Final trade deadline thoughts [at least until we play games]

I will presume the Bulls hit the trade deadline with several goals.   I will place them in order of my own personal order.

1: Ensure adequate cap space is available to pursue a max FA in 2010.
2: Have a playoff caliber team for this season.
3: Make incremental future improvements.

How did the Bulls do?

On item #1, mission accomplished.   The Bulls trade of John Salmons will get them far enough under the cap to ensure a shot at a maximum free agent as long as the cap is over 51.77 million.   That seems like a lock given the league's memo that the cap would be between 50-54 million this summer, and the follow up memo that ticket revenue was only down 1.7% vs an expected 6-7% drop. 

Let's be honest, it was a buyers market out there.   When you think of what the Knicks had to do to dump Jeffries (give up a 2012 top 5 1st, the option to swap picks in 2011, and the guy they took high in the lotto in 2009), the Bulls got off awfully cheap in terms of dumping Salmons.  They gave up two seconds, and the right to swap in 2010 which is probably no better than 50/50 to be used at all and extraordinarily unlikely to cost them more than 5 slots even if it is used (with the worst pick they could give up being pick #11). 

The trade of John Salmons deserves an A in my book given the circumstances it was made under relative to the rest of the market and the Bulls needs.   Now we won't find out if it was necessary to get that max cap space until this summer when Salmons chooses whether to opt in or opt out, nor will we find out if we can use that max cap space wisely until then.  Still, even if the Bulls only have a 2% chance at getting LeBron you go for it because it means titles if you're successful. 

On the second note, the Bulls may have failed quite miserably.  Despite Benjamin's claim that Flip Murry is a quality player because of his offensive and defensive ratings, I'm not buying it.   I don't think this team is better with Flip Murray than with John Salmons.  He's a worse shooter and doesn't bring much else we need to the table.   I expect Kirk Hinrich's role and minutes to increase with Flip Murray picking up some of the slack, but it's going to be a downgrade.

Similarly, I don't think Hakim Warrick is as bad as his offensive/defensive ratings, but I think he's also a step down from Tyrus Thomas.   The Bulls will have to hope that increased chemistry yields something positive for the team in the case of Tyrus for Warrick, but I don't think Tyrus was such a distraction that it was hurting the team on the court in any way. 

There's no two ways about it, the Bulls are a worse team for the 2009-2010 season today than they were two days ago despite Gar Forman's words to the contrary.   The other problem with making the playoffs is the Bulls directly strengthened the two teams fighting them for the last two spots.

Gar Forman claimed he kept the core together and simply named everyone who was still on the roster.   I'm sure this struck most Bulls fans as amusing given that they were shopping Kirk for expirings the entire last two months and coming up empty then named him a core piece they wanted to retain all along after the fact.  The Bulls didn't get killed in talent, but they definitely lost something.

Chicago is a half game ahead of Charlotte and two and a half ahead of Milwaukee.  They need to stay ahead of one of those two teams (or have Miami fall off the face of the Earth) to make the playoffs this season.   That could prove awfully difficult all of a sudden.   Certainly, the Bulls needed 2010 cap space, so trading Salmons was an imperative, but the follow up trade of Tyrus is awfully dicey.   Does that trade help them make the playoffs?    Could they not find a better expiring guard than Flip Murray or did they value the pick over production this year?

That leads us to the final goal.   The Bulls gave themselves incremental future improvement by picking up a draft pick from the Bobcats.  Would you value that pick over production this year?   That's an interesting debate in and of itself.    That pick isn't coming due for a long time.   It has potential to be incredibly valuable, but only if the Bobcats miss the playoffs for five straight seasons starting in 2012.   That's not necessarily a bet I'd want to take, but given that the Bobcats have never made the playoffs it's not an impossible gamble either. 

It's hard to project the value on that pick except to say that it's highly likely to have relative minimal value.   It's most likely to be worth a guy who turns into a low level rotation player [mid 1st rounder] that's not coming due for a long time.    It is something, but it's not really much.

The decision to opt for that pick over talent is an interesting one, but I'll try to break it down into three simple scenarios:
1: If the Bulls make the playoffs they absolutely made the right decision in the second trade.
2: If the Bulls missed the playoffs, but Flip Murray was the best available guard regardless of the hope for future pick inclusions then they made the right trade.
3: If the Bulls had a better one year rental player offer that included a better guard, but didn't include future draft considerations then the Bulls made the wrong trade.

The real reason that this isn't a straight make/miss based on the playoffs is that John Salmons being traded is the most likely reason we'd miss the playoffs.   With Hakim Warrick on the roster, Tyrus staying over Flip Murray probably wasn't going to help us that much anyway.   We have a decent replacement for Tyrus while not having any replacement for Salmons.    However, trading Salmons was an imperative whether it cost us the playoffs or not.

Were there better guard offers out there for Tyrus?   I don't know for sure.  It stands to reason the Bulls could have acquired Roger Mason and Matt Bonner for Tyrus + Jannero Pargo, but that's just a guess.   Would that put the Bulls in better position to make the playoffs?   I'd think so, but Mason may not outproduce Murray in the same situation.   The role in San Antonio is simply easier.  

Overall trade deadline grade for the Bulls: B

I don't grade on a curve like the rest of the reviewers, where merely accomplishing some things that helps them gives them an A.  Accomplishing minor goals is a C.  The Bulls accomplished a significant one in ensuring cap flexibility in the future at a cost that was far less than what New York was able to achieve which means they did a ncie job.

The cost to do those things may prove high as missing the playoffs may directly impact the quality of player we get with that cap space, and they didn't pull off a trade that made you go "wow, they sure did great there!".   However, they do what they always do.   They made quality moves that put them in a better position than they were prior to the deadline. 

One of the things I've always respected about the Bulls management team is after a trade, I can always immediately recognize why a deal should work out well for them [even if it doesn't always ultimately happen that way].   You'd be surprised how few teams you can say that about.

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  • It remains to be seen how much we lost as the season goes on.

    We lost some defense no doubt. On paper we got back more offense. Will that help us make the playoffs? Maybe. Keep in mind last years playoff team averaged 102 pts a game. The also gave up 102 pts a game, yet gave a hobbled Boston team all they could handle.

    Salmons had to go.

    Tyrus gave us energy and defense and sometimes key scoring. Other times he gave us bone headed plays! Sometimes 3 or 4 possessions in a row. I have read that Warrick is a smarter than Tyrus. That may help us as well.

    Murray can help us. He does not have the length that Salmons did, but he is a scoring guard. One can argue that John was not. He can rest Hinrich a little bit. He shot 38% and 31% this year. Salmons left us shooting 42% and 38%. So ya, that hurt, but Murray can create and get to the foul line. John is more of a spot up shooter. That can help us as well.

    With Rose improving, and if we get Noah back for a playoff run, I think we can make the playoffs. We still have Deng, Noah, and Hinrich! All three play good defense, that should help us as well.

    Then again I say all of this without seeing the players play a few games for us.

  • In reply to truebluefan:

    How can he not be smarter than Thomas, I assume that Warricks brain is actually connected to his body and maybe even his mouth.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    From what I'm reading, they're very similar athletically. Warrick's successes so far have been offensively, while Tyrus' have been defensively. I've been hearing for months that with the emergence of Noah and Gibson we need Tyrus to be more aggressive with the ball. It looks like we just got that, though I'll miss his shot blocking.

    But then, Joe Alexander is still in project status and could turn into a hell of a shot blocker.

  • I agree the Bulls did a good job given their goals (it's impossible to tell what other trade opportunities where out there). They might be slightly worse this year but really what does it matter? They still have enough to make the playoffs I believe. With or without JS and TT they are still very likely a 1st rd. playoff loser. While I don't know how much of a distraction Tyrus was off the court just having a guy (Warrick) that knows where to go on the floor or is willing to, will be a help. I have heard several times from beat writers and analysts that Tyrus was playing his own game out there.

    Overall I am pretty happy with what they did and agree with your assessment. It all depends on this summer of course but in a worst case scenario they still have cap room which is key and if they miss out on all of the big FA's (I pray not) they can still take on a larger contract via trade, like Al Jefferson for example.

  • I don't get why you're treating Miami like they're locks to make the playoffs. Sure they've won their last 4, but before that they lost 8 of 9.

    If you step back and instead consider Miami part of the race with us, then what we've done is improve both the competition for Miami and ourselves. I think that's a pretty good move, if we make the playoffs and Miami doesn't the pressure on Wade to come to Chicago has got to be immense.

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    I'm good with these moves. Warrick may not be as dynamic as Tyrus but if he's more predictable that's a big plus for this year. Couldn't care less about the guards. Don't mind holding onto Hinrich either. Long term he's not the guy but this wasn't the market to unload him.

    If vinny wants to prove he's a coach, now's the time to do it. He's got a month of weak opponents - and a dwayne wade injury - to hold the 6th spot while tinkering with the rotation. Salmons gone gives JJ the chance to actually compete for a position (against Brown I think) so we can see if his play elevates at all. I still think his ceiling is to become a robert horry kind of guy but we'll see.

    It's difficult to get a read on which direction they want to go after this year from these moves but that's what I'm trying to do. I think it's an ultimatum year - make a playoff push or get blown up. If we make the push, we keep the "core" and bring in Boozer. If we don't, we blow it up and bring in Bosh.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    How about we keep the core and bring in Bosh and not even think about Boozer.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I liked the moves in a sense that TT had to be traded for some kind of value and receiving a future first rounder may have been the best possible move we could have made. Also, Salmons opting in would have killed us in so many ways.

    But Doug, here is my question:
    Do you think NY has a legitimate shot at bringing in two max players?
    If Carlos Boozer is our only FA pick up, what do you consider our moves?
    What position do you think we would draft if the nba draft was today?

    My answer: No, No, and Xavier Henry of Kansas or a guard with range.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Also, Do you think This has a positive impact on the contribution of JJ. I would hope so since it is basically his minutes to lose imo until the new guys get adjusted.

    And do you see any hope as far as contributions from Law and Alexander. I think Law can play and run a team without being overbearingly pargoish. And I want to give Alexander a legit shot. We have always been the team that players leave and go shine elsewhere. Maybe we have found that player in Joe. You cant teach his kind of hops.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    I thought they should have gotten rid of Hinrich for expirings, it seems like that had many opportunities to do so, in the last 1.5 years. Now, they barely have enough to sign 1 max guy. This team needs perimeter shooting badly, and they could have signed Allen or Morrow with Hinirch's 9m off the books.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Morrow
    Allen
    Haslem
    Raja Bell
    Josh Howard

    These guys cannot be had now... If Bulls get Bosh, there won't be enough pieces to compliment him and Rose to contend for a title.

  • In reply to charitystripe:

    Depending on where the cap is set, you might have a little wiggle room, and I'm not sure some of those guys (or other guys of equal/comparable talent) can't be had for less than you think. You can still trade guys. We'll have future MLEs and draft picks to use to acquire players the following offseason. You can find away to fill out your needs over the next season or two.

    And when push comes to shove, having Bosh plus Rose, Noah, Deng is pretty awesome. Role players can be had.

    I'm fine with the trades. Losing talent was inevitable, but they at least brought back comparable skills--not identical, but comparable. We downgrade in both cases, but at least we bring in guys who can take minutes and contribute. Ultimately, it's going to rest on the other guys. If Noah is limited all year, it might be tough. If we can stay healthy, our "core guys" match up well with the rest of the 2nd tier EC teams.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    If we get Bosh period(this summer) I'll be stoked. Signing two Max guys this summer sounds like a pipe dream. But other moves(MLE's/trades) to get the right mix of quality role players and maybe even a second tier star/starter. One question? Do the Bulls keep/use their own pick in the draft?

    If we get Bosh with D, Luol, Joakim, and Taj, that's a good nucleus. But they still have to see(?) if Vinny pans out, or if they go after a name guy Scott/Johnson. I can't believe if Vinny goes they bring in another non-credentialed/accepted winner. Personally I know some like Lawrence Frank, but I do not include him on that list nor do I think F.A.'s get interested/excited the way they would Scott or Johnson.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    I'm a little surprised Brown after that initial flop/bad game has been on a missing person's blotter at Chicago PD(?) I guess you disappoint Vinny, just once, and budda bing, budda boom, you park it on the bench. Seriously, maybe Brown and Flip compete for the back-up role at SG, and may the best sub win.

  • In reply to charitystripe:

    atlanta is also the team we want to play against though or we cudd hope us n toronto jump boston so we cudd play team bosh .. lol we need a strong push and our sched . is tailir made for us to get the fifth seed .. we need to play aqainst atlanta & hope ..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Living in Atlanta, I would love to see that happen.

  • In reply to charitystripe:

    Trade Deadline Grade...A+....The Bulls did what they needed to do and they still are going to be a good team for the rest of the year. Unloading Salmons was huge....it now gives us a legit shot to get a Max player this summer...which no doubt in my mind, i think the Bulls will do. We have a great young nucleaus and a great city. Wade,Bosh,Amare,Joe Johnson,Booz....at least 1 one them will come here. Our competition is the Clippers,Wizards,Heat,,Kings,Nets and NY i believe. We are better then all of those teams. Wade is going to have a HUGE decision to make this offseason especailly if the Heat struggle the rest of this season. But then again it might be the Bulls vs Heat going after Bosh. Which...hopefully Bosh would pick us.

    One thing to think about before we automatically writing off LeBron is...Who would LeBron have a better future with? His current Cavs team? Or a young talented Bulls team? Personally i say the Bulls. Shaq will be gone soon and Jamison is reaching mid 30's. If Winning a championship is what LeBron truly wants to do...Chicago would be a great place for him. But playing under MJ's shadow and leaving his hometown is going to be tough for him to do.

    I do kind of wish the Bulls did a trade with Minnesota for one of their 1st round picks this year. They had 3 of them. Im sure they would of gave 1 of them up. Plus then he would be in the Western Conference instead of a playoff contending team like the Bobcats.

    This summer is going to be huge. If we land Wade...i think the Bulls will try to ship out Hinrich for a big or maybe even Deng. They might re-visit that Al Jefferson trade as well. Or they might just stick with what they have. And if we go after Bosh and land him...Bulls could grab a guy like Mike Miller, Ray Allen possibly (depending on how much he wants) and Id also love the Bulls to draft a guy like Xavier Henry. Sg for the future.

  • The Bulls get an A in my book. We didn't want Salmons past this season anyway and we guaranteed that. Tyrus wasn't returning and we got a pick in return. Now we have a team in place and the chance to be great for the next 5+ years. I'll take that.

    On a side note - Knicks have enough to sign 2 max free agents. However, I don't know if that's enough to sell to the crew of FAs with no other team in place. I think Chicago looks much more appealing w/ a solid PG, SF, C. Say what you want about Deng but he is solid.

  • Looking back on it, I pretty much agree with Doug on the Bulls trades. Initially I was pissed they didn't get Al Harrington since it's been made pretty clear they could have had him straight up for Tyrus with James' expiring.

    While I still think Derrick could(have gone off) go off with a big to slip screens who can handle the ball, and make teams pay, I know Harrington also is who he is. I studied his demeanor again in the at N.Y./MSG game as I have in the past due to his unique talents and how he might fit with the ballclub/Bulls. Thing is, he really does appear to be kind of a knucklehead. Very self-absorbed offensively(though he goes through the motions of being a team player). And defensively he just lets guys swim right past him for scores down on the block. Don't believe me? Just go ask Taj. How many times do you take a guy based on potential rather then what he really is/brings personality wise/mentally which of course channels through his game? Again, I've heard the first rounder is very likely to be 2012. Doug, your scaring me with this possible four and five years. If that is truly the case, then I think the trade shouldn't have gone down. But I'm going to assume the Bulls will probably/have a good probability to get the pick in 2012 as is being reported elsewhere/K.C. Johnson.

    As for the guys we got, sure the field goal percentage for Murray is lousy. But so is Kirk Hinrich's. If you look at PER like Doug and others here like to do, it has to be noted that per 48 minutes Murray averages a couple more free throw attempts per game then Salmons. He also gets 10 ppg in only 20 minutes. All I know is, however a guy gets those points, that's fairly high volume production for those minutes. Same with Warrick. He shoots two more free throws a game then Tyrus. And he also gets 10 ppg in only 20 minutes. If they both have solid lateral quickness there's no reason to think in the Bulls nice team defense they have going they can't do a respectable job while their in there(though Murray's only listed at 6'3). The guy played major minutes for Detroit when they were an Eastern Conference Finals team.

    Deep down, I still wish to hell they had gotten Harrington(laughing to myself). But it's at least possible this team once it gets it's bearings may do OK with these new guys. And if they have a respectable showing in the playoffs, who knows maybe we can get a luxury townhouse with a nice view of the lake with Bosh's name on it.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Harrington is a world class @hole and team cancer, I want no part of him, even as an rental. He is Stephen Jackson without the defense.

  • Pargo and Murray are pretty similar if you just look at the shooting percentages. The biggest difference, though, is that Flip gets to the line and Pargo doesn't. Those FTs are going to be key, key I say! (I hope...)

  • Now that would have been a true title contending team. 2 elite players, 1 elite scorer, and a host of excellent role players.

  • Points 2 and 3 don't matter at all. You know that. You just wanted to have something to juxtapose the positive move of unloading Salmons. Everything done yesterday was about 2010. Also, doesn't it behoove the Bulls to miss the playoffs and get in the lottery?

    The NBA trading system is so screwy that trading good players for bad players (which is what happened here, no doubt) is in reality, a success. So play it a miss, but it was not.

    Best case scenario, the Bulls fall out of the playoff race, get a good lottery pick, AND sign one of the top three.

    Furthermore, the idea that making the playoffs matters to potential FAs is very silly. Anyone with half a brain can figure out that the Bulls only care about 2010 and landing a free agent so they can become a viable threat (even the free agents know this)And I bet their agents aren't suggesting that they avoid the Chicago market and it's top tier fan base.

  • Rode + Big 3 FA can compete for a title. LeBron has taken the Cavs very far with much less and Wade won a title with a very overrated Shaq.

  • we are in the sixth slot today .. we play atlanta if we get in.. problem is joe johnson overplays when its against us .. especially at the united center .. if we dont get bosh i cleary see the bulls office selling the joe johnson story .. they might add carlos boozer too but i pray we just get bosh .. johnson would hurt roses or louls game alot ..

  • i 100% know we wont blow it up .. because paxson would be completey saying his plan dont work ... hes on a string if we dont land a max f.a .. he wont blow it up .. he would have gar tell everyone we tried but our 2010 get is jj or boozer or stat .. unless we trade for big al and involve deng & hinrich we wont move any piece paxson liked since his arrival .. he wont blow it up & we shouldnt .. rose & noah are nice starts .. you cant go backwards .. were a playoff team .. just improve what we have .. even if you three way deal n move noah and deng for jefferson n other big pieces .. we have to look to get better .. look at cleveland and miami .. you dont blow things up .. you just replace them or add

  • I'm happy with what happened. While TT could play lights out at times I believe Warrick will play better in the role we need him to so that out weighs the 'potential' some people just cant get over. Now bring me Bosh :-)

  • Ah yes, I am certain that next summer every big time free agent will announce at his signing press conference, "If only the Bulls had kept Ben Gordon instead of Hinrich I'd be signing with Chicago today".

    Never mind that Gordon, who some people ludicrously suggested was playing like an All-Star is putting up the ugliest numbers of his career, and is turning into Luol Dung injury wise.

    I guarentee that if we had signed Gordon to that deal, we could not have moved him at any cost this trade deadline, and we would have a worse record today and be a worse team going forward, while hoping for the return of Isaih Thomas as a GM to get rid of him.

  • they may have weakened themselves by not making any moves and breaking Dwayne Wade's spirit and desire to kill himself every night just to drag this team to a first round sweep.

  • I am no Flip Murray fan, it is likely that seeing him everyday I will hate his guts, however, Salmons was a dog this season, not even half the player that he was last year for us, so he is almost addition by subtraction, especially when forced to play shooting guard.

    I am much more upbeat about Warrick, he is not a downgrade to Thomas, you are still blinded by the bling. Thomas was absolutely awful 90% of the time. The only thing that he ever did was completely breakdown the entire team defense concept to chase after blocked shots, half of which were goal tending.

    Warrick is a solid player, who plays with effort and delivers on a consistent basis, I am looking forward to seeing him play on regular basis. He is an upgrade to this Bulls team at this particular time.

    I was ripped quite violently when I stated after Thomas's rookie season that he was simply too stupid as a human being to be successful as a basketball player. 4 years in, I have been vindicated as we wasted the #2 pick for nothing, unless of course lightening does indeed strike twice and this future pick turns into another Derrick Rose.

  • I like the movess, despite James Johnson and Jannero Pargo still being on this team.

    FYI:

    NOAH IS OUT VS. MINNESOTA and it could be longer.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=4927572

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Let it go Mr. Happy. We get it you dont like JJ and Pargo but must we hear of it in every post?

  • Doug you dont think the trio of Kirk, Flip, Devin can fill in well for John? John has been a disaster this season and always let us down when we needed big shots at end of games.

  • Totally agree. Law couldnt find time on 3 teams and Alexander has no game what so ever. He had a good NCAA tournament and that will be his one claim to fame.

  • I appreciate that you haven't edited JJ out of your plans just to look better. It's a sound plan. We'll never know if all of that would've fallen into place, but it's sound. I'm not sure I want to face a life without Taj in it, though.

  • Im looking forward to Warrick tonight...He should provide alot of what Tyrus use to do. Hopefully Flip can make a good impact this season as well.

  • I would love to see the Celtics go up against the Raptors in the first round. Because i would think the Celtics would beat them, creating another early exit for Bosh in the playoffs. If Bosh is out early...i deffently think he would give Chicago a legit shot this summer.

    I dont know what to think about Joe Johnson...part of me says ya he could be good next to Rose...but the other part of me says "he is 30 years old and is going to want as close to a Max contract as he get"

    My Targets this summer would go as followed : LeBron (if he doesnt make it to the championship), Bosh, Wade, Amare,Boozer,Joe Johnson,David Lee.

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