Earlier today Eamonn Brennan told us about Larry Hughes' desire to get traded to another team that will actually give him the minutes and the shots he feels he deserves. Now whether or not Larry deserves those minutes or shots is not the debate we're going to get in here, because frankly, if he wants to leave and the Bulls want to part ways with him then they should do just that. Just as long as wherever Larry gets traded to, Bulls general manager John Paxson gets traded with him.
The Bulls are an absolute mess right now, there's no getting around it. The team's performance can in part be attributed to the amount of injuries they've had, but mostly it's the fact that they just aren't a very good basketball team. Who is responsible for assembling this team we see before us? John Paxson.
Well it seems that not only was Paxson capable of winning championships with Michael Jordan, but he also appears just as capable of leading a franchise absolutely no where.
Just look at his track record running the team. He's drafted Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Thabo Sefolosha, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, and Aaron Gray. Five of them were taken with lottery picks, and of those lottery picks, the only player to really attain any kind of credibility in the NBA is Gordon. Unfortunately Gordon only contributes on one end, and he'll be out of Chicago as soon as possible when his contract expires after this season. Deng showed promise early in his career, and though it's still too early to completely write him off, he has regressed the last two seasons. Hinrich is a nice defensive point guard, but at this point he's more valuable as a trade chip.
Sefolosha? Is he even alive? Thomas and Noah? One's all potential and no consistency, the other is all hair and not much else.
Then there's Paxson's track record with free agents and trades. The biggest move he made was to sign Ben Wallace, but that didn't work out at all, and Wallace was sent to Cleveland last season for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. The same Larry Hughes that wants out of town right now, and the same Gooden that while a serviceable frontcourt player, can't be the rock the Bulls need down low.
How about coaches? Scott Skiles seemed to be the perfect fit for a while, but quickly wore out his welcome and was replaced with lame duck Jim Boylan. Then, after wanting Mike D'Antoni, Paxson was jilted at the altar for the New York Knicks and settled on a head coach with absolutely no experience running a basketball team in Vinny Del Negro. Has Vinny done anything this season to make you think he's going to figure it out?
When you think about it, the only thing Paxson's done right during his tenure as general manager was draft Derrick Rose, and he had to get extremely lucky just to be able to do that.
So, yeah, if Hughes wants to be traded then the Bulls should just trade him. But before they do that they should replace John Paxson because anybody he brings back in return for Hughes will be another failure.