But even if Rose has a Rookie of the Year season the Bulls have no prayer of competing for the Eastern Conference title given the dominance of the Celtics and Pistons and the radical improvements in Philadelphia (Elton Brand), Toronto (Jermaine O'Neal), and perhaps even Miami and Cleveland before summer's end. The Bulls have changed coaches and - they hope - a corner in the rebuilding of their franchise, but instead of taking care of business with Luol Deng and Ben Gordon they're playing money games behind the scenes.
The Hawks aren't doing much better. Playing in that same strengthening Eastern Conference the Hawks are letting Josh Smith run around all over the place instead of letting him know that he's an important part of what was - just a couple of months ago - the up and coming team of the East. The Hawks kept head coach Mike Woodson in town to give his team a chance to grow together, yet they're playing silly games with their second-best player.
ESPN reports that Detroit has offered to trade Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince twice this off season already. The first time was to try to pry Carmelo Anthony away from Denver. The second offer was to Houston for Tracy McGrady. Both offers were rejected. With the rumors that Detroit is considering making a bid for Artest they could be making a 3rd attempt to trade Billups and Prince. There seems to be some smoke here and there may be some fire behind it. It would be interesting to see the crowd react to Ron Ron being introduced to the Palace crowd for the first time as a Piston. Talk about mixed emotions. Personally I wouldn't want Artest for anything. The guy has been a cancer and a distraction everywhere he has gone.
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