Derrick Rose’s anticipated return sometime after the February 15-17 All-Star break has Chicago buzzing in anticipation, but an important question remains.
Even after Rose gets reacclimated to NBA action, do the Bulls have enough fire power to compete for a championship with its current roster?
Many still say no, and the fast approaching February 21st NBA trade deadline means the window to make bolster the team is slipping shut.
One name that’s been tossed around NBA circles as a likely Bulls trade possibility just may be the perfect fit.
A Bulls-Orlando Magic Redick trade has been discussed by NBA writer Alex Kennedy.
Chicago actually signed Redick, a restricted free agent, to a three-year, $19 million offer sheet in 2010 that the Magic elected to match.
If anyone understands the value of an outside shooter spacing the floor for a championship-level team, it’s the Bulls VP of Basketball Operations, John Paxson.
After all, it was the Notre Dame alum who clinched the Bulls 1993 title over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 with this timeless 3-point shot in the midst of Chicago’s first three-peat.
Further evidence can be found in Steve Kerr, an integral part of the Bulls second three-peat, who leads the NBA in career 3-point percentage.
The sweet shooter put many teams to bed over his tenure from long range, spreading the court impeccably so defenders couldn’t sag on Michael or Scottie.
Kerr then went on to join San Antonio where he helped the Tim Duncan-led Spurs win two championships.
When asked about making a significant deadline deal, Paxson went the conservative route.
“We’re up against what’s called a hard cap,” Paxson told The Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN Chicago 1000. “In order for us to do something we’re not in a position to take on any real salary so we’re kind of limited in what we can do. I think our team has grown — it’s not always pretty, let’s face it; we’ve had some ugly games this year and that’s kind of who we are right now. But we do grind it out and play hard.
“You’re always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold.”
Notice he didn’t rule it out.
A Redick Bulls trade makes sense for several reasons.
Except perhaps Golden State guard Steph Curry and Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, no player in today’s game has greater range than Redick. The Duke alum would also give the Bulls the volume 3-point shooter the team has lacked since parting ways with Korver over the summer.
On the season, Redick has made 40.5 percent of his 269 3-point attempts. Compare that with the Bulls primary shooting guards Marco Belinelli and Rip Hamilton, who have made a combined 37.8 percent of their 159 3-pointers.
Furthermore Hamilton, primarily a mid-range shooter, typically only takes a three when he’s wide open. Redick, who no longer has Dwight Howard to draw the double team, takes several deep, high-degree of difficulty shots and would presumably get better looks with a penetrating Rose and great passing bigs getting him the ball.
Redick, 28, grades out as an excellent ball-hander and entry-passer. At 6-feet 4-inches he’s a bit undersized but is considered a solid defender with good fundamentals.
His ability to shoot and put the ball on the floor gives him a unique NBA skill set. All in all he’s a better defender/ball-handler than Korver with more range than Rip.
What it would cost to aquire Redick
The Magic are in complete rebuild mode after dealing Howard last summer and are interested in acquiring young assets and draft picks. Despite stating to the contrary, it’s unclear if Redick, who will be a free agent after this season, would turn down a starter’s job elsewhere for a losing situation coming off the bench behind Aron Afflalo to return to Orlando.
It wouldn’t be cheap to pry Redick away from Orlando, but a package of Hamilton, Belinelli, and the Bulls’ first and second round picks next season may do the trick.
Here’s what the deal would look like salary-wise.
You might point to the fact that the Bulls have found hidden gems like Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic in the late first round and you would be right. But ultimately you have to give value to get value, and there’s no guarantee that as good as the Bulls scouting staff has been, they’d be able to pull another rabbit out of their hat.
Amid all kinds of media skepticism, the Chicago Bulls (28-17) have persevered admirably under Coach Tom Thibodeau despite playing without their superstar.
ESPNChicago.com’s Bulls beat writer Nick Friedell declared before the season that without another star alongside Rose, the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons are already lost and has maintained that stance throughout.
The correct philosophy is if you have the opportunity to win now, seize it. With the health of your players in the future and the volatility of the new CBA among many changing NBA variables, there are no guarantees you’ll be back every season.
The Bulls, mentally tough grinders who play in the image of Thibs, have grasped that philosophy by both horns.
Chicago is currently the number 3 seed in the East, 1 game behind the New York Knicks and 2.5 games behind the number 1 seeded Miami Heat. The Bulls are 5-0 against the Knicks, Heat, and no. 4 seeded Brooklyn Nets so far.
If nothing else, the Bulls have proven they can hang in with the League’s best.
They may be just one phone call away from eventually becoming the best themselves.
Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for Skyword, Inc. a search-driven media website
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