We're looking for elite talent. We could've gone the cap-room route or
we could've gone the route of picking up players who can help us in the
next season and also potentially set us up for acquiring a top guy
going that route.
I think 8 teams are now under the cap where
they can have max room, but I think there are only 4-5 guys to chase,
and some teams are chasing two. We felt with going the other route,
picking up a guy like Kevin Martin, and other assets in terms of draft
picks for the future. That was the route we wanted to go.
What if the Bulls had been willing to trade Jerome James, Tyrus Thomas, and Brad Miller for the package that Houston received?
What would you rather have Kevin Martin, Jordan Hill, and swap rights on the Knicks couple of picks or a shot at 2010. Clearly the upside of such a move isn't likely to exceed signing one of the big three given the protection on the picks from the Knicks precludes top picks, but the floor is sure a ton higher.
Kevin Martin is a very high quality player on a fairly reasonable, not super long term deal. He's a trade asset more likely that not. Jordan Hill hasn't had a phenomenal season, but he's still a high quality big man prospect, and the Bulls would get good chances to move up very high in the draft the next couple years if the Knicks fail in FA.
The one difference between this trade and what Houston did is that the Bulls being a player in FA actually makes the odds of those picks ending up really good far more likely whereas if the Bulls were the trading partner one of the very good viable alternatives to NY would be off the table for players.
Still, when I look at the big picture, it's hard not to admire what Houston did there. While a superstar signing would still top what they did [meaning we hold the upside scenario], it's highly likely that the reasonably expected outcome favors Houston, and I probably would have accepted the Bulls sacrifice of the 2010 plan to come up with such a successful reasonable plan.