By Eric Katz
With the NBA finals over the trade rumors for the offseason are beginning to come out.
One of the recent rumors is that the Washington Wizards are interested in trading the Chicago Bulls for Luol Deng. The deal would include Emeka Okafor and the Wizards number three overall pick.
Over the years Okafor has been known for his defense, which is what the Bulls need some help with. Yes, Deng has played at a very high level despite injuries to his wrist and a complicated illness. Also he can play a lot of minutes. But this is the deal that the Bulls should not refuse.
This deal is benefiting the Bulls more than the Wizards. The Bulls would be getting a high draft pick and help on defense. The Wizards meanwhile would be getting the Bulls lower draft pick and be losing a great defensive player. Deng is set to make $14.2 million next year and his contract expires next year.
Okafor was a healthier player than Deng last year. Okafor started 77 of the 79 games he played in. Deng started and appeared in 75 games.
The player who would benefit the most from this potential trade is Jimmy Butler. Last year, he showed lots of promise while filling in for Deng at small forward. This trade would probably make him a full time starter and Bulls fans might see more of what he showed last season. Okafor makes slightly more money than Deng but isn’t a free agent until after the 2014-2015 season. I would assume that Deng will want a lot more than $14 million when he becomes a free agent.
I see the Bulls benefiting from this deal more than the Wizards, not only will they get a healthier player but they will also get a higher draft choice. Also Jimmy Butler will be able to show more of what he can do and fill the void of Deng.