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Chicago trading Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony? Bad idea.

Sep 22, 2010, 12:01 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Noah_no1.jpgWho knows who put this rumor out there — Denver staffers trying to up the ante, Carmelo Anthony people trying to push the deal forward — but it is the debate around the league:

Should Chicago throw Joakim Noah into the deal to bring Carmelo Anthony to Chicago?

No. No. A thousand times no.

Let’s be clear — Melo is a better player than Noah. Melo is a better player than Luol Deng Melo is an elite scorer, one of the best in the league, and at the end of the day the game is still about putting the ball in the basket. I love to watch Anthony play, and so would the people in Chicago.

But the deal is not Noah for Anthony straight up. It is Deng and Noah (and a pick and/or filler), and combined they bring more to the Bulls than Anthony can.

Defense would be the biggest issue — Anthony and Carlos Boozer are now your forwards, with Omer Asik now your starting center by default. Both Boozer and Anthony can be exposed on defense, as can Derrick Rose, and while Asik is nice he is not the rim-protecting beast you’d need behind those two. Noah is. In a league where protecting the paint matters more and more, trading away young mobile centers is a bad idea.

New coach Tom Thibodeau understands defense but he cannot turn water into wine — you can’t make a team of iffy defenders good at it. Look at Cleveland last season, they gave a defensive minded coach (Mike Brown) guys like Shaq and Jamison and the defense paid a price.

Noah and Deng are the two best defenders the Bulls have, move them and you change the identity of this team.

And you change the roles. Which right now are pretty neatly defined: Rose is your playmaking point guard, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer knocking down shots on the wing, Deng and Boozer at forward, Noah as the energy glue guy. Behind them you have Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson and Asik. That is a good roster, maybe very good.

Do you really blow that roster up to see if Rose and Anthony can play well and lead a team together? Of course they can you say… then why has Melo not made it to the NBA finals with Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups? Anthony likes to play out of isolation sets — 36.5 percent of his shots came that way last season. And he does not pass well out of it.

Simply put — remove Deng and Noah then replace them with Anthony and the Bulls are not better, they’re worse. If the deal was just for Deng and parts that would be different (although how the Bulls pay big money to Melo, Boozer, Rose and Noah in a couple years would be an issue), but once you throw Noah into the mix it doesn’t work.

The Bulls are right. Don’t do it. Stick to their current offer. And if they don’t get Anthony what do they have? One very good team that deserves a chance to find out just how good they can be.

  1. mac - Sep 22, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    “Ronnie Brewer knocking down shots on the wing”
    Whoa, Kurt, slow down..when was the last time Ronnie Brewer knocked down an outside shot? Outside shhoting is the worst part of his game

  2. E - Sep 22, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    This year they would probably be worse off with that trade (a 5 or 6 seed instead of a 4), but for the future? Come on.
    If you want a team that plays hard and peaks as a 4-seed then don’t make the trade. That’s not why you play the game though, you play for titles. You won’t beat the Lakers or Heat (or, soon, the Thunder) without another star to go along with Rose and Boozer.
    Prior to this offseason I would probably agree with you, but the Miami situation changed everything. Enjoy your consolation prize if you don’t trade for Melo.

  3. Roc - Sep 22, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    E you must have never played basketball or you must don’t understand the dynamics of intangibles. And I hope you are not somewhere coaching a team that is sure to lose. The way you want to go by building the bulls is surreal. You don’t get rid of a guy like Noah . For one, the Bulls already have a bad name when it comes to being loyal to their players. So do you want to exacerbate this caricature by ” again ” not being loyal to one of your star players that has consistently on every night come in and given you 150%. I don’t think so. Noah is the heart of the Bulls and Derrick Rose is the pulse. So given that we need them both to survive.

  4. Brandan - Sep 22, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    That rare shouldn’t happenLast year they traded a defensive force in Tyrus Thomas, they have Boozer who is a good strong players hustling for the board which is not bad. But there is a problem here, in offense you need 1 player to out the ball down, but in defense you need all 5, if you sacrifice too much defense the team will eventually collide. Besides Noah is a young big man with hunger for victory and in a physical league you can’t afford to deal big young guys who make the work and stay healthy. Bottom line, Melo is a better player overall, and if the trade is to happen he and D-Rose will create awesome highlights, but basetball isnot about highlights, basketball is about strategy and Noah just happen to fit better in the current Bulls mix.

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