I’m not sure if NBA fans are aware of this but NBA general managers have to go to this class called Trading 101. The first rule of this class is as follows:
Do Not Trade A Starter To A Conference Rival
There’s a pretty big poster of this motto in the NBA classrooms. It’s right below the poster with the cursive version of the alphabet. Basic principle, right?
Well, not only did the Chicago Bulls break that rule, they traded two starters to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They broke it a few times over by trading to a division rival.
I must admit that I rationalize whenever John Paxson makes a move. I’m thinking John Paxson has steered us safely so far. When talking with fellow Bulls fans over this season, a lot are getting anxious. They felt like Paxson would make some stupid move before the trade deadline.
I would always defend Paxson and calm my friends down. “He’s got a plan. He knows what’s he’s doing,” I would say. When the Bulls selected Joakim Noah in last summer’s draft, I said “remember the Hinrich pick? That turned out okay. So did the Deng pick. Let’s calm down and let it run its course.”
Then Paxson fired Scott Skiles midway through the season. I came to his defense again but less heatedly. “Something was going on in the locker room. It had to be done.”
Now: this trade. Now: I think John Paxson is insane. John Paxson’s NBA career can pretty much be whittled down to Game 6 of the 1993 Finals. Will Paxson’s GM legacy be the good shot that was three or four good draft picks?
Why would the Bulls be a part of a last-minute deal to bring better shooting and a deeper front court to Cleveland?
Let’s analyze what the Bulls get. Drew Gooden is a hustler that crashes the boards. He’s got great facial hair but isn’t he just an older and stronger Joakim Noah? Will Gooden have to slide to the 5 to make way for Noah and Tyrus Thomas?
Larry Hughes doesn’t make much sense. He is basically an older and more injury-prone Thabo Sefolosha. I loved Shannon Brown when he was at Michigan State but his game hasn’t translated into the NBA. I have no idea who Cedric Simmons is and quite frankly, he sounds made up. Is he an 80’s aerobics instructor?
Although I’m glad to see the ornery, overrated Ben Wallace leave, I don’t see the Bulls really improving that much from this deal. They haven’t regressed either but an improvement from the Cavaliers isn’t good news for my Bulls.