The Bulls' lukewarm pursuit of Gasol was the defining moment of this year's deadline season. Supposedly they didn't want to give up Luol Deng because they didn't think Gasol was a guy who could put them over the top in the East. Really? You don't think replacing P.J. Brown with an All-Star might give you a leg up? And you don't want to trade Deng for a guy who is an All-Star because in two years he might become one? Help me out with the logic on that one.
I will never understand this. Because he can play the post and passes so well, Gasol was the one player in the entire league who could have helped them the most -- even more than Kevin Garnett, I would argue. If they paired Gasol with the Bulls' shooters like Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni, Chicago's offense immediately would become one of the league's better ones, which is all this team needs because its defense is so strong.
Instead, the Bulls acted like they were doing Memphis a favor by agreeing to take him. Maybe John Paxson got too used to dealing with Isiah Thomas and didn't realize that the league's other GMs actually demanded fair offers. Whatever the case, he passed up a golden opportunity to position his team for a run at a title.
That's from hollinger's (non)trade analysis. I actually wanted to post this question a couple of days ago. Like hollinger says gasol is a proven +player/star (whether or not he's in the upper echelon is debatable) whereas deng is abv. average now, with upside. Echoing hollinger he's also providing a very reliable offensive set/game from his post up game setup, whereas deng's doing it from the 3 spot. That wasn't clear: basically the value of a 4-5 player with a reliable post game and all the offensive playcalls (forcing teams to double, opening up 3pt shooters etc.)that spring out of that provide, imo, a certain value in comparison to a 2-3 guy who gets his off of jumpers and drives (unless of course he's REALLY good at creating his shot/getting fouls/double teams of the dribble ala the kobe's and wade's of the league)which Deng is NOT at the moment. Although he does seem to have some Pippen/Kirilenko-esque qualities/potential as well...
The arguing points for keeping Deng were that (for me at least):
-he's on the (real) cheap for 2-3 years, still locked into his rookie contract compared to gasol who is locked in to a multi yr 13-17m/yr contract. Basically if the nucleus of the team w/Gasol is proven to be less than championship worthy, it'd make tinkering with their roster pretty dificult.
-Deng is only 20. That's lebron-young, super tons of upside. What's his ceiling?
Personally I still think, like hollinger the gasol for deng was the right play (not necessarily a no brainer like i initially thought). I think there's an 90% probability his peak potential is less than/equal to gasol's.
Anyone else have thoughts on this? I know it's a non-spurs topic...