The Rockets are in discussions with several clubs about McGrady, and
sources say two of the teams near the top of their wish list are
Washington and Chicago.
Chicago, which has definite interest in McGrady, also has the
combination of young talent and expiring contracts the Rockets are
looking for. There is a Bulls player Houston covets, but it's not clear
who that is. Since the Rockets surely realize that Derrick Rose won't
be traded, logic suggests it's Joakim Noah.
A package of Noah, Brad Miller and Jerome James (the latter two
have expiring contracts) would work financially, but sources say the
Bulls have no desire to part with Noah.
As for the Bulls, Kirk Hinrich is ahead of even Tyrus Thomas on
their list of players they'd love to trade. In fact, Thomas is being
offered around the league as a sweetener in any Hinrich deal. But with
two years, $17 million left on his contract after this season, there's
not a great market for Hinrich.
Sources or ESPN speculation written up as a rumor? Logic suggests the Rockets want Noah and the Bulls would say no. Well, yeah, thanks for that.
It's interesting to read the Bulls would rather trade Hinrich than Tyrus, since it at least pierces the logic carried by some Bulls fans that the Bulls value Hinrich so much and would never trade him because he's the white golden child. It also makes sense to move Hinrich in a McGrady deal given that McGrady would take over a lot of those minutes.
How about Brad Miller, Jerome James and John Salmons for McGrady + Jermaine Taylor/Chase Budinger + Chuck Hayes? The Bulls clear out the possibility of McGrady opting in, they get Hayes who could play Brad Miller's few minutes, and they get one of the Rockets cheap rookie fill ins. The Rockets could opt not to include the last guy if they're attached to both in which case the Bulls would sign a D-Leaguer. The inclusion of Budinger/Taylor is more to help the Rockets save tax money than anything else [presumably they include Taylor if anyone].
Would the Rockets take Kirk in a deal for McGrady? Swap out Jerome and Salmons and swap in Hinrich and Tyrus and maybe it's a possibility. Does the potential of Tyrus give them enough to make them take on Kirk's remaining two years? Probably not. Also worth noting if you trade Brad, Tyrus, and Kirk while getting back McGrady and Hayes, you probably completely doomed this season to open up cap space next summer. Cap space that will be difficult to use when you limp to a 33 win finish.
It will be interesting to wait and watch. If anything goes down, I'd think it's a variant of the first trade. There's a high probability that Salmons opts out anyway, so Houston probably isn't taking on any extra long term salary. Both teams may feel better about trading for the other players in that sense while neither is taking on notable financial risk.
However, it's worth noting that if the Wizards put a Butler/Miller package on the table that would kill anything we'd even consider offering. This is one of those situations where we're not going to be the high bidder in a bidding war, a trade only goes through if everything else fails for Houston.