The Knicks are trying to keep Harrington and make the deal work with other players, the league source said.
The Bulls long have admired Harrington's game. And trading Thomas would
preclude the Bulls from making the decision of whether or not to place
an approximately $13 million salary cap hold on his services at a time
when they might be trying to optimize salary cap space for the 2010
free agent class.
Furthermore, the emergence of rookie Taj Gibson as at least a viable
rotation player has allowed the Bulls to consider shopping Thomas, the
league source said.
Three things worth addressing, so we'll leave the most interesting thing until last:
First, the Bulls would have a cap hold if they make Tyrus a qualifying offer, however, that cap hold and qualifying offer can be withdrawn up until July 23rd without Tyrus's consent. All the big name free agents will have found homes by then, so the cap hold/QO is really irrelevant. Tyrus doesn't need to be dealt in order to clarify this situation.
Granted, he can't be kept if we sign a big name FA next season, but then neither could Harrington.
Next, the Bulls have long liked Harrington's game. Really? Look, I'd do this trade without blinking. Harrington's an offensive blackhole in the front court, and we need such a player right now. He can put points on the board. However, there's few situations that I'd want to throw Harrington into. He doesn't really defend or rebound well, and if you can live with his negatives why the hell aren't you playing James Johnson.
Also, Taj Gibson's play has allowed us to shop Tyrus?!?! Seriously, someone tell me what there is to like about Taj Gibson's play. It's like someone wrote in the media guide that he's a good defender and rebounder, and thus it became written into lore never to be questioned again.
His next defensive box out will be his first. He's a decent mid range jump shooter when left wide open, and a decent offensive rebounder. This guy's fouling rate is incredible, he can't contain his man on defense, he gets scored on at will, he doesn't create offense, he's got hands made of stone when it comes to catching the ball.
He's Chris Duhon all over again. A guy who should be a solid role player that you love for his hustle, but instead you can't stand because he plays way too many minutes and his praises are sung while his massive deficiencies are overlooked relative to a player behind him who fills a greater team need.
I need to stop now, before this becomes a Gibson rant, because I like Taj Gibson. I just can't stand the way we play him.
Finally, New York wants to put other players in the deal for Tyrus instead. What feasible trades are there besides Harrington? The Bulls won't take on long term salary, and they clearly want some talent back. They also need someone who can play in the front court. David Lee, Nate Robinson, Chris Duhon, Darko Milicic, Cutino Mobley, and Larry Hughes all have expiring contracts.
Of those guys, only the first three seem like they'd even be in the realm of realistic offers, and only David Lee would give them back a front court player. I think it'd be odd if the Knicks moved Lee rather than Harrington, since I think he's a better player. Ironically, the Bulls could actually probably use Harrington's black hole style offense more than Lee's offensive rebounding anyway, so that idea might not make sense for either team.
Plus Lee would need to approve a trade, something which he may or may not due since he'd lose bird rights if he does (though they may not be important next year anyway with so many teams under the cap).
I can see why the Knicks don't want to give up Harrington, I just don't see what else they have to offer that makes sense for both sides. So either the Knicks fold on this one, or there's likely no trade IMO.