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updated: 2/26/2012 9:59 PM

Bulls should go get Howard

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  • Dwight Howard, of the Orlando Magic, blocks a shot by Andrew Bynum, of the Los Angeles Lakers, during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Bynum's West squad prevailed 152-149. See story, Page 3.

      Dwight Howard, of the Orlando Magic, blocks a shot by Andrew Bynum, of the Los Angeles Lakers, during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Bynum's West squad prevailed 152-149. See story, Page 3.
    Associated Press


This Bulls/Dwight Howard thing, whatever it is, feels like a presidential election.

For months, maybe longer, you ponder each candidate without coming to any conclusions.

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Then you go into the voting booth and pick one on impulse.

So it is with the issue of whether the Bulls would be better off trading for Howard or staying the current course.

There is a difference: In too many political elections, the choice is between two negatives; in the Howard/Bulls decision, the choice is between two positives.

The Bulls are good without Howard. They would be good, or better, with him.

No title is guaranteed either way with the Miami Heat's LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the way.

OK, now for Decision 2012: I'm in the booth and impulse tells me that the Bulls should do everything possible to acquire Howard.

The whole conversation likely is moot. Howard hasn't listed Chicago as a preferred destination and TNT reported Sunday night that his mother says he's staying in Orlando anyway.

All that said, the Bulls should figure out how to trade for Howard because of the snapshot during Sunday night's NBA All-Star Game.

The East's starting lineup included Howard at center and the Bulls' Derrick Rose at point guard.

They looked awfully good as teammates, didn't they?

The question is whether the Bulls at their current best could beat the Heat in a seven-game playoff series.

The answer is yes, but only about three of 10 tries. That isn't enough to recommend the status quo for the Bulls.

As constituted now, the Bulls could be chasing the Heat for the next three or four or five years.

A lot of NBA teams learned what that feels like in the 1990s when they had to line up behind Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

Today's Bulls can gamble that when injured Rip Hamilton returns, this will be one of those three of 10 years they would upset the Heat.

The odds aren't good enough.

Miami beat the Bulls in five games last season and the Heat is considerably better this season.

So it would be a shame to not explore all the angles, for the Bulls to not offer Orlando their roster minus Rose and for Rose to not recruit Howard.

There is one qualifier here. Howard would have to agree to sign a multi-year contract to stay with the Bulls.

Some suggest that it would be OK to acquire Howard before the March 15 trade deadline, take a run at the Heat this spring and if he leaves after that, well, suck it up and rebuild.

No, no, no. Obtaining Howard isn't for the short-term. It's for the long-term. It's to build around him and Rose so the Bulls can compete with the Heat for a few years.

The Bulls are good now but good wouldn't be good enough to beat the Heat, which is capable of being great unless injuries decimate the James-Wade-Bosh force.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that it's impossible for me to be objective on this subject.

The truth is I do look at Howard and see the nearly perfect NBA physique, 6-feet-11, 260 pounds, athletic, muscular but not muscle-bound.

Seriously, though, I don't want to bring Howard to Chicago just because he reminds me of myself when I was younger.

This isn't about me, it's about giving Rose another superstar to play with.

Decision 2012: Just do it.

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