As a fan, I am aware that it is our job to stand behind our favorite players. However, having a full blown love affair with them is another story. I have come across a few Bulls fans recently that have a major crush, not unlike a teenage girl, and it is blocking their ability to see the future. And just like a high school breakup, they feel as if life cannot go on without them.
These players I speak of are none other than Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler. Now, before I go any further, let me state for the record that I DO NOT WANT THESE GUYS GONE EITHER! And I would not trade the two for 1 player in return. My only point is that, for the right deal, they are tradable. The right deal could bring in a top notch scorer or ball handler, or even both, which is not an easy find. It is, however, much easier to find a guy to play defense and hit open shots.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Noah’s game and his energy. But if I hear “You can’t trade Noah, he’s the heart of this team!” one more time I’m going to throw my phone against a wall. It’s just disrespectful to the rest of the squad. You think the rest of this team doesn’t have “heart”?
Heart alone does not win titles. It takes a mixture of heart and talent, with talent being the key ingredient. What Noah brings to this team is great, but it can be replaced. Any other guy can yell in pre-game warm ups or rebound the ball and play defense. It is much harder to find a guy to get you 20 and 10 (or more specifically 9.1 as I was corrected of yesterday) like LaMarcus Aldridge.
Also, since Noah has not been healthy in the playoffs, he has yet to showcase this “heart” when it matters most. He has missed 80 games over 6 seasons mostly because of Plantar Fasciitis. Unfortunately that’s something he will deal with for the rest of his career.
Admittedly, Jimmy Butler is one of my favorites on this team. I graded him at the end of the season “Grading Jimmy Butler” and gave him an easy A. With that being said, he is also tradable for the right piece. Some fans are acting as if the Bulls have no chance at winning a title without Butler. As if they can’t find another guard to hit open shots and play structured defense. In reality we are all waiting on Butler to develop more. And playing that waiting game can get an organization in trouble, especially if it causes you to pass on a deal for a proven star like Aldridge.
Like many other fans, Noah and Butler are two of my favorites. I am only trying to open up some minds to another way of thinking, which is this: FOR THE RIGHT PIECES, every player on the Bulls besides D-Rose is tradable. If a deal came along that included Noah and/or Butler, just ask yourself, “Does this bring the Bulls closer to a championship?” After all, that is the only question that ultimately matters.