Chicago Tribune scribe K.C. Johnson thinks Portland could be a sleeper in the Ben Gordon sweepstakes. I think we might have a match if the Jail Blazers are willing to make a deal.
The biggest "duh" statement of the offseason is that the Bulls should re-sign Ben Gordon. Despite being undersized as a two guard and underwhelming as a defender, it is hard to fathom why anyone in Chicago would not want to bring back the team's leading scorer.
Gordon averaged 20.5 points per game. And could take that big-bucket making ability to rival Detroit to the tune of a 5-year $50 million deal. Which is similar to what the Bulls offered him right before his rookie contract expired.
$50 million in Detroit is different from $50 million in Chicago, I suppose.
Gordon returning to Chicago could be a key in what could be the next Bulls postseason run. Some think his presence in the backcourt will stunt the growth of Derrick Rose. I guess being able to spot up beyond the arc and drain threes after getting the kick-out from D-Rose is really detrimental to the team's well-being and to Rose's growth as a player.
And if Gordon does leave Michigan Ave. for 8 Mile Rd., how will the Bulls replace his numbers. They're not getting Hedo Turkoglu, and Shawn Marion would have fit the system three years ago. Drafting Wayne Ellington would have been nice, because if you expect guys like John Salmons , who is coming off a career year, and the unreliable Luol Deng to carry the offensive load, then you're going to be very disappointed.
That's why the Bulls need to desperately find a sign-and-trade partner. Rumors of a Gordon-for-Rip Hamilton swap came up not too long ago, and that seems like a realistic, if not ideal move. But here's an idea from outside the box.
How about Gordon to Portland for Greg Oden and leftovers? There are a few salaries that could work, here.
The Trail Blazers are hot on Turkoglu's tail, but might be left in the dust ... which is why they are apparently also targeting Gordon. And if there is any truth to the rumors that Portland tried to swing a deal for Shaq, that shows how much faith they have in the former Ohio State Buckeye center.
So, Portland, on behalf of Bulls GM Gar Foreman, I propose your problem child for mine.
Gordon would be another quality scorer you could team in the backcourt with Brandon Roy, while ridding the team and that town of Sam Bowie, Jr.
Meanwhile, the Bulls could add a true center who projects to be a 14-point, 11-rebound guy per 36 minutes, and if he stays healthy, could be a 20-10 guy that any team would want to build around.
Adding Oden would also allow Chicago to move Joakim Noah to his more natural position, power forward, and possibly help facilitate moving Tyrus Thomas out of town, as Chicago seemingly drafted his clone in Wake Forest forward James Johnson.
Oden isn't going to be a Hall of Famer right now, but adding an inside presence to a team that lived on the perimeter last season wouldn't hurt.