Looking back at the worst trade the Chicago Bulls have ever made: they drafted LaMarcus Aldridge with the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 Draft and moments later, general manager John Paxson traded him for Tyrus Thomas (4th pick) and Viktor Khryapa (who averaged 5.8 in the previous season). Aldridge went on to have arguably a Hall of Fame caliber career by becoming a seven-time NBA All-Star and he was named All-NBA five times. Tyrus Thomas never lived up to his hype, averaging just 7.8 points per game in almost four seasons with the Bulls before getting traded to the Charlotte Bobcats. Khryapa played two seasons for the Bulls and then retired from the NBA.
Prime Dwight Howard ALMOST joined the Bulls. The Bulls and the Magic entered serious trade decisions back in February, 2012 before Derrick Rose tore his ACL. Chicago wanted to make a championship run after falling short in the Eastern Conference Finals the previous season.
According to ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle, the trade that both teams were interested in at the time was Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson for Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and a rookie Jimmy Butler.
The Bulls would’ve gone into the playoffs with a pre-injury MVP Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, Hedo Turkoglu, Carlos Boozer, and prime Dwight Howard with Ryan Anderson joining the bench mob. Assuming D-Rose doesn’t get hurt, would that team defeat the Heat?
Per Doolittle, the revamped Bulls would have moved from fifth to third in projected Offensive Rating and remain first in projected Defensive Rating. Actually, that was a factor to consider for Chicago. Howard may have been the game’s best defender, but it’s the Bulls that featured the game’s best team defense — with or without him.