Clarifying Chicago’s trade deadline non-movement

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes: “When the Bulls refused to include Omer Asik in trade discussions with the Rockets for Courtney Lee, it was thought management tiptoed past Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. But according to multiple league sources, the Bulls aggressively pursued Grizzlies shooting guard O.J. Mayo, offering Ronnie Brewer, two first-round picks and one second-round pick. The Grizzlies rebuffed the offer.”

But…the Grizzlies were willing (if unable) to trade Mayo to the Pacers for Josh McRoberts and a first rounder? Really? And why?

Johnson continues: “There’s a longstanding theory Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, who has a home in the St. Charles area, doesn’t like doing business with the Bulls for competitive reasons. Whether that factored into the Grizzlies turning down what appears to be a more substantial offer than that of the Pacers is unknown.”

Alrighty then.

So, despite the all the hand-wringing and teeth-nashing by Bulls fans (myself included), it would appear management did their due diligence in pursuing an upgrade at the SG position. I mean, Brewer (whose contract expires in 2012) and three draft picks (including two first rounders) would have been a pretty solid return for Mayo.

Oh well. It’s not all doom and gloom.

Johnson added: “What is known is the Bulls move forward with their core of young assets intact and roughly $2.9 million of salary-cap space. They will monitor players whose contracts are bought out and must be added by March 1 to be playoff-eligible. They also could sign some Development League players. At this June’s draft, the Bulls will be in position with four first-round picks, cap space and contracts that expire in 2012 for Brewer, C.J. Watson and Kyle Korver (who has a partial guarantee for his third contractual year). They also will be able financially to make a move once a new collective bargaining agreement is set.”

I know it’s not easy to accept. It’s natural to have wanted an upgrade over Keith Bogans. But, really, this is smart management, folks. Forward thinking. Instant gratification isn’t always a good thing, even if it does provide, uhm, instant gratification.

Said Bulls GM Gar Forman: “Every year there seems to be two or three guys who are excellent players and teams are looking for expiring contracts, multiple draft picks and young assets. We didn’t want to make a deal just to make a deal. We want to make the right deal. We don’t know what we’re facing going forward (with a new CBA). Our feeling was we didn’t want to give up a young asset when you don’t know what’s on the horizon. We want to see what the playing field is going to look like. When you look at our roster and our books, we’re going to have opportunities.”

I still can’t say I’m totally happy with how things turned out. But I’m feeling better about them.

34 Responses to Clarifying Chicago’s trade deadline non-movement

  1. Inception February 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    wow…nice dose of hating from the Griz mgmt….that’s why their org will never win a title…letting their emotions get the best of ’em….this solidifies their crooked Gasol trade.

    Savage February 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Knowing all the info now I also feel better about it. Why the Grizzles would want McRoberts and a first rounder over multiple first rounders and a player is beyond me. Sounds like someone high up does not like the Bulls management team. It’s not like the Grizzles really have a chance at getting out of the first round in the West just with the addition of McRoberts. It is good to hear we tried are very best to get Mayo though. We are in very good position being a top team and having cap room, not sure many if any other top teams can say that. Great post Matt thanks. This blog has many knowledgeable fans contributing. I really enjoy coming here to talk basketball.

  3. Luke February 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I’m glad we have one of the smartest front offices in the league…

    I feel like most of the deals made yesterday were in response to other teams trades. That’s not how you should manage your team. Sure, taking into account how another conference contender is building its roster is important to consider, but making a trade simply because other teams are making trades is foolish. Every team is in its own individual situation, and each situation has its own individual solution.

    All this “can’t win with Bogans as a starter” is just a bunch of BS. If the team wins, they win. There is no asterik next to that W, showing that the win doesnt matter in the end because Bogans was starting.

    The team is in a very good place right now… probably the 2nd best team in the East, and pushing to be the best. We’re young. Its still our first season with the new coach. And rose/noah/asik/Gibson are only getting better.

    I am very pleased with how the bulls handled the hectic trade deadline and where the team is headed. If going 39-17 takes starting Bogans, keep starting him.From all the games that I have watched, there hasn’t been any noticeable losses where the entire game rested on the fact that we have Bogans at shooting guard.

    inkybreath February 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    *Inception – good call on linking this emotional non-move by the Griz to the Gasol trade. I wonder if the Bulls nabbing the first pick – a player coming from the University of Memphis, no less – against all odds, really messed up the Griz plans/expectations. Perhaps the owner holds some belief that it was somehow setup for Chicago and can’t stomach helping the team gel further.

    One bright side right now is that there are a few players who have yet to really hit a stride: Bogans, Korver and particularly Gibson. He has got to start getting his shots to fall in the paint. It seems that he puts himself right in position, time and again, but can’t quite finish. (Hell, this team could use some finishing drills. Brewer needs to work with Rose and Boozer on his reverse lay-up skills.)

    We need those easy baskets and it is still a little painful when Brewer or Bogans look so sharp defensively and make a play and the moment they are on offense – they freeze in the headlights of transition.

    I have to admit, Brewer has hit some nice jumpers and has done so at good times ….

    nuff said, great win … go Bulls!

    BFD February 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I think some of the numbers being thrown around out there are wonky.

    According to this site ( The Bulls only have 3 draft picks this year, two of them in the bottom of the first round. We might still get Charlotte’s 1st if they can get out of the lottery, but that probably wont happen this year.

    And sure, after the 2012 season, the Bulls wont be paying Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer…but the Bulls roster would consist of Carlos Boozer (who through raises would be making 1 Million more), Luol Deng (making 3 Million more), Noah (making NINE Million more than this year thanks to his extension), Derrick Rose (Making who knows how much more a Max extension would give him in a raise, but I imagine it to be substantial) and Taj Gibson playing out the last year of his rookie deal. After that we would have nothing but late round 1st rounders filling out our roster.

    Think we will be able to sign guys next year with all of that cap space we saved this year? Did you forget that Noah signed that extension this year? Go here ( and look, the Bulls will have 3 new open roster slots on their team…and are still paying out an extra 6 million. That would put them over the cap this year, and next year the cap may be smaller, be hard, who knows.

    This year was the year we should have made our move, cap space will just get harder as time moves on and oh yeah, if we let all of these guys go then where is our vaunted chemistry then?

    Chuck February 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I would rather the Bulls stand pat then make some sort of panic move. After the dust has settled, I think that the Bulls have the best frontcourt in the East. The Celtics trading away Perkins makes no sense to me.
    I think the combo of Boozer, Noah, Taj, Asik and Big Sexy is probably the deepest collection of post players in the East. All of these guys can play and would be starters/rotation players for any team in the NBA. The only team that is better in the post is the Lakers with the fearsome Gasol/Odem/Bynum combo.
    Would it be nice if they could have gotten a good 2 guard for nothing? Sure. But with all teh picks they have in this upcoming draft, they can get one there. Out of the expiring contracts of Brewer, Korver and Bogans I would keep Brewer and let the others walk.

    Jake in Minnie February 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Speaking of buy out pick ups, I think Derrick Brown maybe a good pick-up to spell Loul some minutes:

    After being traded to Charlotte, they dropped him.

    Also, Simmons blasted the Bulls for not going after Mayo (but I think that was written before we found out about the Griz management) or Shane Battier (which made me happy, as at least one big name person besides me thought this was a good idea), but I am fine with that.

    I wonder who else is getting bought out.

    Tony C. February 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    That late, crucial offensive possession could prove to be a turning point. The Bulls success in the playoffs may well hinge on their ability to find options other than Rose to hit the big shot. Strong defenses cause problems for obvious shooters during crunch time in the playoffs, and just like Jordan needed Kerr and Paxson, etc., Rose will need to be able to confidently distribute (if necessary) under such conditions.

    Let’s hope we see more of that, so that Rose won’t hesitate come playoff time.

    tonious35 February 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I know how bad you guys want OJ Mayo, but I am glad your Bulls team did not trade away Omer Asik, unlike what Boston did to Semih Erden for a strand of pubic hair.

    Omer Asik is a listener, a good student of the game, and who will make sacrifices to give you a win. Don’t let that light-toned skin of his fool you, he ain’t no stiff in the paint.

    Asik injured Bosh a month ago because he wanted the ball more and was hungry to do his job, thank you (yes I am a current Raptor fan). I can feel that Thibby loves this guy because when Asik won’t get any points, he’ll put all his effort to help the Bulls win a game in any other way, and he’ll do it properly. Last night he out played Mr. Dislexic (Joel Anthony, a fellow Canadian of mine) by a country mile.

    Put faith in your hard working underdogs, and they will deliver.

    TimeTraveler February 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Bulls management did a great job staying put, really. first, the league knows the bulls are one good shooting guard away from an NBA title, and NO team wants to help Chicago create a team that they themselves wouldn’t be able to get past in the playoffs. Case in point, I’m sure whatever the Bulls offered Memphis for Mayo was better than Josh McRoberts. Can you imagine if the Bulls got Mayo! Clearly, Indiana and every other team had no desire to make the bulls better. As I suspected all along, help was simply not coming through a trade.

    Second, I cringe at the thought of a bulls trade because the Bulls have a history giving away more than they receive in trades, and as a result, teams are probably accustomed to asking the Bulls for more than they would ask other teams. Examples: Scottie Pippen to Houston – GIVEAWAY! Toni Kukoc to Philly – Giveaway! Elton Brand for draft pick in a weak draft – RIDICULOUS! A young Ron Artest and Brad Miller for an old Jalen Rose – ROBBERY! LaMarcus Aldridge, Jamal Crawford, Kirk Hienrik… well, you get my point. Not a single one of these trades made the Bulls better, but the other team certainly got better. The Bulls are no longer making ridiculous trades because Krause is no longer at the helm (don’t get me wrong, the new regime has made some bad choices too), but teams are still expecting the Bulls to make sucker deals because that’s the history (with the exception of the trade that brought in Scottie Pippin, but that was pure luck).

    I hope I’m not the only one breathing a sigh of relief that no deal was made because the Bulls would have come out on the losing end. Yet again! They will get the right pieces, we just have to be patient.

    Gorditadogg February 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Time Traveler- I too am happy we didn’t make a deal. It was hard to get excited about getting one of the Rockets’ or Grizzlies’ back-ups. Keeping Omer and Taj was the right choice.

    I do think that Gar/Pax have made some pretty good trades over the last few years though. Getting rid of Wallace’s contract was not easy but they got it done. Salmons/Miller for Nocioni etc. was a good trade for us too.

    Thunder February 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    If the Grizzlies wanted Ronnie Brewer, they would have kept him after the end of last season, when they already had him on their roster.

    ty February 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm #


    ty February 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    It would be sweet if this years draft was deeper. Even if a C.J. Fair from Syracuse was coming out. I believe in this team like many of you Bulls fans. Even if you hate the 2 guard, you still see wins

  15. Luvabull February 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    I am glad that Asik is still a Bull. I do now believe he sat the Raptors game because he was being considered for a trade. Had he played, I think the Bulls could have won that game.
    He has played excellent defense of late. His rebounding is getting stronger (over 5 boards in 11 minutes per game) and his help defense is improving. He has two double digit rebounding games this month playing less than 21 minutes. Given more time to learn (and he has a great mentor in Thomas), he will learn to take charges well and that will be a huge improvement to Bulls team defense.

    Aaron February 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Have to agree with BFD here; the time to move for the Bulls was now. Maybe it wouldn’t have been OJ Mayo.

    But maybe Morey would have swapped Courtney Lee for a first rounder. Maybe the Bulls could have picked up some of the runoff from the Carmelo trade – Wilson Chandler would look pretty good in Chicago. Or swapped a pick for Francisco Garcia.

    Just saying – something, guys, anything. Big mistake. Simmons put it best by giving them a nice, solid, F–.

  17. jaymo February 26, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    the bulls have lost 9 games by six points or less. Bogans is giving us 4 points per game. imagine if we had a starting 2 guard who could give us 10 points. we would have the best record in the east right now. hopefully we can’t get tayshaun prince, start him at the three and move lu to the 2. Our perimeter d would be excellent and the bench rotation could stay the same. The only person who would lose minutes is Bogans and who will really miss him.

    Savage February 26, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    @Aaron, That reasoning is suspect. A team 3rd in the East 7-4 against the best teams in the NBA. Have beat the Celtics, Spurs, Heat, and Dallas. 15-5 in the last 20. Second best home record in the NBA. Need I go on? An F- for not ruining your young and very impressive core? I think not… It appears that multiple picks and a player were offered to at least the Grizzles for Mayo and for Lee….Frankly he is not worth all that. Teams wanted Asik and big men with his skill set are highly sought after in the league for good reason. We were not going to trade a young asset to have a mediocre upgrade at the two.

    Ed B February 26, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    I was very angry when the bulls did not pull the trigger on a 2 guard, but after hearing everything they offered up for Mayo and Lee makes me feel better. I think they were going to overpay for both with those offers. I wanted Mayo, but this goes to show that the Grizzlies stiffed the Bulls for Gasoul. What haters! I hope they can get Afflalo in the off season. If Rip gets bought out grab him!

  20. twan chronic February 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Simmons gave da bulls an F- only cuz dey didnt do wat he wanted dem to do. u just dont make deals to make a deal. u have to get da rite person to fit ur team winnin flow and if dat deal was offered to da Griz and dey denied it shame on dem dey will always be a the bottom neva to see da lite. great job forman and paxson on stayin pat. look at all da deals dat was done all teams have to get readjusted to each other while teams dat didnt do anything chemistry gets stronger. really i think we shud try to get anthony parker, he can shoot, PASS, and DEFEND which is wat da bulls r about–mayo can give u scorin dats it

    spacetime February 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Exactly Savage. We really do need another 2, BUT not if the price is Asik. Looking towards next year, he will be a key backup to Noah (since I’m guessing Thomas won’t be around next season). He’s young, improved by leaps and bounds this season, and fits Thib’s system well. Good big men are hard to find and they’re what Miami lacks. Our size/quality inside is how we’re going to beat them over the years to come (when they’ll be our biggest rivals in the east, probably).

    I’m glad we tried, but if teams are going to be unrealistic, it’s better to stand pat. Bogans just better get his ass to the gym and keep working on the 3-pointer, now.

    BoppinBob February 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    If I am Detroit, all the “boycott players” would be gone, so would the coach. If I am the Bulls I would not take any of the “boycott players” because they have already demonstrated that they are willing to be a disruptive force. So much for the idea that Rip Hamilton could potentially be a Bull.

    Brad S. February 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    I would like to take this opportunity to come out of my retirement and call for a little perspective on Mr Keith Bogans. (BTW, hello again to all you long-time readers!)

    The Bulls are 39 and 17. I seem to remember that we recently had some whole seasons without that many wins! Compaired to that, this season has been a beautiful thing to behold and Mr. Bogans has been a part of that. Now I am not saying that he is the best 2 gaurd in the league or that his game is above criticism. But I do think credit should be given to someone who has earned it. So the quotes of “hate the 2 gaurd” and “who will really miss him” might be a tad bit harsh.

    I also happen to think that Coach Thibs has earned the benefit of the doubt. If this is his guy for the starting rotation, well (hard swallow) …then I will trust him. I certainly cannot argue with his results thus far!

    BoppinBob February 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Good to hear from you Brad. I still don’t get the big deal about Bogans, he was brought in to provide defense and the ocassional spot-up 3. On the season he is hitting 36.7% from 3 pt land, (Jan 43.8%, Feb 48.3%) He is playing 15 to 18 minutes a game, and is rarely on the court at crunch time. He is a role player. The fact that he plays at the start of the game is because he fills his role at that time. If people are uncomfortable with it that is their problem. I have accepted it because the result is a 39-17 record and more importantly 7-4 vs the top teams in the league. IMO these Bulls are a viable threat for the league championship as they are presently assembled. If they can upgrade the SG situation through a buy-out pick-up fine but I think they will be fine as is. They do have to add somebody to fill the last spot on the required roster quota.

  25. Raevyrn February 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    According to Stein, Rip Hamilton didn’t want to be traded to the Cavs and then bought out, which would have allowed him to sign with a playoff team. If this is correct, and based on the benching and other shenanigans in Detroit, it seems like a good thing the Bulls didn’t bring in any of that to disrupt the chemistry of the team.

    Simmons and some others on here think we should have made some move, any move to acquire a two guard. If there’s one lesson you can take away from the past several years, it’s not to overpay. It’s why the owners/management are trying to renegotiate the CBA to prevent their own stupidity.

    Have some patience, trust our team, and enjoy what has been accomplished so far.

    BFD February 27, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    I swear I hope I’m wrong as much as I hope everybody whom all season long have been saying that the bulls are one piece away from a championship. Because as I outlined above the Bulls have little to no shot of getting another good piece. Those of you hoping we can draft a shooting guard that can shoot the 3, play good D, and oh yeah…be found in the back half of one of the weakest drafts in memory are fooling yourself.

    I haven’t been bagging on Bogans as much lately because he has been shooting better. I just hope he can keep up the pace. But please, unless somebody out there can elighten me…other than Coach saying he’s a great defender, what proof do you have that he is a great defender? How many opposing 2 guards has he shut down this year, hmmm? I swear, he doesn’t look *that* good to me to call him a “great” defender.

    JoeSez February 27, 2011 at 5:47 am #


    Bulls need a SG upgrade but that *is* one of the easiest positions to fill in the later part of the draft.

    Stanford’s Landry Fields is this year’s guy.

    Yes, it would be great if some team gave the Bulls a top SG on the cheap but that did’t happen. Landing a SG by giving away a 7 ft Center or PF isn’t an improvement.

    Realist February 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    You guys have to be kidding yourself if you think that 2 picks in the 23-30 range in the weakest draft in 10 years plus Brewer and a 53-58 ranged pick (again in the weakest draft in 10 years) was better than a non protected lottery draft pick and a young PF with some upside. McRoberts might not be that great but I would much rather have him than Brewer and a crappy 2nd round pick. A non protected LOTTERY pick is worth a lot more than 2 late first rounder. That is the case EVERY YEAR when teams try and trade a 22 and 28 pick they never get higher than 16, much less a non protected lottery pick. Good lord I wonder if you guys even try to think about trades rather than assuming that just because the Bulls offered a trade it is automatically the best one that was out there. BTW Houston and Cleveland both didn’t want to trade for the poo poo platter and they had less talented players they were offering so why aren’t you guys crying about them more than the Grizz?

  29. Bam! February 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Is it possible to draft a player still in college before the NBA draft actually starts? I was watching a Villanova basketball game and two guards caught my eye:

    Corey Fisher (senior). He’s a bit short, but he could grow, since he’s so young. This kid was interesting because he seems to be most comfortable as a two guard, but he is a good passer as well. According to the Villanova website, he shoots about 40% from 3 point land. However, his defense isn’t anything to get excited about. He’d probably be somewhere in next year’s NBA draft and I think we could grab him easily in a late round.

    Dominic Cheek (sophmore): This one won’t be in next year’s draft, but I think it might be somehow possible to get him into the D-league and then pull him onto our roster from the D-league. He’s taller than Fisher (Cheek is 6-6) but looks thinner. This kid is going to be good. He’s very athletic, handles the ball well, rebounds well, plays defense and shoots just over 45% from the field.

    Just throwing that out there….

  30. Bam! February 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    We can still pull D-Leaguers up, right?

    I think we should make a move on Orien Greene. The Nets signed him to a ten day contract when Farmar was out, but I think the contract has expired now. In the D-League, he’s been going 45% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, he’s averaging 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Trouble is, he’s almost 30 and averages just under 4 turnovers a game.

    Another possibility is Walker Russel, Jr. He tends to be used as a point guard, but his stats indicate that he could fill the two guard spot well. He’s shooting about 47% from the field and 32% on threes. He also throws in 3 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals per game. This one would be a nice pick because he has not reached his peak yet. You can see that all his stats, especially shooting averages, have been going up every year since his first D-League stint in 2006. This would be a good time to bring him up.

    Savage February 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    @Realist, Everyone is welcome to their opinion. You seem to think there is no chance you are wrong. Taking that standpoint rarely lets you see both sides of an argument in my opinion. I see your point I really do. But I disagree with the argument as a whole. If I was a GM I would prefer to have the Bobcats 1st round pick (which we have)they are not going to make the playoffs and will likely have a pick well before the end of the first round. Combine that with our first round pick and a second round pick with a talented young player in Brewer…And I am sorry that is much much more sweet of a deal than McRoberts and a first round pick protected or not. And so would many here. If you disagree then I am more than happy to agree to disagree. I wont sit here and attack you just because you have a different opinion. That is not part of a good discussion.

    Jake in Minnie February 28, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    It seems Rasual Butler maybe headed this way (to the Bulls that is, not MN):

    Gorditadogg February 28, 2011 at 4:43 am #


    Here are some reasons I think Bogans is a good defender:

    1. First and foremost, Tibs is one of the best defensive minds in the NBA and he thinks Bogans is a good defender.

    2. 8 other NBA coaches, including respected defensive-minded coaches like Popovich, Rivers and Stan Van Gundy, have made Bogans their starting 2-guard, despite his offensive limitations.

    3. One player Bogans has defended well this year is Wade. He has played Wade very physical, made a couple steals, drawn a charge and forced Wade into
    many awkward shots.

    4. Bogans plays good support defense. He rotates well, and makes few mistakes. Although he seems susceptible to a quick first step from quicker guards, he plays smart, doesn’t foul much, and rarely gives up offensive rebounds.

    Overall I think Bogans has been doing the job for us, and we will need him in the playoffs.

    BFD March 1, 2011 at 12:52 am #

    1. As a sports fan I have seen it quite often when a coach becomes married to a player for whatever reason. From Rex Grossman is our quarterback to Carlos Zambrano getting the nod on opening day (although thankfully, not this year).

    2. You can tell that worked out because all those coaches kept him as their starting 2 guard….hey, wait….

    3. You admit that he is slow, but maintain that he doesn’t foul much and he plays good support defense. Its true that Bogan’s doesn’t have that many fouls, but he doesn’t play that often. Lets look at his fouls per 36 minutes compared to the rest of the team

    Korver 3.1
    Bogans 2.9
    Deng 2.0
    Brewer 1.9
    Rose 1.6

    Its funny that among our guards/wing players how Bogans has the second worst foul rate. Its also funny how Bogan’s foul rate is so close to Kyle “I can’t play defense” Korver, right?

    And while it may be nice to have an “I play good help Defense” badge, that apparently doesn’t mean much as far as the game goes. While I don’t think he plays help defense any better than most of the bulls, I can’t seem to prove he doesn’t…other than the fact that he has the worst +/- on the team, that his +/- is even worse against good teams, and the Bulls tend to lose points-wise the 1st and 3rd quarters. If he is so good, how come the Bulls aren’t winning those times when he is in?

    At this point, you are right that we will need him in the playoffs…the Bulls didn’t leave themselves with much of a choice.

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