3 Bulls trade scenarios for Howard

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
2:16
PM CT
Doolittle By Bradford Doolittle
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Bulls have won more regular-season games than any other team since the beginning of last season. Their core is young and ascending. The chemistry on the court and in the locker room is impeccable -- the kind of environment coaches dream about. But the problem is that there is an awfully big hurdle perched in the sands of South Beach. Every transaction the Bulls make has to be a response to this question: Will this help us beat the Miami Heat?

The Howard-to-the-Bulls chatter certainly falls under the heading of "soft news," but nevertheless, the notion is interesting from a basketball perspective. Howard is the best center in the game, but Chicago is already a championship-level team. Do you dare mess with that?

Here are three trade scenarios that make sense for both teams:

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.9 3.3 1.5 39.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.9
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 1.9