest in him from some teams.

While many will hope one of those teams is Orlando, the Magic are reportedly interested in Boozer to pair with Dwight Howard, not to swap the two. But Orlando isn’t the only name that has popped up in these early-summer, and questionable, trade rumors. The Golden State Warriors are looking for a big man, and their biggest scoring threat just might be available.

While Warriors’ brass has shot down the rumors already, Monta Ellis‘ name has come up several times already this offseason, since the NBA finals ended just over a week ago. His name has come up in a possible deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, which would send Andre Iguodala to the Golden State.

But as ESPN’s Chris Broussard has already stated, the Bulls and Warriors have had talks about a possible deal at some point this summer. While that doesn’t mean much, given the fact that the Bulls may have simply inquired as to Ellis’ availability, it shows that the Bulls are serious about upgrading their lineup at the two-guard.

It’s pretty clear that the Bulls need a second scoring threat to pair with Derrick Rose. Boozer was a let down and Luol Deng isn’t a strong scoring presence. If the Bulls do upgrade their roster and find that scoring threat, it’s most likely going to be at shooting guard.

The 2010-11 season was the first season in which Ellis played 80 or more games, after playing just 89 combined the previous two seasons. He finished the season with just a touch over 24 points per game, to go along with the almost six dimes per.

Now if the Bulls are somehow able to pull off a deal for the 6′ 3″ shooting guard, it wouldn’t likely be a one-for-one swap with Boozer, as nice as that would be for the Bulls. Picks and role players could be involved in such a deal as well.

If the Bulls do deal for Ellis, the lineup would include he and Rose in the backcourt, Deng and Noah in their regular starting roles, and Taj Gibson likely moving into Boozer’s role, provided none of them get dealt as well.

At the end of the day, how likely is this trade to actually happen? Not very. The Warriors have been pretty adamant about not trading Ellis, and while honesty in regard to something like that is something rare in today’s sports world, the Bulls would likely have to give up a lot more than Boozer to get Ellis, and that’s something that Gar Forman and co. seem unlikely to do.

This Bulls squad isn’t in need of a facelift, it simply needs some tweaks. If they are able to unload Boozer for a two-guard anywhere near Ellis’ caliber, which would move Gibson in the starting role he has appeared to earn, then it would be the right deal. But until the right deal comes along for both sides, which would require the Bulls to move the minimum amount of players on their current roster, while also upgrading at the two, I doubt that make a Ellis-caliber splash.