Zuba: Do Whatever It Takes To Land Howard
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By Sam Zuba-
(CBS) There’s no denying Derrick Rose’s ability.
As is such with most superstars, the Bulls will go as Rose goes. He has the ability to drop 30 points on any night, defying gravity and logic with his acrobatic attacks to the basket.
But if Sunday’s loss to the Heat taught us anything, it’s that Derrick Rose can’t do it alone. A simple look at the box score tells the unsettling tale of the Bulls’ fifth loss of the season.
Rose’s line looks just as you’d expect — 34 points on 11-of-28 shooting with six assists. Glance over the rest of numbers, however, and you’ll see just how lopsided this affair was. No one else on the Bulls’ roster was even close. Rose carried the team through four quarters.
The Heat eventually wised up and put LeBron James on Rose in the fourth quarter, which should have opened things up for the rest of Rose’s supporting cast. Even with with the defensive switch, the next highest scorers were Richard Hamilton and Ronnie Brewer with 11 points each.
The way the NBA is today, one dynamic player isn’t enough. More and more you’re seeing superstars team up in the hunt for a ring. The road to the NBA Finals will undoubtedly go through Miami, and if the Bulls have any dreams of playing beyond the Eastern Conference Finals, Rose will need some help.
That’s why the Bulls need to do whatever it takes to trade for Dwight Howard.
Until this week, it was well-documented that Howard had no desire to play alongside the reigning MVP of the league. Now, however, he seems open to the idea of teaming up with Rose in Chicago.
“If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen,” Howard told the Chicago Tribune. “It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That’s my brother.”
I don’t know what God wants in this situation, but I know what Chicago wants — and that’s the best center in the league teaming up with the best point guard in the league to form a tandem that will bring multiple championships to the city of Chicago.
In line with his laid-back personality, Rose isn’t going to campaign for Howard’s services. He’s not going to blow up Howard’s phone with text messages, and he’s not going to send subtle Tweets hinting at the idea.
That’s not his style, but he’s definitely interested.
“Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of Adidas,” Rose said. “I know our market and the city speaks for itself, if someone was interested to come to the Chicago Bulls. Dwight, he’s a great player. Who wouldn’t want to play with him, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Save for Rose, the Bulls could package any combination of players and draft picks to land the 26-year-old, three-time defensive player of the year.
Without another threat to take pressure of Rose, I fear the Bulls could end up like the Utah Jazz in the 90s — a great team that just never was good enough. During the Bulls’ run of six championships in 90s, the Jazz – led by Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton – made it to the Western Conference Finals five times and the NBA Finals twice without earning a ring.
With James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh running the show in Miami, the same could be true for the Bulls.
Rose doesn’t need a hero, but it’d be fun to see him play with Superman.
Sam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com. Before earning a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, he spent two summers cover the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SamZuba and read more of his columns here.