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.
February 19, 2011
Anthony Parker. Arron Afflalo. Courtney Lee. J.R. Smith. O.J. Mayo.
These are some of the names bloggers, Bulls fans and various experts have mentioned as potential answers to Chicago’s problem at the shooting guard position. The “problem” being Keith Bogans.
So, even as the Bulls nip at the heels of the Celtics and Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference, and as they eagerly await the return of Joakim Noah, the biggest question heading toward the trade deadline (February 24 at 3:00 p.m.) is: Will the team trade up at the two spot?
Bulls executive vice president John Paxson was a guest on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 Friday. Here’s what he said: “What we would be looking for as this trade deadline approaches is a little more scoring if we can find it, but we aren’t going to do anything to disrupt the chemistry of this team. We’ve made huge strides this year, and we still think our best basketball is yet to come.
“If we continue to get a guy like Keith Bogans playing well, knocking down two or three 3-pointers a game, and we bring guys like Ronnie Brewer off the bench and C.J. [Watson], we’re real comfortable with that,” Paxson said. “The bottom line is [Derrick Rose] is going to have the basketball in his hands the majority of the time.
“We’re not going to compromise our chemistry, because it’s an underrated thing in this league when you have a group that plays well together and fits together. And we’re not going to compromise what we believe we can do in the future to make us a championship team, not just for a year, but for a long period of time with Derrick Rose being just 22 years old. We’ll be cautious. We talked to a lot of teams. We listen, and throw ideas out there. And you never know, things can happen before the deadline … but we feel good where we’re at.”
I see where Paxson is coming from. At this point, the Bulls have very few tradeable assets. And by “tradeable asset” I mean something they are willing and able to give up and something other teams actually want. Because of this, it could be dangerous to make a knee-jerk move.
For instance, a lot of people are talking about Anthony Parker. Why not give up, say, Omer Asik and/or a first round draft pick or two to bring in a savvy vet who plays solid D and has shot better than 41 percent on threes over his career? Well, for starters, Parker is 35 years old and will turn 36 on June 19. So, obviously, he’s not going to be part of Chicago’s future plans. Furthermore, his Player Efficiency Rating (11.0) isn’t that much better than Bogans’ (8.1). So while he does represent an upgrade, it really is a relatively minor one.
The Bulls have limited cap space and very little to work with trade-wise. And, considering how well the season has gone so far despite the injuries to Noah and Carlos Boozer, it’s hard to imagine management making a move unless the perfect opportunity presents itself.
February 11, 2010
The Bulls might not want Tyrus Thomas anymore…but almost everybody else does. At least that’s how it seems. And thanks to the way Thomas recently freaked out on Vinny Del Negro – not to mention how he claimed to have no regrets about freaking out – potential trade partners are crawling from under rocks and out of dark corners. Hey, who doesn’t love a high-potential, under-performing, emotionally volatile project? Am I right?
According to Adrian Wajnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “Everyone understood Chicago executives are now determined to move Thomas, and a clear price has been established for suitors: Expiring contracts and a future first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Bulls are also exploring ways to package Thomas with guard Kirk Hinrich to free themselves of his contract.”
Wajnarowski continued: “Bulls management is telling teams they expect to take the bidding right to the Feb. 18 deadline. The Bulls want to avoid the possibility of Thomas accepting a $6.2 million qualifying offer on the eve of this summer’s free agency, which would deliver a major dent to their salary-cap space. Thomas, 23, will be a restricted free agent this summer.”
Chicago’s end-game is clear: Add a superstar — Dwyane Wade? Chris Bosh? Amar’e Stoudemire? — and another star or semi-star next summer. Oh, and a blue-chip draftee wouldn’t hurt, either. And players who aren’t part of that solution are part of the problem. Even if they don’t scream at the coach. (Sorry, Kirk. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t mean we don’t love you. Or at least like you. Or at the very worst tolerate you.)
Here are some possible trade buddies who may be in the running for Chicago’s enigmatic big man:
That grunting and panting you hear is Danny Ainge trying desperately to hold the Celtics championship window open a little longer. Plus, if Ainge wants to get anything out of Ray Allen’s expiring contract, this is the time to do it. We could see Thomas and Hinrich included in a deal with Boston.
Apparently, the Bobcats have offered Acie Law, Flip Murray and their 2010 first-round pick for Thomas. The Law / Murray combo represents over $4 million in expiring contracts, plus it would keep Thomas from accepting that $6.2 million qualifying offer. That’s $10 million in cap savings and a draft pick. Don’t we owe it to Michael Jordan to take his team’s money?
The Nuggets want a big man to bolster their playoff odds against the Lakers and their monster frontcourt. However, their roster situation doesn’t look very promising, trade-wise.
New Orleans Hornets:
They’re weak up front, and, as an added bonus, they’ve already traded with the Bulls once this season. That said, the Hornets are looking to cut costs, not take them on. And New Orleans is on the books for over $73 million next season.
New York Knicks:
The Knicks are trying to shift as many pieces as they can to lure LeBron James to New York this summer. But beware: They’re been looking to shed salary as much as anything else. Still, Al Harrington’s expiring contract might be an enticing offer…
Portland Trail Blazers:
The “Frail Blazers” lost both Greg Oden and Joel “The Vanilla Godzilla” Przybilla for the season. Those are their first and second string centers, by the way. Portland has been getting it done with Juwan Howard’s decaying corpse…but how long can that last? Also, teams have been scoring a lot of points in the paint against the Blazers. Thomas would provide depth up front and some interior defense.
It appears Portland “offered either Steve Blake or Travis Outlaw — both of whom have expiring contracts — and two future second-round draft picks for Thomas. The Bulls reportedly declined the deal, though, because they want more value in return.”
The Kings want size. They need it, really. And here’s an argument for Tyrus heading to Sacramento. Unprotected first round draft pick, anyone?
San Antonio Spurs:
The Spurs may be the only team that might be grunting and panting at their championship window more than the Celtics are at theirs. And no offense to Antonio McDyess, Matt Bonner and Theo Ratliff, but San Antonio needs some youth and athleticism in the frountcourt. At this point, McDyess and Ratliff are this closeto being legally declared “mummy” by leading mummy-ologists.
December 4, 2009
Coming soon to a Bulls game near you?
Heading into October, it looked like this season was going to decide Tyrus Thomas’ fate as a member of the Chicago Bulls. However, rumors seem to indicate that Chicago management has seen pretty much everything they need to see out of their enigmatic forward. Apparently, the Bulls have had discussions with “several teams” and an “ongoing dialogue” with New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh.
The theoretical deal would be a bargain platter of Thomas (who’s still out with a forearm injury) and Jerome James (who, let’s face it, was never going to play for the Bulls) in exchange for Knicks forward Al Harrington.
According to one league executive briefed on the talks: “Nothing is imminent, but both sides would like to figure out a way to do this.”
Walsh has been understandably reluctant to part with Harrington — currently is averaging 19.5 points (on 45 percent shooting) and 6.2 rebounds with a Player Efficiency Rating of 19.2 — but the Knicks aren’t going anywhere this season, with or without Harrington. Why not roll the dice with a young stud like Ty? Mike D’Antoni’s run ‘n gun offense can alway use athletic jumping jacks like Thomas. If any system is going to unleash Ty’s potential, it’s New York’s Seven Seconds or Less Lite. Think about it: a system that forces a player to shoot early and often without requiring him to give consistent effort on defense. It was made for guys like Tyrus!
As for the Bulls, they would get a certified frontcourt scorer (which they desperately, desperately need) who can play both power forward (as a starter) and small forward (to relieve Luol Deng). Adding scoring and versatility never hurts. But just as (if not more) importantly, Harrington has a $10.2 million contract that’s set to expire next summer. Ergo, the Bulls would still have plenty of spare cash to pursue impending free agents like Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, et al. (I didn’t include LeBron James on that list because, let’s face it, he’s not coming here.)
It’s been fairly obvious since the preseason that Taj Gibson is being groomed to replace Thomas anyway. And, frankly, he’s probably worth about 70 percent of “Good Tyrus” and around 127 percent of “Bad Tyrus” already. So if the Bulls can bring in a stopgap player who can provide instant offense and frontcourt versatility with no long-term obligations, it seems like a borderline no-brainer.
The downsides, of course, include the following. First, for all we know, Tyrus was set to have a breakout season before he got injured. After already investing several years in his development — although it could easily be argued that Chicago’s efforts at “developing” Thomas have been poorly concieved and even more poorly executed — it would be rather painful to see him explode for another team. Second, Al Harrington is young (well, 29 anyway), talented and has skills that are more “proven” than “potential.” However, if you browse over his career history, you’ll notice that he’s never really been an integral part of a winning situation. Numbers are nice — we know for certain that Al can provide 18-ish points and 6-ish rebounds a game — but it’s even better when the numbers equate to victories.
Maybe Harrington has never been in the right situation. Maybe the Bulls would finally provide him with one. Who knows? But either way, it’s an intriguing possibility. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of it.
July 24, 2009
According to Shania Sampson of the BlockShopper: “Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has listed for sale his four bedroom, 3.5-bath at 816 Castlewood Lane in Deerfield for the asking price of $829,000. Hinrich paid $906,500 for the home in Aug. 2004. The 4,000-square-foot home was built in 2004 in the subdivision of Deerfield Park.”
So not only is Captain Kirk trying to beam out of his house, he’s willing to accept a $70K loss (although it’ll probably be more than that after all the other extraneous expenses). Maybe that kind of money doesn’t mean much to a guy who’s going to make $9.5 million next season, or maybe he just wants out of the mortgage as quickly and cleanly as possible.
Of course, it seems as though his house has been on the market for a while, so this might be a simple re-listing. But “Kirk Hinrich” has been a hot name in several trade rumors this summer…so who knows. It’s probably not something to get all that excited about, but it’s worth keeping an eye on during these slow news times.