Latest rumor: Luol for Shaq


The Phoenix Suns want to dump Shaq. Or, more accurately, they want to rid themselves Shaq’s super-sized contract (worth $20 million in 2009-10). Times are tough, and, like many teams, they’d like to save a little money. Initially, the predominant rumor was Shaq to Cleveland. In return, Phoenix would receive the corpse of Ben Wallace, pine jockey Sasha Pavlovic and $10 million in salary and luxury tax savings. Then the Suns announced they wanted actual player value in return for The Big Tweeter, and new potential suitors emerged: The Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks.

Oh, and the Chicago Bulls.

According to Bob Young of the Arizona Republic: “There also were rumors that O’Neal might be headed to Chicago in exchange for Luol Deng, Tim Thomas and at least one other player. The Bulls would want O’Neal so they could dump his contract at the end of next season and create cap space in 2010 to go after Dwyane Wade or some other member of that epic free-agent class. It seems unlikely, but Deng would appear to fit into the Suns style. And we can’t dismiss anything from Chicago, considering the relationships that Suns General Manager Steve Kerr has with Bulls General Manager John Paxson and coach Vinny Del Negro.”

Well, uh, wow. Like Young, I think this scenario seems pretty unlikely. League sources indicate that Shaq might be looking for a two-year contract extension in concert with any trade. That’s not going to happen in Chicago. (And if it did, I would celebrate by walking in front of a moving bus.) Still…the trade would be interesting. It would get Luol’s contract — which runs through 2014 and would cost the Bulls more than $60 million — off the books. Chicago would address their one glaring need — a big man who can score inside. Joakim Noah could move over to power forward (a better position for him). And O’Neal’s giant contract would expire in time for The Summer of LeBron’s Free Agency. Not that we’d get LeBron, mind you, but Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and various other players would be available.

Once concern I’d have would be the “and at least one other player” part. The Bulls really can’t afford to do a three-for-one swap, assuming all three are regular rotation players. Maybe the Suns would be willing to take a draft pick in return (preferably the 26th pick)? Jerome James maybe? (Ha!) It’s all speculation at this point. Stay tuned.

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36 Responses to Latest rumor: Luol for Shaq

    rocky rosado June 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I’d give them another player if they give us the #14th pick.

    Luol Deng
    Tim Thomas
    Tyrus Thomas


    Shaquille O’neal
    #14 pick

    with the #14 pick we draft BJ Mullens
    with the #16 pick we draft Terrance Williams
    with the #26 pick we draft DaJuan Summers

    Matt McHale June 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Holy cow. How’d I forget about Tim Thomas?! I like your idea, but I have a feeling the Suns wouldn’t want to give up yet another first round draft pick, especially after all the heat they’ve taken for giving those up the past four or five seasons.

    Alan June 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    You guys want to do this trade? You’re nuts. Shaq is 38 and he cant run. He’s gonna slow down the transition game and turn us into a half court team. I hate this trade and I hate it even more if Ty Thomas is in it. With Deng healthy we can go big with Rose Salmons Deng and TT Noah and Miller filling out the front court. Everyone forgets how well we did without Deng last year. If he can come back and be close to what he was two years ago and Thomas Noah and Rose keep developing we could be a force in the east. Stop going crazy over the idea of LeBron Wade and Bosh because it probably isn’t going to happen.

    Now if this trade was for Amare you can forget everything I just wrote.

    AK Dave June 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm #


    Good idea, asking for the 14th pick. However…

    BJ Mullens is NOOOT an NBA player, I’m telling you. Did you see him play last year? He didn’t even light up the Big 10- he’s not going to get it done against Dwight or Tim or even Glen Davis.

    DX summarizes his strengths thusly:

    – Scoring instincts
    – Ability to establish position in post
    – Excellent hands
    – Excellent Touch
    – Huge upside
    – Ability to finish around basket
    – Ability to run the floor
    – Athleticism
    – NBA body

    MMmmm-kay, not bad, but THEN here are his weaknesses:

    – All-around offensive polish
    – Turnover prone
    – Ability to put ball on floor
    – Advanced post moves
    – Commitment to playing defense
    – Defensive awareness
    – Defensive fundamentals
    – Man to man defense
    – Off-ball defense
    – Basketball IQ
    – Doesn’t always play hard
    – Experience
    – Focus
    – Likelihood of reaching potential
    – Not ready to contribute immediately
    – Questionable intangibles
    – Work ethic
    – Got by on instincts at college level
    – Not productive enough
    – Assist to turnover ratio
    – Passing skills
    – Average rebounder
    – Free throw shooting
    – Jump-shot

    So… he can’t score, he can’t play defense, his work ethic is questionable, his focus and basketball IQ are in question, he “doesn’t always play hard”, and he can’t pass… on and on and on.

    Read the rest of his summary here:

    Why do you like this guy, bro? I’m an OSU guy and I think he’s the worst center we’ve EVER had there.

    I just can’t see the Bulls using the 14th pick on another “project” big man who can’t play right away.

    Kevin Green June 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    That sounds like a good trade and deal that would really benifit the bulls. A big man that they really need. My starting five would be d rose, ben gordon, john salmons, noah, and big disel in the middle. If this happens the bulls would be trouble.

    Drew June 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    Shaq for Luol Deng would be the best thing ever! Not because it’s Shaq, and it addresses a need we’ve been lacking for quite some time, but it gets rid of Deng! Honestly, what do we think is going to happen with Deng? Is he going to become anybody in this league? Was he really somebody in college? He played for one of the best college coaches ever and we think it was him? NO.

    We get rid of huge contracts if we do this and gain one. If Shaq wants an extension, offer him something and if he doesn’t like it, bye bye. We will have plenty to go after once next season is over. We really shouldn’t be thinking past next season either because it’s going to shake-up the entire league and any fan knows this league is all about match ups, especially within their division. Can Big Z of the Cavs keep up with Shaq? On the flip side though, can Deng keep up with James? Only one scenario is the real one, but the other could be a solid equalizer for the Bulls.

    We need to get rid of Tyrus Thomas, Tim Thomas, Deng and Hinrich (in the near future) so this could get rid of two or three of the problems in one swoop and be able to clear room for the next year. Shaq has no say in where he goes, so offer the Suns as much as possible to get rid of bad contracts that were signed by Paxson. This team needs Gordon, and this would be a solid trade for both parties and both teams would benefit from this.

    Eric June 16, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    I know Shaq is close to done, but he is still pretty effective. Shaq and Miller maybe Noah when needed at C, Noah and Thomas at PF, Rose/Hinrich/and a draft pick at the Gs. Then we trade jerome james for lebron, and have him and salmons a SF. Thats a contender

    Brendan June 17, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Eric – I really hope you’re joking about that last part in trading Jerome James for LeBron James. yeah, thats exactly what Cleveland is looking for in return for the best player in the league.

    Detroit Murder Dog June 17, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    I will drive Deng to the airport. I will take nearly any expiring contract to get this loser off of the team. I would love having Shaq on this team, although not at the expense of a 2 year extension.

    Czernobog June 17, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    Do the number for a s&t with Luol and Ben add up?

  11. Bucjo June 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    Bulls Send

    Deng, Brad Miller, Nocini Trade Exception for Shaq ( it works under the ESPN Trade machine)

    Then The Bulls do a sign and trade for Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas for Chris Bosh.

    Starting Lineup

    Tim Thomas

    Hinrich, Noah, BJ Mullens, Casspi or Hansbrough off the bench

  12. Breeze June 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Cut it out please, I say trade Kirk, Deng and the 16th pick to the Suns for Stoudamire. Nash and Grant Hill is getting up there in age. We have to find away to resign Ben Gordon, he lead us in scoring for the last 3 years reward him!!!!

  13. kruppyo'
    nickman June 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    I cannot believe i am hearing some of these insane notions about the Bulls. We are on the right track as it is. Everyone know you need Defense to win championships. Shaq will only slow us down and it is important to keep Miller with Noah and Thomas to teach them how to pass. Miller only played a few seasons with Vlade Divac and look what it did for his passing. Give Noah and Thomas a few seasons with him and it will pay dividens for years. Shaq will teach them nothing, way different styles of play.

    Robert June 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I am not a huge fan of Deng and his contract in particular. I am definately not a fan of Shaq(at this point in his career) and his attitude(at any point of his career), but this is a deal that I might consider if and only if we get the #14 pick back from the Suns.

    NO pick no deal, period.

    any other player from the Bulls would have to be salary cap scrap not a front line player.

    Deng and expiring contracts is a double win for the Suns, they have to “give” us something(the #14) to make it worth our while.

    I do not advocate trading Deng, Hinrich, or Gordon for that matter as pure salary dumps. We need to get basketball value in return for any of these guys.

    With the #14 and #16 I would target Mullens, Blair, Austen Daye and Terence Williams.

    At #26 Toney Douglas looks like a good fit as the 3rd guard in our future rotation.

  15. kruppyo'
    nickman June 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Another topic i want to touch up on. The Bulls need to part ways with Gordan and hang onto Hinrich. Yes Hinrich does make alot of money for a backup. However he is backing up 2 or 3 positions. We are much better of paying a quality play $10 mil off the bench backing up 3 positions rather than 3 average players $3 mil each. We need to keep our rotation of Noah, Thomas, and Miller at the 4 and 5. And Deng, Salmons, Rose, and Hinrich off the bench at the 3, 2, and 1. If we get into foul trouble we bring in Gray, Nelson, Tim Thomas and our draft picks off the bench. Let this team mesh for a year and see what happens. If we need more we can make a trade with our expiring contracts came Trade Deadline time, (Tim Thomas, Jerome James)

  16. DJ_Fat Mack June 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    First off I would no way get rid of Ty Thomas, it would add to the list of players who leave here and go somewhere else and shine. I would do the Deng for Shaq only if we get Ben Gordon signed. This may be crazy but I would trade for eddy curry which he should have never left in the first place, and he can score and is an upgrade from arron gray and jerome james. The key to the east is gonna be with lost post players.


    shaq, ty thomas, eddy curry, all expiring contracts 2010.

    Shaq for Deng
    curry for #26 pick, tim thomas,

    Tyrus Thomas

    eddy curry
    brad miller

    AK Dave June 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm #


    I’d like for either you or Rocky to give me your reasoning for drafting BJ (the name says it all) Mullens. He has proven nothing. He’s Robert Swift lite.

  18. BJ@NET.COM'
    PHIL JACKASSON June 17, 2009 at 9:26 pm #



  19. Jake June 18, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    wow.. this is what we should do

    bulls trade:
    -sign ben gordon and trade
    -deng (hes never done too good anyway)

    -amare staudemire
    -leandro barbosa

    and then sign chris bosh or dwayne wade

    future starters

    derrick rose
    tyrus thomas
    john salmons
    amare staudemire

    Felipe Garcia June 18, 2009 at 4:24 am #

    I think that is a stupid deal, all the bull need to focuses on getting Chris Bosh only!!!

    jaymizel June 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Anybody that is a bulls fan know that you dont need a big man to win in this league anymore it would be nice but not absolute..there is no way you get rid of Ty thomas the boy has way to much potential…our first priority is to re sign Ben or all this trade talk isnt going 2 change the fact we need someone willing to take the clutch shot & knock it down its a guards league now Shaq is cool but not the answer for Deng i like the idea of being deep with rose hinrich ben salmons deng thomas noah miller thats eight deep how many teams go deeper than that in the playoffs any way..dont get excited bout this shaq thing well be back in the dinosaur age again

    Detroit Murder Dog June 18, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    DJ Fat Mack, who has left the Bulls and gone on to shine? Chandler? Sweetney? Pargo? This isn’t the Cubs letting Maddux or Brock go. With all due respect, anyone who advocates for getting Curry back needs to stop posting trade ideas.

    Jaymizel, since when do you not need a big man to win in the NBA? The Lakers had Gasol and Bynum and that worked out pretty well. LA beat a team with Howard. Sounds like size is still pretty important in the league.

  23. JJN June 19, 2009 at 2:50 am #

    NO NO NO NO! we could get sumone way better dan da deisel hes already to old he only has about 2 years on him we need a 6-8 year man in da middle… but Deng needs to get out of Chicago he not good!

  24. DJ FATMACK June 19, 2009 at 3:31 am #


    Jay June 19, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Ok reality.

    Deng is not worth and has not shown anything in his career remotely worth 71 million dollars. He was given the contract anyway. ANYTHING ALMOST that gets him off the books is worth it. You win with stars in this league and everyone knows it. YOU HAVE TO take a chance on 2010. We got ridulously lucky to get a bonified superstar (Rose) in the draft. Now we have to take every step to grab Bosh or Wade or Lebron next year. If we get either we are bonified contenders for the next 7 years barring injuries. Deng for Shaq, Deng for Saltines, Deng for beef jerky Clear up 2010 space!

    Colin June 19, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    Anyone who thinks we can sign ANYONE in Free Agency with out first getting Shaq’s huge expiring contract is truly retarded. This is not baseball, there is a SALARY CAP, right now we are OVER it, we can not afford to just sign whoever we want. The reason we would trade for shaq is because we could then use his 20 Million dollars to go sign either Bosh or Wade, we cant trade for Stoudamire and sign one of them, that’s just laughable.

    Adam June 20, 2009 at 5:02 am #

    Yea right the bulls should see if phoenix would give up shaq for tim thomas, jerome james, and loul who will never be anything in the league

  28. Anonymous June 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    shaq is a has been let him get back to what he does best running his big fat stupid mouth

    chad June 20, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    The only good thing about this trade would be to rid deng’s salary. I do not like the idea of bringing in shap. He will only slow our team down and ruin our already superb transition game. This trade will not happen.

    RICHIE June 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    All of my personal biases aside, I would definitely go through with this trade. It’s been all over the news before that Dwayne Wade WOULD come to play here in Chicago. If Shaquille O’neal was on the Chicago Bulls, wouldn’t this give Wade a little bit more incentive to play here (Heat ’06 memories)? I’m sure these two folks may still be friends, on one level or another.

    Give up Loul Deng, Tyrus Thomas or Brad Miller ($11 million last year to play like he did?), and Tim Thomas IN A HEART BEAT!!

    My best interest is for the future of the Chicago Bulls. I don’t hold up personal biases against certain players, for whatever ridiculous reason . . .

    Frank June 21, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    ok ok the suns were a team averaging 108 points a game prolly a little more and then they got shaq he takes up a lot of space bt the suns and the bulls are driving and cutting teams shaq would mess all that up rose would have little room to drive and thats what he does when hes at his best he drive for crazy lay-ups so forget about shaq either its amare or bosh make it happen.

    VoiceOfReason June 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    I would like to address all the blatantly wrong things that have been posted:

    -You don’t need a big man to win a championship.
    Every championship team of the last ten years has had an all-star pf or c. Pretty much every championship team ever, with Jordan’s Bulls being the only exception, has had one of these.

    -Tyrus Thomas has huge potential.
    Sorry, no he does not. Tyrus is too small to ever be an effective power forward. Every other pf in the league except Rashard Lewis (who’s a tweener anyway) has either 2 inches or 30 pounds on him. He’s at constant disadvantage in the post. He won’t ever have a reliable enough jumper or the range to be a a good tweener like Rashard Lewis. Tyrus can jump high. That is it. And because people like to see huge dunks and opponent’s shots being thrown into the stands, they think he has potential. Tyrus Thomas will never be better than a 12 and 8 and 2 guy. And that’s not bad, that’s a valuable player. But don’t fool yourself into thinking he can consistently put up 16 and 10.

    -Hinrich backs up 3 positions.
    Kirk Hinrich is 6’3″. There are no 6’3″ small forwards for a reason. He played decent defense on Paul Pierce for 3 minutes. That doesn’t make him a small forward and whoever proposed this is dangerously stupid.

    -Trade scenarios involving Kirk, Deng, and the 16th for a superstar.
    This only works with Chris Wallace. You don’t get a superstar for an above average starter, a role player, and a non-lottery pick in the second worst draft ever. Even in the KG deal, Minnesota netted Al Jefferson (perennial 21 and 10, will be recognized as a true superstar once he leaves Minnesota), 3 role players, and two first round picks.

    – BJ Mullens is a good pick.
    No. A 9 and 5 guy in college isn’t going anywhere. Please provide one player he performed that piss poorly in college who ended up a successful NBA player.

    – We were a better team with Deng playing last year.
    With Deng we were 23-26. Without Deng we were 18-15.

    Hope that helps.

  33. David Yang June 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    Tyrus is a clown and he proved it by doing JACK in the playoffs. Sure, he had one *decent* game where he got lucky and started draining jump shots, but overall, you can’t count on the guy. Tyrus doesn’t listen and he has an attitude.

    Get over him people, he’s not a winner. Bulls need to trade Thomas while his stock is high.

    Shawn June 22, 2009 at 1:31 am #

    First off the bulls won’t trade anyone! this is best young team in the league and they’ll be better this coming season. Second- the bulls won’t resign ben gordon becasue just like every other team they’re eyeballin’ the 2010 free agent’s plus Salmons playoff performance doom gordon fate as a bull. Third- The bulls will get a HEALTHY Loul Deng back and 2 quality draft picks. The bulls have talent and on the verge of something special and they’re not going to resign or trade players just to sell tickets.

    Jose June 23, 2009 at 6:02 am #

    Luol Deng for Shaq?
    I’ll personally pack Luol’s bags and drive him to the airport. I always thought he was solid, but not for the money the gave him last summer. He is a role player, not someone you build around. He is even more expendable now that John Salmons is here. Salmons can defend and is not afraid to take it to the hoop, something Luol is not willing to do. Who cares if Shaq is 51 and cant run. Get hime here and buy him out! At the very least, he comes off the books at the end of the season. He could be a rotational player that can clog up the middle and let Joakim Noah play the 4. If they ask for more players they can have Tim Thomas and Brad Miller, heck, even throw in Tyrus Thomas for good measure. If they’re willing to give up some draft picks, let em have th e 26th pick.

    Rich June 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Everyone needs to get off the Mullens wagon, dude is not good. I mean he was a hack in the friggin Big Ten, the big ten is straight garbage!! We should shore up someone solid like Hansbrough with that. Getting Deng out of here for Shaq would be huge! Shaq can still play and would be dominant inside, which is something we’re always complaining about.

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