Jul 14th, 2007 by Jason M. Williams
After the recent acquisition of Zach Randolph, the New York Knicks now possess two of the most dominant low post scorers in the Eastern Conference. After the recent drafting of Joakim Noah, the Chicago Bulls now possess three of the best defensive, energized rebounding big men in the Eastern Conference. It almost seems like a trade being made between the two teams would make too much sense. Yet, how both of these teams came to this point is quite ironic enough.
Normally, successful teams feature a proven low post scorer paired alongside of a defensive rebounder to clean the scraps and keep opponents out of the paint, similar to how Batman has Robin. The champion Spurs featured Tim Duncan to score and Oberto to defend and live off of scraps. Before them, Shaq had his Robin in Udonis Haslem, Duncan had his Robinson, Rasheed had his Big Ben, Shaq had his Horace Grant, Ewing had his Oakley, Hakeem had his Otis Thorpe, and the list goes on. So why wouldn’t the Knicks and Bulls pull off a trade that would give each team this explosive frontcourt? Well, the interesting reason is that their initial trade is what put this enigma together.
Chicago dealt Eddy Curry to the Knicks two years ago and obtained two draft picks in the process. Those two draft picks turned out to be none other than two Robins in Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah. Their third Robin is Ben Wallace, whom they signed last summer. Imagine if Chicago and New York had never pulled off the trade. Chicago could be looking at an Eddy Curry and Ben Wallace one-two punch, while New York would be saddled with Zach Randolph, Ty Thomas, and Noah. Both teams would have a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and both would have dynamic frontcourts. Instead we are left with the Bulls having no one to score in the post, while the Knicks have no one to defend.