ESPN’s Marc Stein has reported that the Bulls are sending Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Jerome James, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson. This is a classic case of pass the trash, since it’s not a straight-up salary dump for either team (Hughes makes $12.8 million this year; James and Thomas make $12.2 million combined). But the Bulls don’t need Hughes (especially with John Salmons coming to Chicago in the deal with the Kings), and they don’t want him. At all. I mean, they wouldn’t even use his body to put out a fire.
Next season, James and Thomas are on the books for $6,600,000 and $6,466,000, respectively. (James has a player option which he’s sure to accept.) Roberson has a team option for $855,189 and the Bulls will most likely reject it as soon as contractually possible. By comparison, Hughes is going to make $13.65 million next year. So the Bulls will save a little cash. (Very little.) But this is a classic case of addition by subtraction, since Hughes was as welcome in Chicago as swollen, itchy rash that can’t be treated or even lasered off. And, of course, no matter what happens, all three of these new contracts will be off the books by [insert dramatic music here] The Summer of 2010. I’m already looking forward to our failed attempts at signing LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh!
I doubt James or Roberson will ever actually appear in a game. For the Bulls, anyway. Thomas might, I suppose. According to Vinny Del Negro: “I played with Tim a couple years [in Milwaukee]. I enjoyed playing with him, I didn’t have any problem with him. I’ll sit down and talk to Tim and tell him what I expect of him; what his role is. I expect him to be professional and do his job. He has the ability and skill level to help us in certain areas. I’ll wait to have those conversations but I have a good mindset with Tim and that’s why I think it’s a positive move for us.” Translation: Timmy might get some random playing time here or there, but don’t expect much. (In fact, don’t expect much even if, by some miracle, he does get significant PT…)
Grade:I give this trade a “Meh, whatever.” Actually, I’ll upgrade that to “Eh, really?” since we managed to get rid of Larry Hughes. But that’s the best possible score any deal involving the acquisition of Jerome James could possibly get. Unless we got to dress Jerome up as a giant piece of fruit.