Chicago's Best Attempt At Trading For Carmelo Anthony (Without Using Joakim Noah)
For the purposes of this argument, disregard for a moment whether you think the Bulls trading for Carmelo Anthony is a good idea. Pretend that it unanimously, unequivocally, and officially, is. The oft-debated virtues of the Bulls trading either Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, or both, in exchange for Carmelo, have been sufficiently debated elsewhere to not warrant further commentary here. For argument's sake, let's say it's a yes.
Pretend this didn't happen.
Pretend also that Carmelo Anthony has absolutely no qualms about coming to Chicago, signing a long term extension, and winning 26 titles. Pretend that despite his obvious and well documented desires to play in New York, he is willing to forego that, and instead immerse himself fully into Chicago's basketball world domination alongside Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Nia the LuvaBull. Pretend that he is eating his own face with excitement at the prospect.
Pretend also that it is neither feasible, desired or logical for the Bulls to based any trade package around Joakim Noah. With that decision seemingly already made by the team, it's not a huge concession to make here.
It is necessary, therefore, for the Bulls to make a deal based around Luol Deng.
Award Watch: 2010-2011 NBA MVP
As always, when deciding on these MVP rankings, we factor in individual player production (via both standard stats and advanced metrics) as well as team performance/success...
1. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls (24.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 8.0 apg):
It has been an eventful few days for the Windy City's favorite point guard. First, Rose was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, after averaging 27.3 points (tied for fifth in the Conference) 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds and guiding Chicago to three victories. D Rose also recorded his first career triple-double (22 points, 12 assists, and 10 boards) in a win over the Grizzlies on Monday. As we have noted in this space all year long, he is having a legitimate breakout season. Despite the Bulls missing two key cogs for extended stretches this season (both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah have been sidelined due to injuries), Rose has been the supremely steady hand, powering Chicago's offense on a nightly basis. And while most of Rose's MVP buzz is generated from his incredible offensive production, his improvement on defense has been spectacular as well. Rob Mahoney, on The New York Times NBA blog, does an excellent job of examining this theme in detail:More outstanding yet are Rose's individual defensive numbers. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Rose has allowed just 0.77 points per possession overall on defense this season, an elite mark for any defender, regardless of position. Chris Paul (0.86 points per possession allowed), Rajon Rondo (0.83 PPP allowed), and Russell Westbrook (0.92 PPP allowed) –- all excellent defenders -– have been trumped statistically this year, and by no slim margin. Rose has each of those players handily beat, and boasts a shockingly comprehensive defensive profile.
This pre-season SLAM cover looks even better now:
Charles Barkley: Derrick Rose is MVP
Charles Barkley has been a staunch believer that Utah Jazz veteran Deron Williams is the best point guard in the NBA, but Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has changed his mind.
In fact, Barkley took the praise of Rose even farther.
"I think Derrick has surpassed Deron Williams as the best point guard in the NBA, and I think right now he has to be the front-runner for MVP," Barkley said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He's been fantastic, and I think when you look at the Eastern Conference, and I've said it all along, the Chicago Bulls to me are the most dangerous team if they get everybody healthy."
Barkley has been especially impressed with Rose considering he's played much of the season with either center Joakim Noah or forward Carlos Boozer injured on the sideline.
The Bulls entered Tuesday with a 31-14 record, good for third in the East.