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What if the Bulls had kept LaMarcus Aldridge?

LaMarcus Aldridge, Chicago Bulls

LaMarcus Aldridge was selected as the No. 2 pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2006 NBA Draft.

But, he didn't play for them even one game, because he was traded by the Chicago Bulls with a 2007 2nd round draft pick (Demetris Nichols was later selected) to the Portland Trail Blazers for Viktor Khryapa and Tyrus Thomas.

That season (2006/07), the Bulls lost against Detroit Pistons 2-4 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The best players were Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Andres Nocioni.

What happened with Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa?

Tyros Thomas played only three years for the Chicago Bulls, and he didn't score more than 10.8 points per game. Khryapa spent only two seasons for Chicago Bulls and after that, he decided to return to the Europe and CSKA Moscow.

On the other side, LaMarcus Aldridge had a tremendous time with the Portland Trail Blazers. His best performance was in the NBA season 14/15, when he scored 23.4 points with 10.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.

After that, he signed with San Antonio Spurs, and in the last 9 years, he is amongst the best power forwards in the NBA.

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If we are talking about offensive skills, TimDuncan is on the top, but LaMarcus Aldridge is maybe the best big man after him. Blake Griffin improved his shooting from the perimeter, but fadeaway jump shot, pump fakes and great shooting percentage is the part of LaMarcus Aldridge' offensive game.

The Bulls made a big mistake. I know that nobody will even try to compare Tyrus Thomas and LaMarcus Aldridge, but if Chicago Bulls hadn't traded LaMarcus Aldridge?

Just two years after they trade him, they have in roster Joakim Noah (2007) and Derrick Rose (2008).

Imagine what could have been, if the Bulls had three young players - Noah, Rose and Aldridge? Ok, I assume that Bulls would get Rose, but this is just "what if", so imagine that they had just 33 wins with LaMarcus Aldridge (he was still young), in the NBA season 2007/08.

Noah was one of the best defenders in the league, and Rose won the MVP Award (2011). LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17.8 points in his second season, and Rose was the best player in the league after three seasons he spent with Chicago Bulls.

After Michael Jordan' era, they never played in the NBA Finals, and in the last 18 years, they played 10 times in the NBA Playoffs, but just once in the Eastern Conference Finals. They lost 1-4 against Miami Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and that was the best achievement for Chicago in the last 18 years.

With Rose and Aldridge, the Bulls could have more than just one win against LeBron James, but they decided to trade him for Tyrus Thomas.

Chicago never had a good power forward with the points and offensive skills. They only had Pau Gasol, but he wasn't in his prime.

June 28, 2006: Chicago missed a great opportunity to kept LaMarcus Aldridge, and I think that they probably lost one or even two NBA Championships by that decision.

The Bulls had a great steal five years ago, when they selected Jimmy Butler. I know that this article is not good for the Bulls fans, but they could have Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and LaMarcus Aldridge in their starting lineup in the last five years.