Mark posted this idea earlier as part of his backup plan once we missed out on J.J. Redick. I want to revisit the idea. Mark believes we have enough money to make this trade legal (or so he said on twitter), but it's got to be fairly close.
Anyway, reason for the trade...
First, I'm happy that Johnson has gotten into peak athletic condition. It shows that his work ethic is improved and he's taking his profession seriously. However, he's not a great fit for us going forward anymore.
Johnson may or may not be a bust, but the odds of him proving "not" while on this team are almost none. There's no where for him to play as he's the third string small forward right now, and the Bulls aren't really in great need of his skills.
What the Bulls do need is a role playing bench SG who can hit the three. Can Vujacic be that guy? Well he was three years ago, he would have been passable at it two years ago, and then last season he forgot how to shoot all together.
However, all that said, Vujacic probably helps us as much as Bogans, Mason, or House anyway and clearly helps quite a bit more than Johnson is likely to do next season with the positional crunch he's in. The others are also deep bench options for us, so why not pick the one that comes with a 1st round draft pick to use next year, even if it is #29 in the draft?
It's the type of trade where we're getting a small asset for basically using cap space and given the relatively few teams in luxury tax danger and great number of teams able to take on salary, we're unlikely to find a better way to acquire draft choices with our minimal cap space later on.
I'm not screaming from the rooftops for this trade, but I think overall that Vujacic helps us more than Johnson next season, and we get a 1st rounder out of it, very little to lose unless we've got something better up our sleeve, but I'm not sure we do.
The counter part to this trade is whether or not the Lakers say yes to it. The trade doesn't save them nearly as much money as they'd like since they're not dumping all of Vujacic's contract, but given how crappy their pick is, they may not find a taker for him later either.