Living in a world where you get to switch the order around would be pretty cool. You get to sit in the control room and pick and choose an event that might slightly alter your path or completely misalign it, causing your future to have a completely different look. Each and every choice has its own consequence and NBA general managers wish they had the power of hindsight to see the consequences of the moves they make.
Luckily they don’t have that hindsight, which makes bad trades and transactions permissible. Fans like to play the trade game and look back in time at opportunities that would have been interesting to execute and times where the execution was an absolutely horrid move. The moves made can be franchise altering and may not have a full effect until years after the move is actually made. Here is a top five of the biggest What If scenarios since 2007.
Remember these situations are completely hypothetical and some have zero backing of any possible rumors. It’s an assumed line of thinking from a general manager or player’s mind after a set of situations manipulates his decision.
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5. What if… DERRICK ROSE didn’t get injured?
On April 28, 2012, Bulls fans gasped in disgust as they saw Derrick Rose hit the court in excruciating pain, crumpling to the floor due to a torn ACL in his left knee. The injury would knock Rose out for the playoffs, along with the championship aspiration of the No. 1-seeded Chicago Bulls. The day is a dark one for the Bulls because it not only affected their championship aspirations for 2012 but for 2013, as well.
So hypothetically speaking, let us assume that Rose stays healthy. We can all pretty much agree that the Bulls with Rose would have been able to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers after having won the first game. The next series would have been against the Boston Celtics and would have been a dogfight, but let’s say that the Bulls win that one. That would line the Miami Heat up with the Bulls and create an incredibly competitive conference final, even though the actual 2012 Conference Finals was a great seven-game series. If the Bulls win that series, which isn’t inconceivable considering they were the No. 1 seed and they were 2-2 against the Heat during the regular season, they would go on to the Finals.
This alters history, regardless of the outcome of the Finals result. The Miami Heat may have succumbed to the pressure from the public of “championship or bust” expectations and may have blown up the core, something that was talked about during the playoffs because of Dwyane Wade‘s struggles. That person could’ve also been Chris Bosh, and the Miami Heat team of 2013 might look completely different. The biggest issue raised about Bosh is his lack of physicality, which became more prevalent in the 2013 Playoff series with the Indiana Pacers. But the Pacers and Bulls both have a bruising, physical inside game, which would have inclined the Heat to look for a center. That center may have been Dwight Howard.
The Orlando Magic may have done a trade that included Norris Cole, Chris Bosh, and a couple of first-round picks. This would have given the Heat a dominant center, but would have gotten a less potent, very distracting Howard. This would have changed the dynamic of the Heat and would have caused a tussling of ego checks with three legitimate superstars on the team.
The Bulls would have had another chance at a title this year with their superstar healthy and blocked the Heat from winning another championship.
The one last interesting part about this scenario is, what would have happened if the Thunder beat the Bulls in the 2012 Finals? You would have to think that the Thunder might have tried to ride out James Harden’s contract to the bitter end, attempting to capture a second title in 2013. This seems slightly more unreasonable because of Sam Presti’s attempt to stay ahead of the curve, but not at all unrealistic.
Bulls or Thunder win the 2012 NBA Championship
Miami Heat potentially trades Chris Bosh and others for Dwight Howard
James Harden stays in Oklahoma City
Miami Heat become a circus
Lakers have a vastly different team
Bulls, Pacers or Spurs win 2013 championship