Friday, July 18, 2008

Luol Deng to the Pistons?

In a repeat of last summer, the Chicago Bulls have been unable to sign starters (and 2009 free agents) Luol Deng and Ben Gordon to contract extensions. Via Matt Watson of the AOL Fanhouse, HOOPSWORLD's Bill Ingram brings up the possibility of a intra-division trade if Chicago cannot get a deal done with Deng:
The Chicago Bulls would ideally love to keep Luol Deng, but with negotiations going the way they're going it's likely the Pistons get serious in talks with Chicago. Tayshaun Prince would come back in trade and he's a veteran who could make life easier for new head coach Vinny Del Negro. Prince isn't exactly a vocal leader, but he knows how to win and he's all business.
This one could work out for both teams, although I see the Pistons coming out on top if the trade actually happens. Prince is a tremendous role player and leader (he has essentially become Rasheed's on-court anger management counselor in recent years), but he has not shown that he can be a first or second option on offense for a team. Deng is only 23, five years younger than Prince, and can be a go-to guy on offense (although he wouldn't have to be on the Pistons). Deng is also a strong defender with tremendous length, so any drop off defensively from Prince would be small, if even noticeable.

The Bulls are a very young team who need leadership, as well as something in return for Deng and Gordon if they cannot keep them from hitting the open market next year. Detroit needs to shake up their lineup, get younger, and add a scoring threat. This deal seems to fulfill those needs for all parties involved. Hopefully, the Bulls and the Pistons can look past their division rivalry and try to work out a trade that could benefit both teams.

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