July 11, 2012
Earlier today, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted the following:
“Source says Hawks had interest in Bulls F Kyle Korver but he’s likely headed to Minnesota in trade.”
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune added the following tweet:
“If Bulls trade Korver, which is likely, they aren’t on hook for $500,000 partial guarantee of his $5 million option.”
Not sure who the Bulls would be trading for from Minnesota’s roster. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
March 14, 2012
ESPN’s Marc Stein writes:
The Chicago Bulls are exploring avenues to acquire Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol before Thursday’s trade deadline, according to sources close to the situation.
The Bulls have long hoped to wedge themselves into the trade running for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard, but sources told ESPN.com that Howard’s well-chronicled lack of interest in a trade to Chicago has prompted the Bulls to switch their focus to Gasol in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Sources say that the Lakers, however, have limited interest in the players Chicago would be offering, starting with Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.
So the Bulls would have to recruit at least one more team to the discussions to have any shot at Gasol, sources said, with the Lakers known to be insistent on getting back at least one certifiable star if they consent to trade the Spaniard.
To me, this is a lot of hubub about nothing. In other words, it’s almost certainly not going to happen.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes:
The talks, first reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, were driven at least in part by Arn Tellem, the shared agent of Gasol and Derrick Rose. Tellem has had a longstanding strong relationship with Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Sending Carlos Boozer and C.J. Watson to the Lakers would satisfy trade provisions under the collective bargaining agreement.
However, the Lakers, who are seeking an upgrade at point guard, have zero interest in adding the remaining three years and $47.1 million remaining on Boozer’s contract. A habitual luxury tax team, they are wary of the more prohibitive penalties under the new collective bargaining agreement, which toughen in 2013-14.
Thus, a third team would need to be engaged and sources said the Bulls have not found one.
Gasol has two years and $38.3 million left on his deal. However, his contract carries a 15 percent trade kicker. That means he would make close to $22 million next season if he’s traded. And the Bulls have luxury tax concerns of their own when Rose’s five-year, $95 million extension kicks in next season.
The Bulls own expiring contracts in Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and Omer Asik, as well as future assets such as the Bobcats’ first-round pick obtained in the Tyrus Thomas trade and the draft rights to international phenom Nikola Mirotic.
However, the Lakers are seeking at least one bona fide star on top of draft picks to move Gasol, so cap relief alone likely wouldn’t finalize the deal.
The Los Angeles Times reported the Lakers asked the Bulls for Joakim Noah, an unknown player and two first-round picks in return for Gasol.
So to sum up:
The Bulls are willing to trade the Lakers Boozer and Watson, but the Lakers don’t want that deal. Watson isn’t L.A.’s idea of an answer at point guard, and Boozer’s contract – worth between $15 and $17 million per year over the next three seasons — is like explosive toxic waste covered in mutant grizzly bears. Nobody wants to touch it.
Sure, the deal could work if a third team jumped in and was willing to take Boozer and Watson while providing the Lakers a significant upgrade at the point guard position. That’s unlikely to happen.
It’s just as unlikely that the Bulls would be willing to part with Noah, the unknown player (Omer or Taj?) and the two draft picks. Mostly because (in my opinion) the Bulls aren’t going to give up Joakim. In that scenario, they would probably expect Gasol to play center. Unfortunately, Gasol is at his best when playing power forward and everybody knows that. And, anyway, Jo is too important to this team’s chemistry and defense.
Interestingly enough, I was checking stats. Gasol (31 years, 252 days, 773 games played) is averaging 16.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and has a Player Efficiency Rating of 20.5. Boozer (30 years, 115 days, 613 games played) is giving the Bulls 15.6 PPG and 8.1 RPG while shooting 53.0 percent with a PER of 19.5. Pau’s Win Shares Per 48 Minutes is .179 while Boozer’s is .180.
There are obviously skill sets and intangibles to consider…but I’m not sure Gasol is such an amazing upgrade over Boozer (and the other assets being offered) that the Bulls should be willing to break the bank for him.
December 12, 2011
Jason Richardson is reportedly going to sign a four-year, $25 million contract with the Orlando Magic. So you can officially cross his name off the list of potential Bulls shooting guards.
Apparently, J-Rich decided to go for money over winning. After all, Dwight Howard has demanded a trade. So unless Orlando pulls off an amazing trade for several quality players, the Magic aren’t going to be very good this season. And maybe not for a long while to come.
As ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell points out, finances will likely prevent the Bulls from acquiring other high profile targets such as Arron Afflalo, Jamal Crawford and Nick Young. Which makes Rip Hamilton the team’s most likely target. And all signs point to Hamilton inking a deal with the Bulls.
Additional reports indicate the Bulls may go after Howard.
That’s not going to happen.
As Friedell writes:
Again, according to capologist Larry Coon, in order to make the numbers work in a deal which would include Hedo Turkoglu (there’s little doubt the Magic would include Turkoglu’s contract in any proposed deal for Howard) the Bulls would give up Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, plus probably a draft pick or two. Does Smith really want to build his post-Howard Magic squad around Deng and Noah? Both have had injury problems in the past; but what is surely more alarming to Smith is the fact that Deng and Noah have guaranteed contracts worth more than $100 million over eight years.
Not to mention the fact that Asik and Gibson are due for big raises over the next year. Does Smith really believe that the best deal to make revolves around that kind of guaranteed money within his own conference?
There are major questions whether Howard would even want to play in Chicago, and the deal outlined above simply wouldn’t be that attractive to the Magic…not if they’re going to rebuild. So let’s assume Dwight won’t be walking through that door any time soon. As in ever.
Neither is Kurt Thomas, who plans to sign a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. I’ll miss Big Sexy. He was professional and tough, and he really came through when Noah was injured last season. Still, Thomas is the league’s oldest player, and with the emergence of Asik, Kurt was a luxury more than anything else.
One major non-luxury is the future of Derrick Rose. But the Bulls are on the verge of taking care of that. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Rose will win on the bottom line soon. General manager Gar Forman said the formality of Rose’s five-year, $94 million extension is being finalized with Rose’s agents, Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong.
Said Forman: “Derrick is the centerpiece of what we’re putting together here. We want Derrick to be a Bull for a long, long time. It’s very important that we put the right pieces around Derrick.”
My take: We will soon see a Bulls team that look very much like last year’s squad…except that Hamilton will replace Bogans as the starting two guard. Which means, as long as everybody stays healthy, the Bulls can be as good as anybody.
December 6, 2011
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes that the Los Angeles Lakers might have the best shot at trading for Dwight Howard…but the Bulls are also quietly in contention:
What’s more, the Chicago Bulls are still a sleeper for Howard, several league executives believe. “Chicago may tell Orlando to take any two players – or three – besides [Derrick] Rose,” one GM said. Howard isn’t keen on the cold weather, but the Bulls would have the best point guard-center combination since Magic and Kareem.
The Bulls have Omar Asik developing fast as a potential replacement for Joakim Noah should the Bulls include Noah in a package. Noah would have to be a part of it, but would a combination of Noah and Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer – bringing back Howard and one of those bad Orlando contracts – be enough? The Magic need a force to replace Howard, an anchor.
The thought of a Rose-Howard combo has me jumping out of my seat. As much as I love Noah, landing Howard would be a massive upgrade, even if Deng or Boozer went along in the deal.
Still, I’m not getting too excited at this point. Howard would have to agree to an extension for a deal like this to get done, and there have been no indications whatsoever that Dwight is the least bit interested in Chicago.
February 24, 2011
There are only a few hours left until the NBA trade deadline and it appears the Bulls value Omer Asik over an upgrade at the shooting guard position. So I guess Keith Bogans fans can rejoice.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets: “Teams calling Houston on Courtney Lee keep getting same message: No big in deal, no trade. Will Bulls cave and give Omer Asik? So far, no.”
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets: “It’s unclear which team tried to expand Lee talks, but one variation became Asik/Keith Bogans for Brad Miller/Lee. Bulls want to keep Asik.”
January 20, 2011
It’s like a bad horror movie. Now that New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has officially passed on — that is, gotten sick and tired of — trying to trade for Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls have popped back up on the ‘Melo Trade Radar.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
“Anthony has long been enthusiastic about a possible trade to the Bulls, but Denver and Chicago officials had been previously unable to come to terms on a deal. Bulls executives John Paxson and Gar Forman have investigated the possibility of acquiring Anthony, but thus far haven’t been willing to include the one player the Nuggets most covet: center Joakim Noah. Anthony’s agents are under pressure to make a deal happen for the All-Star forward, who sources said has become an increasingly unhappy client.
“Nevertheless, William Wesley – Worldwide Wes – is expected to travel to Chicago for Bulls games on Thursday and Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, a source said. Wesley unsuccessfully pushed LeBron James to sign with the Bulls as a free agent, and now has an interest in Anthony ending up there. Wesley represents Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for CAA.”
Note the “Wesley unsuccessfully pushed LeBron James to sign with the Bulls” part.
Anyway, Woj goes on to say:
“Chicago has wanted the Nuggets to take forward Luol Deng as a cornerstone to the deal, but Denver hasn’t been interested in absorbing the three years and $40 million left on his contract after this season. The Nuggets want an array of young players and picks the Bulls will have a difficult time providing. Still, Chicago badly needs another scoring option and Anthony is one of the NBA’s elite offensive players.”
While there’s no questioning whether ‘Melo is an elite offensive force, the debate about his relative efficiency rages on. The Bulls could certainly use some extra scoring punch — although I’d prefer an upgrade at the shooting guard position — and Anthony could provide that.
But is ‘Melo an ugrade over Luol?
As of today, Anthony is averaging 23.5 PPG while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 26.1 percent from downtown and 80.4 percent from the line. He has an eFG% of 44.9 percent, a PER of 20.3 and 2.6 Win Shares. His Offensive Rating is 105 and his Defensive Rating is 107.
Deng is scoring 17.8 PPG while shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 34.7 percent on threes and 72 percent on free throws. He has an eFG% of 50.2, a PER of 14.8 and 4.4 Win Shares. His Offensive Rating is 108 and his Defensive Rating is 103.
Note that Luol’s Usage Rate is 21.5 while Anthony’s is 32.0. ‘Melo has a more varied offensive skill set than Deng, and that has an awful lot of value. But in terms of pure production, Deng is on par with ‘Melo despite a lower rate of use. Plus, he’s shooting more efficiently and contributing more to Chicago’s wins than Anthony is to Denver’s (if you buy into the concept of Win Shares). Plus, Deng is a much better defender.
‘Melo may be an upgrade over Deng. He may be. But how much?
And, assuming the Nuggets would take Deng in a trade — and there’s no evidence to suggest they would — what else would the Bulls have to give up?
If Denver won’t take Deng, what would they want in return? Draft picks no doubt. They also want young players. That would probably mean Taj Gibson. But can the Bulls afford to lose Taj? Think about how critical he’s been with Boozer and/or Noah out. We all know about Boozer’s injury history, and Noah has now missed significant time due to injuries in back-to-back seasons. That makes frontcourt depth critical.
I’m not sure I feel comfortable relying on Kurt Thomas.
If the Bulls could do a ‘Melo-for-Deng-and-draft-picks swap, that might work. Although, again, I’m not totally sold on the idea that Anthony is a better fit than Deng. After all, would there be enough shots to go around for Rose, Boozer and Anthony? Would a guy who has averaged nearly 20 shot attempts per game and is used to being The Man fit into Chicago’s offense?
Ah well. It’s all speculation right now.
October 20, 2010
It appears the New York Knicks are still working — and working hard — on prying Carmelo Anthony away from the Denver Nuggets. According to ESPN’s Chris Sheridan (citing an unnamed source):
“The Knicks got back in on the bidding about two weeks ago after Anthony made it known to the Nuggets that he would not budge on his refusal to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with Denver. The offers the Knicks have proposed have always centered around packages including Anthony Randolph, the expiring contract of Eddy Curry and a first-round draft pick they would acquire from a third team, and New York has softened its stance on including forward Danilo Gallinari in a trade.”
Of course, there’s also an angle involving the Bulls. Sheridan added:
“The source also cautioned that the Chicago Bulls remained in the Melo mix, although the contract extension Chicago reached earlier this month with Joakim Noah would preclude him from being included in any deal the Bulls would put together for Anthony.”
Regarding the last part of that quote: The Bulls weren’t going to include Noah in a trade for ‘Melo, contract extension or no contract extension. They just weren’t. Which is fine by me. Championship teams need elite big men like Noah. Plus, as David Berri of Wages of Win pointed out, advanced metrics indicate that Noah contributes more meaningfully toward winning than Anthony does.
Still, it’s interesting to hear that the Bulls are allegedly still in the “arms race” for ‘Melo. I know a lot of fans feel that – even with Noah, Derrick Rose, a healthy Carlos Boozer, and the rest of the cast – the Bulls aren’t quite up there with other championship contenders like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. And nothing has captured the imagination of Bulls fans quite like the notion of adding Anthony to the mix.
I’m inclined to agree that, as things stand, it feels as though the Bulls are a player short from truly competing for a league title. Although, in all fairness, we haven’t seen the current squad together and healthy for even a single preseason game, let alone a regular season or playoff game. We have no real idea what their potential is.
But this summer, other teams upped the ante. The Lakers got stronger with key acquisitions (Steve Blake and Matt Barnes). The Celtics beefed up their frontcourt (Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal). And of course the Heat signed the three Super Friends. For all the talent of Boozer and grand potential of Rose and Noah, there still seems to be a talent deficit between the Bulls and the best teams.
So the ‘Melo rumors will likely persist until the Nuggets finally move him (or, although it’s less likely, sign him to an extension). The best and most probable package — in terms of something the Nuggets would actually accept — would probably include Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and a number one pick. Personally, that deal might be too costly to the team’s depth. The Bulls would need a reliable backup for Boozer even if Carlos wasn’t so injury prone.
During yesterday’s Daily Dime Live season preview chat, I probably got more questions about Carmelo than anything else. He’s actively on the mind of Bulls fans everywhere. The real question is: Is he actively on the mind of the front office?
According to ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell, Kyle Korver missed Tuesday’s practice due to the cyst in his left ankle and is questionable for tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Keith Bogans, who has a sore back, went through a partial practice and is also questionable for the Raptors game.
Meanwhile, Taj Gibson (sore heel) practiced and is expected to start tonight. And according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, Boozer has been attending practice and staying involved.
Said Booz: “I’m at every practice, learning a lot from the guys that are out there and asking coach plenty of questions about the offense. I’m doing everything I possibly can to still be involved. Obviously, from a physical standpoint, it hurts a little bit not being out there. But when I do get back, I’ll jump right into it and move along fast.”
September 22, 2010
…the Bulls have inked Brian Scalabrine to a non-guaranteed deal, making any potential trade for Anthony redundant. I mean, there’s only so much shooting and scoring a team needs, right?
It’s just as well.
The Denver Nuggets were willing to trade Carmelo to the Bulls, but only if Joakim Noah was included in the deal. As ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweeted, the Bulls aren’t currently willing to part with their wacky-haired big man.
TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott wrote a pretty comprehensive list of the benefits and costs of flipping Noah (along with, most likely, Luol Deng) for Anthony.
For me, the key reason not to do it is this: You can wager big bucks that new coach Tom Thibodeau wants to craft a finely tuned defensive squad. He can probably do that with Noah as the anchor, and Deng and Ronnie Brewer on the perimeter. But what could you expect from a core of ‘Melo, Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer with Omer Asik clogging the paint?
I shudder to think.
And anyway, while I love Anthony’s scoring ability, I love Noah’s intangibles even more. But don’t take my word for it. Take Scottie Pippen’s:
“You don’t want to lose a guy like Joakim and have a guy like Carmelo come here. Hey, he might not like it here. Next year he may be wanting to get out of here and go play somewhere else. I think it would be a huge gamble for the Bulls. It could set them back or it could push them up. I like Joakim, so for personal reasons I would probably keep him.”
But wait, there’s more:
“I think you have to say that he is one of the top two players on the team as far as value,” Pippen said. “He brings a lot to the table. You can’t forget that this kid is a winner, who is coming off his college career [with] two championships [at Florida]. He still wants to win, and he plays very hard. He’s not the most attractive player in terms of [style] out on the basketball court. He gets the job done, and he plays at a very high level. You can call him a poor man’s Dennis Rodman. He’s a presence out on the basketball court.”
There you have it. If Scottie said it, what more do you want?
September 13, 2010
From FanHouse: “Right now, I think that we have our team (in order for the season),” Rose said. “If it was something like (a trade for Anthony), I would have heard it (was close) or somebody would have called me. Nobody has called me yet. He’s still in Denver. He hasn’t said he wants to leave. So right now, I’m just playing it between the lines and worrying about what’s going on (in Turkey).”
Speaking of what’s going on in Turkey, congrats to Derrick on winning a gold medal with Team USA. In the gold medal game aginst the Turkish national team, Rose had 8 points (4-for-11) and a game-high 6 assists.
September 9, 2010
From ESPNChicago.com: “The Chicago Bulls are interested in trading for the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony and are discussing internally including Joakim Noah as part of the deal, according to a league source. … Noah will make $3.1 million this season in the fourth year of his rookie deal. He would become a restricted free agent next season unless the Bulls extend his contract.”
Why not Luol Deng, you ask? Well, the Nuggets don’t want to take on his cap-killing contract. Not many teams would want to take on Deng’s contract with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire next summer. Depending on what happens — lockout or a radically altered CBA — Luol’s deal could be a financial nightmare. Even more so than it is right now, that is.
But seriously…Noah? Really? I’m sorry, but in my humble and entirely biased opinion, Noah should be untouchable. He’s not going to score 30 points per game. But Noah is one of the league’s best rebounders, and he can serve as the anchor point of coach Tom Thiboeau’s defense (much like Kevin Garnett did in Boston).
Numbers and basketball skills aside, I love Noah’s intangibles. I love his heart, hustle and intensity. I love how much he wants to win. He doesn’t care about stats. All he cares about is helping his team get the W.
That’s not a criticism of Anthony. Maybe he wants it as much as Noah does. Admittedly, I haven’t gotten to watch ‘Melo play as often as I’ve seen Noah. Still…I’ve watched a fair share of Nuggets games. I just don’t feel the same “I will walk through fire to win” vibe I get from Joakim. To me, that’s worth more than 28 PPG.
But maybe that’s just me.