As strong as the Chicago Bulls are on defense, the offense has been another story entirely. Thus, it’s little surprise that the Bulls are considering an upgrade prior to the February 21 trade deadline.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls initiated talks with the Toronto Raptors about acquiring former No. 1 draft pick Andrea Bargnani in exchange for power forward Carlos Boozer. The Raptors have already shown a willingness to pull the trigger on big-ticket deals, having acquired Rudy Gay from Memphis in a three-team trade last week.
Whether or not Toronto turns out to show some interest in the pricey Boozer—or in a possible sidebar deal swapping backup point guards Nate Robinson and John Lucas III—is hardly relevant. There are few players in the NBA who would be worse fits in Chicago than Bargnani, and it’s mind-boggling that Bulls management isn’t acutely aware of that fact.
The NBA announced the All-Star reserves in both conferences on Thursday, and the news was surprisingly good for Chicago Bulls fans. Although the Bulls had no starters on the Eastern Conference team, both Luol Deng (making his second straight appearance) and Joakim Noah (a first-time All-Star) made the list of bench players for the East.
Both players obviously deserve enormous credit for keeping the Bulls in the playoff picture while superstar Derrick Rose rehabs his injured knee. That said, the All-Star Game is meant to recognize individual excellence above all, and it’s hard to justify sending both Chicago standouts in a year when some very strong candidates are staying home.
Deng seems the more plausible choice, as he’s shown immense versatility while carrying the Bulls’ offense. He’s averaging a team-high 17.4 points per game, pulling down 6.4 boards a night in a terrific frontcourt, and playing his usual impeccable defense.
New York Knicks News: After Jeremy Lin And Steve Novak's Emergence Chris Copeland May Be Knicks Next Diamond In The Rough
Taking a glance at the New York Knicks roster of experienced superstars and grizzled veterans, it’s hard to spot a player likely to make major improvements over the course of this season.
As Marcus Camby told me at Knicks practice in London last week: “We are a veteran group. There’s not a lot coach can tell us that we haven’t already seen. A lot of people like to focus on the Knicks being an old team, which is true in terms of age, but we’re also a wise team and an experienced team.”
But there’s one Knick who bucks this trend, 28-year-old rookie forward Chris Copeland.
In limited spots, he’s already proved to be far more valuable than a benchwarmer capable of grabbing garbage time points. His ongoing evolution into a legitimate NBA player is the feel-good story of this Knick season.
Left undrafted after four years at the University of Colorado, the same college attended by Chauncey Billups and current Utah Jazz star Alec Burks, Copeland embarked on what became a five-year odyssey to battle his way back to the NBA.