What’s more, the Chicago Bulls are still a sleeper for Howard, several league executives believe. “Chicago may tell Orlando to take any two players – or three – besides [Derrick] Rose,” one GM said. Howard isn’t keen on the cold weather, but the Bulls would have the best point guard-center combination since Magic and Kareem.
The Bulls have Omar Asik developing fast as a potential replacement for Joakim Noah should the Bulls include Noah in a package. Noah would have to be a part of it, but would a combination of Noah and Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer – bringing back Howard and one of those bad Orlando contracts – be enough? The Magic need a force to replace Howard, an anchor.
The thought of a Rose-Howard combo has me jumping out of my seat. As much as I love Noah, landing Howard would be a massive upgrade, even if Deng or Boozer went along in the deal.
Still, I’m not getting too excited at this point. Howard would have to agree to an extension for a deal like this to get done, and there have been no indications whatsoever that Dwight is the least bit interested in Chicago.
Caron Butler begins a busy week Monday with at least four visits lined up to teams interested in signing the Dallas Mavericks’ free-agent forward.
Butler will visit with team officials from the Chicago Bulls on Monday morning, followed by trips to sit down with officials from the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday and possibly the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, a source close to the situation confirmed Sunday night.
Not sure how I feel about a 31-year-old coming off a sugery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. Plus he’s a career 31.9 percent three-point shooter. He did knock down an uncharacteristic 43.1 percent of his treys in 29 games last year before suffering that season-ending injury. Although Butler can create his own shot, the Bulls need to be able to space the floor better and thus need a better long-distance threat.
Vince Carter isn’t a free agent yet, but sources close to the situation say the eight-time All-Star will be thrust onto the open market shortly after the end of the lockout.
Based on an amendment in his contract obtained by ESPN.com, Carter must be waived by the Phoenix Suns within 72 hours of the official start of free agency or his $18 million salary for the 2011-12 season becomes fully guaranteed.
The Suns, sources said, have already decided to waive Carter within that window.
Here’s what I think about the idea of bringing in Carter:
Look, Carter takes bad shots, rarely attacks the rim anymore, and dogs it on defense. Tom Thibodeau demands all-out desire and intensity from everybody on his roster. Is Vince Carter going to provide that?
The Chicago Bulls’ “top priority” during Wednesday morning’s initial contact period between teams and agents will be to set up the framework of Derrick Rose’s contract extension, according to a league source.
Rose, whose rookie contract is up after this season, became the youngest MVP in NBA history last season while leading the Bulls to a regular-season-best 62 wins. He is expected to receive a max extension when the time comes, although no formal offers can be made or signed until Dec. 9, according to an NBA memo issued to all teams Tuesday night.
Rose is going to get a pay upgrade. And it’s going to be a big one.
As Friedell explains, the new collective bargaining agreement has a clause allowing a player completing his rookie contract to make up to 30 percent of a team’s salary cap if he’s been voted an All-Star twice, made two All-NBA teams, or been named league MVP.
Not surprisingly, this clause is being called The Derrick Rose Rule.
We can probably expect D-Rose to sign a five-year contract extension for something in the neighborhood of $100 million. There’s no question he’s worth every penny.
“I think we can accomplish a championship. I think we have the talent and the leadership in place. The experience of last year’s playoff run and the season we had has prepared us. A championship is the next step in our progression.
“Don’t get me wrong: We need to get in the lab and get to work. But if you ask anybody in that locker room, we have a championship-caliber team.”
I beg to differ.
I just don’t think the Bulls can beat the Heat — their most likely competition for control of the Eastern Conference — as presently constituted. There’s too much pressure on Rose to create everything. He needs help. It doesn’t have to be a Robin to his Batman sort of thing. The help can be provided by committee.
But that committee can’t include Keith Bogans.
I know, I know. I harp on this. Everybody harps on this. But it’s the reality of the situation. Without a shooting guard who can be a legit scoring threat, teams will continue to throw their entire defense at Rose and dare somebody else to step up.
Want to know what the potential impact of a legit two guard could be? Check it: Last season the Bulls were 26-2 when Bogans scored at least 6 points.
That’s not exact science or anything, but it does indicate that even modest production from the SG made the Bulls darn near unstoppable.
But the soon-to-be and well-deserved extension for Rose is going to make it all but impossible to upgrade at shooting guard unless somebody (coughJasonRichardsoncough) decides to take a huge pay cut.