Thabo Sefolosha: Gone. Traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a conditional first round draft pick. (OKC has the first-round picks of both the Nuggets and Suns; the Bulls will receive the lesser of the two.)
Makes sense. The Bulls traded for John Salmons but weren’t able to trick anybody into taking on Kirk Hinrich’s contract. That left them with a possible guard rotation of Derrick Rose, Ben Gordon, Hinrich, Salmons and Sefolosha. Vinny Del Negro would need a time machine to produce enough minutes for that many guards. But, despite the various and complex intricacies of the NBA salary cap, it’s still easier to trade a player than invent a Flux Capacitor. (Or produce the 1.21 gigawatts necessary to power it, for that matter.) Plus, it gets Sefolosha’s $2.75 million salary off the books for next season. And as we all know, it’s all about shedding salary, baby!
I’m fine with this trade. More than fine with it, actually. Thabo was next to useless on offense and his supposed benefits — size and defense in the backcourt — weren’t strong enough to make up for his offensive deficiencies. Salmons is a better player in every way. Well, except that he’s been known to throw hissy fits when he doesn’t get enough shots. And Thabo, for all his faults, never complained. (Loudly enough to make the news, at any rate.) But as long as we can keep John reasonably happy, this is a smart move. Heck, it’s a smart move regardless.