After seeing Zach Randolph score 22 points and pull down 17 rebounds in a Knicks win over the Nuggets on Tuesday night, it certainly got me thinking. Perhaps after this awful start, John Paxson regrets not pulling the trigger to acquire Randolph on draft night this past summer.
At only 26, Randolph could have been the Bulls answer for a post man for the next ten years. Although he clearly has had some off the court issues previously, the Bulls today have a team with no players of questionable character. Maybe in a different situation and environment, Randolph would have been different.
During his last four seasons in Portland, Randolph averaged between 17-24 points per game, 8-11 rebounds per game, and around 2 assists per game. These type of numbers that Randolph has put up in the past is certainly consistency in the post that the Bulls have not had in a very long time. In fact, the Bulls have not gotten more than 20 points per game in a season from the power forward spot since 1985-86 from Orlando Woolridge.
The Knicks acquired Randolph in a package along with Dan Dickau, Fred Jones, and the draft right to Demetris Nichols. In the trade, New York gave Steve Francis, Chaning Frye, and a 2008 secound round draft pick to Portland. Without giving it much thought, I would think the Bulls could have swung together a package more attractive than what New York gave up. With the rights to P.J. Brown, the rights to the ninth pick in the draft, Chris Duhon, and several other trading pieces, you would think the opportunity to acquire Randolph would have been there.
Instead, Paxson and the Bulls wonder how a lineup of Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Zach Randolph, and Ben Wallace would have fared.