The Bulls need Booze. And fast.
The Chicago Bulls, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz have apparently hit several snags in a trade that would send Carlos Boozer to the Bulls, Kirk Hinrich to the Trail Blazers and Tyrus Thomas to the Jazz.
Even though the deal seems to be dead for now, at one point, a deal seemed nearly certain. But in a situation which reeked of June's Amare Stoudemire-to-Golden State deal, it happened to be a lot of smoke without much fire.
There is no dispute that the Bulls need to make something happen, especially after a pair of lackluster draft choices and losing their leading scorer to the Detroit Pistons, their arch division rivals. And that "something" would be acquiring a big man, whether it be Carlos Boozer or Chris Bosh.
In his three years in Utah, Boozer has averaged 19.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game at a position Chicago has been desperately looking to fill since it inexplicably traded the ultimate 20-10 guy (Elton Brand) for an unproven, untested commodity (Tyson Chandler).
Adding a premier post presence such as Boozer or Bosh would be significant on so many levels, beyond being that guy the Bulls have searched high, low, far and wide for. It would ease the pressure on star point guard Derrick Rose, who is coming off a dazzling freshman campaign in which he earned Rookie of the Year honors and an eye-opening seven-game playoff series against the Boston Celtics, in which the Bulls dropped fell short in Game 7 in one of the most well-played playoff series in NBA history.
Rose averaged 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists in the series, and the Bulls need to capitalize on that kind of talent by adding building blocks around him. As of now, Chicago is banking on Luol Deng to return to his 2007 form in which he averaged 18.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. John Salmons is in the fold too, and will likely be starting alongside Rose in the backcourt. He averaged 18.3 points per game last season, but is not the explosive scorer Gordon was as a Bull, but he could counter that burden by being a better defensive presence as he stands 6-foot-7.
Personally, I would rather have Chris Bosh don the red, white and black of the Chicago Bulls. The three-time All-Star is younger, taller, less prone to injury and statistically better. But he might be harder to pry away from Toronto now that Hedo Turkoglu is on his way north of the border.
Opening tip is months away, and the summer of 2010 is even more off in the distance. The Bulls need to better themselves quickly, not only to secure better playoff positioning, but to also make itself look like a contender to make themselves look like one of basketball's premier landing spots as a free agent.
If not, the Bulls will be bouncing around mediocrity.