As the NBA offseason officially gets underway, the expected rumors surrounding Dwight Howard have regained life, with even Sam Smith exploring the possibility of Chicago acquiring the Orlando Magic’s star big man.
While the Bulls might seem like a sleeper, and many analysts have dismissed Howard as a possibility for the Bulls, there are reports trickling out that the Bulls are putting together a package for the All Star center.
The Bulls join the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers as the two teams that are reportedly in the hunt, with the Nets already rumored to have offered a package that included Brooke Lopez. Chicago can, undoubtedly, offer more.
Joakim Noah would likely have to be involved an any deal, and it only makes sense. This would be a tremendous upgrade for the Bulls down low, especially if Noah continues down the road he’s on of wearing the “injury prone” label.
Along with Noah, the two likely options to accompany him to Orlando would be either Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng. Deng played very well for most of last season, finally shedding that image of him that he’s brittle. Deng would, no doubt, be the more likely candidate, as Boozer’s offense was inconsistent in his first year as a Bull, and his defense was a little more than suspect. There’s also that matter of $60 million left on his contract.
If the Bulls are able to acquire Howard while only unloading Noah and Deng and some draft picks, then it’s a no-brainer on the part of the Bulls. They pick up the premier big man in the game, adding him to a core with Derrick Rose, and still holding on to youngsters like Taj Gibson and Omer Asik.
Of course, from the Orlando side, it makes less sense. As the reports point out, the Nets have lottery picks to offer up. The Bulls would offer up a chance for the Magic to remain competitive, but they would be without their franchise player. Not to mention Howard would still be in the Eastern Conference. Even so, they’d still have a solid core with Noah, Deng, and Jameer Nelson.
All of the questions are on the side of the Magic. If the whispers are true, it’s unlikely that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Magic next summer. For Orlando, it’s just a matter of getting the right amount of pieces for him, even if the front office has been adamant about the fact that they are not trading him.
In all likelihood, the Bulls still are a long shot to land Howard, unless they are able to get a third team involved. But as these reports indicate, the Bulls are going to be in on Howard, and are at least making an effort to pull something together to make them an even larger force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.
Just imagine the possibilities with Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard together. It’s a pipe dream for now, but just imagine.