Random trade idea: C.J. Watson + James Johnson for Leandro Barbosa

The Bulls have that obvious hole at shooting guard that all of Bulls nation is trying to fill.  One name that fits pretty well, but hasn't been publicized is Leandro Barbosa.

One of the primary problems in trading for a SG is that to match salaries the Bulls typically need to give up Ronnie Brewer or C.J. Watson, giving up Watson leaves them without a backup PG, trading Brewer often leaves them without really upgrading SG significantly (or possibly at all) as they typically lose defense.

This trade helps solve both problems.
Why for the Bulls

For the Bulls, Leandro Barbosa can play as the back up PG while Rose is out.  He can run a high octane fast break oriented style of play and create his own shot.   He can play C.J. Watson's role at least as well as C.J. Watson.

He can also come in and play minutes at SG as an offensive option for the team.  He's a quality shooter over the course of his career though his percentages are likely helped from a large percentage of open three point shots created in the Suns offense.

Barbosa allows us to use Watson rather than Brewer in a trade, because he's a 1/2 option rather than a 2/3 like most of the SGs we've looked at.

Why for the Raptors

As for the Raptors, the trade makes some sense as well.   Barbosa is a pretty expensive player relative to his value.   The cost isn't long term (just one more season when he picks up his player option), but it's still 7 million for a player who's not giving you 7 million in value.

They save quite a bit of money this year on the trade as well as having large savings next year.   They also replace Barbosa with Watson who can fulfill Barbosa's role in a more wide open offense.   They Raptors also wanted James Johnson during the draft, and would have more playing time to offer him.  While Johnson hasn't hit his potential here, he's flashed enough signs that he may still interest them as a prospect, especially given how hard he's worked and how little opportunity he's had.

Why it may not make sense for either team

The overall talent in the trade is pretty similar.  My fear with the move is that C.J. Watson might actually be as talented as Barbosa, but stuck in a system that doesn't fit him as well.  However, Barbosa may end up stuck in the same way as Watson, as much like Watson, he's a player who's used to running more, taking more risks, and creating his own shot.  

Would Barbosa play as well as an off ball SG?   Would he run the offense as the backup PG or have the freedom to create on his own and be himself?

On the surface, it's a deal that's close for both sides.   I doubt it elevates the Bulls to championship contenders, but it does give them one more pure offensive player, and remove their biggest hole currently (Brewer or Korver would start with Barbosa playing the energy role off the bench).

As for the Raptors, they're giving up the best player in theory.   Is minor cash savings and James Johnson as a prospect worth it to them?   Sure they're not in win now mode, but they're also no where near the luxury tax, so the cash savings isn't that important either.   Unless they really believe in Johnson or Watson, the move may not make much sense to them.

Ways to tweak the trade

If something like this was discussed the most likely concession would be the Bulls tossing in their 2011 1st or some cash to help push Toronto over the edge.   They might demand back a second rounder if they give up their 1st though.

Final thoughts

On the surface, the trade makes sense to both sides to me, particularly if you throw in a Bulls 1st and a Raptors 2nd.    The Raptors get a little more ammo in their quest to rebuild while losing a player that's likely not helping them much in the future anyway and saving some cash.

The Bulls upgrade the talent on their roster and fill one of their holes in as well as add another legitimate offensive threat to the team which is dominating on defense but average on offense.


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  • One reason I'd be scared off by any potential Barbosa deal where he'd end up our starting SG is his size: 6'3". We have already been through the days where we've had a small backcourt, and I think the Bulls' management has understood that they're not winning a championship with two midgets in the backcourt. Rose is 6'3", Barbosa is also listed at 6'3" (although I think he's closer to 6'0"). He's also, as you said, eerily similar to CJ Watson, so it really doesn't make sense on that front.

  • Not a fan of this trade scenario. I thing both players are too similar and that CJ has the potential to improve for the Bulls (given court time). I think if we are going to use JJ and picks in a trade we can definitely do better than Barbosa.

    Just read that Jarron Collins has been waived by the Clippers. Would it be worth the (approx $400,000) for the rest of the season so we have another big body to help against Shaq and Perkins in the playoffs? I think the money would be better spent on him than JL3.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    I agree. If you think CJ is not a natural point, just wait til you get an up close look at Barbosa. And the guy is always hurt.

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    JL3 shouldnt even be on the squad right now lol i agree

  • I do like Barbosa and he sure is fast and looked good in Phoenix but yeah CJ Watson is similar to him in size and with those long arms! The Bulls don't have any salary to give to Toronto in the trade. We still need a backup PG and another big if anything.
    We aren't happy with Bogans starting at SG but Brewer brings great energy and defense off the bench KK for his shooting at SG or SF, Taj off the bench....we need a true backup PG and big if anything.

  • In reply to smiley:

    CJ Watson plays great defense. Does Barbosa do the same?

    I also think, like you, that CJ is misued and is a lot more talented than he's shown.

  • In reply to whonka:

    Watson has showed he can be a player...you guys might be right. Barbosa is a heck of a 3pt shooter too. And if a trade like this does go through, finding a backup PG isnt that hard to do. Either draft or free agency.

  • In reply to smiley:

    I don't like this trade for the Bulls.
    1. Barbosa is almost like the Brazilian Hinrich. His impact on the Bulls will not be for championship contention. He is not talented enough to overcome his height or lack of it for a SG.
    2. We are trading away CJ and JJ ....so we are losing two trading pieces if somebody gets available by Feb. I think we just have to suck it up for another month and see what opens up by trade deadline or if there is somebody who is more talented available now. You make this trade only at the trade deadline if nothing else is available.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    +2 good point

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If Toronto is interested, i would think about it. But im not sure they would want James Johnson an Watson.

    Like everyone is saying, probably just hold out a little longer an see what developes. Maybe in mid february, some more players will become available. I say Hold out and see what happens.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    lets abandon all this talk of marginally improving at SG until we actually play our top guys at that position the minutes they should get.

    my soul burns with rage every time bogans steps on the court.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    me too brother :(

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    How do you dare pick on Keith Bogans?? I'll have you know that he is a highly valued member of Your Chicago Bulls. His efficiency rating puts him at #309 in the entire NBA.


    He is also listed as the 67th best SG in the NBA according to PER:


    If anything, Thibs needs to find a way to play him more!

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Doug, as the trade deadline becomes a factor/puts things in play an ocassional player/trade proposal is appreciated just to review whats out there(and as long as it's someone new i.e not Carmelo then there fun). Thanks.

    I agree with what's been said about C.J. He's not been utilized properly(needs to play at the two), and has not been given the minutes he should i.e Bogans subtraction of 10-11 minutes is hurting us. C.J.'s commitment on defense/ability to stay in front of guys has impressed me also(and he has very nice per minutes steal totals for his career which would fuel the break that's dissapeared).

    On the one hand I like the Barbosa idea simply because C.J. even in limited minutes is shooting so poorly percentage wise. Now would he revert back to his previous production playing at the two/his natural position with his usual minutes? Very possibly. And granted Leandro has had that quality "zone" run already with 6-7 years at 45% or above field goals. And his three point shooting has gone from excellent and solid to sub par at .320 last and this season.

    Still, Barbosa is only 28 yrs old. Would I be tempted to do this deal? Yes. Would I though? Honestly I'm not sure. Looking at the Raptor's roster they have such a glut of players/prospects at the three and four I don't know if they'd still want to give James a shot or not. Personally, I do think James has shown enough as an energy guy with limited offensive/transition skills that he'd be worth a shot by somebody. But I wonder if it's still the Raptors?

    Another question arises if C.J. does have some value/appeal and we are only going to give Taj limited insurance policy minutes should we utilize their value in a package together along with our 2011 first rounder say for O.J. Mayo? Again, I'm not even sure if Memphis wants Taj with his injury problems. They have a young pick in Darrell Arthur whose looked better lately. Personally, I don't want to trade Taj I think he and Jo are a great fit defensively, but if the Bulls are unwilling to play Boozer and Taj together then we are really shackling Tag for the forseeable future.

    What I really wish the Bulls would do is start the guy who on his first start scored 30some points, but start him at his natural position at the two. C.J.'s ability to stay in front of his man defensively looks very good to me. And height wise, well the Bulls defensive system is their strength/helps mitigate this in my view. I'd think C.J. would be much less of a liability then the later years B.G. who to me gave up on getting through screens/defending. Lets not start a B.G. debate please(!)

    Bottom line: we are not currently giving C.J. the position/environment where he has been able to produce in the past. And now if he's recovered as he says he is from the concussion and other injuries then we are not giving Taj the minutes he needs on the court(27mpg last season)as opposed to 15mpg as of late. Either play Boozer(or Taj) some at center so they can play together i.e increase Taj's minutes or if they are going to shackle him to the bench as an insurance policy maybe they should consider trading him as his value was pretty high regarded as a starting caliber PF before his injuries and concussion. If he gets his minutes back 26-27, and produces once again he'd be likely a valuable trade piece that could bring back a Mayo or someone at least of quality at the SG/wing position.

    Again though, I'd prefer it if the Bulls would just play Taj his usual minutes/some with Booz, and keep him. Likewise C.J. at the two at 25-26 mpg. But if they refuse to do this then maybe a trade is best..?

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Hi Doug,

    I'm a big soccer fan, and soccer teams in Europe try to achieve two things when acquiring a player:
    1) Improve the team
    2) reduce the contenders chances of improving
    I know cap limitation may preclude NBA teams possibility of doing the same. Nevertheless, I think the bulls should pry the bigs away from Miami and Orlando. I don'i know if they can do that. This is my big concern. What do you think about that?

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    I like Barbosa but in the end it

  • In reply to OnePointSeven:

    Jackson is a risk and Wallace is done. You are giving up a lot of depth for Jackson. You do these players when you are the 90's Bulls or 2011 Heat/Lakers/Celtics to add depth and not as primary players.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If I'm Paxson, I'm actually calling Jordan today about Jackson.

    The way LeBron stared over at Jordan had to irk him to no end, and he has got to know that his team has no chance to 'avenge him'. However, helping out his former wing man and the team that has a statue of him outside the building; while also putting into place the best chance to punk the punk...who knows what he goes for.

    If you're going to fleece Jordan for Jackson, today is the day to do it.

  • In reply to saigman:

    You know it's interesting you say that. I've always scoffed at the idea of Jordan going out of his way to help the Bulls win, but what you've pointed at gives me pause. The one situation that I could see Jordan helping the Bulls would be in an attempt to somehow squander Lebron's chance to win multiple championships. It isn't hard to see that Jordan despises Lebron and would loathe in seeing him succeed at a level at or near MJ's legacy.

  • In reply to saigman:


    He should be at the top of list when it comes to SG TRADE TARGETS.

    To Bulls: Nick Young and Hilton Armstrong
    To Wizards: Sam Young (DC native), Demarre Carroll and a Pick
    To Grizzlies: James Johnson and Cash

    * The Bulls would need to waive John Lucas III to create the cap space.


    Leondro Barbosa is a nice player, but I don't like his height at SG.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    That trade does nothing for the Wizards and nobody wants James Johnson
    On one hand you bash James Johnson every other second, then immediately use him as a catalyst in a trade that brings in a talented Shooting Guard. You can't have it BOTH ways MAPPY BOY. Get a CLUE!!!

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    come on the Grizzlies are known to be desperately seeking the next Dickie Simpkins.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    I've always been an advocate of obtaining Barbosa, however, I think that he is too expensive for the Bulls tastes and I don't think that he is a Del Thibideau kind of guy.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    GS just waived Rodney Carney

  • In reply to boogernights:

    sign him up!

  • In reply to boogernights:

    One thing that worries me about Barbosa as the backup PG is the Suns always sucked when Nash sat. Watson is doing a better job of keeping the team from getting blown away when Rose sits than Barbosa ever did for the Suns.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    as a raptor fan, i can't endorse this *proposed* deal strongly enough. what the majority of idiots up here don't realize is that the raps are in a total rebuild, and barbosa, as good as he's been for the raps (and he has been, when healthy...with the caveat that he's been pretty streaky as well) just isn't part of the future. he was acquired solely to rid TO of hedo, and is a stop-gap at the 2.

    i actually think he'd do quite well in CHI...he's been a better defender than was advertised, and he's so much more than just a transition player. he's still got amazing quickness, a great handle, and can finish at the rim/in transition really well, especially for a guy his size. his deep shooting hasn't been great, but when you consider who he's been on the floor with, it's not as though he's staring at a ton of uncontested looks each game. in CHI's system, playing off the ball with rose, or playing spot duty at the point (he really can't 'run' a team), he's a great change-of-pace guy. quite literally instant offense. but the biggest factor would be that he's a guy you simply can't leave - he'd demand defensive attention, and anything that gives rose a bit more breathing room on the perimeter (not that he needs much) can't hurt.

    playing beside rose would give them, arguably, the fastest & most adept transition team in the L...and with noah/boozer cleaning up misses & slinging outlets...yikes.

    as a raptor fan, i've like johnson for a while, and at least here, he'd get a chance to do something (even though the raps have a glut of frontcourt guys, they all kinda/sorta suck, or are too young, or too foul-prone to play heavy minutes). if another 1st rounder were headed our way, all the better. as for watson, i'm fairly *meh* on him, but really, for a young team that's rebuilding, why not try as many young players out that you can get your hands on?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    why would the wiz want to give up on young, a guy who's shown some pretty impressive offensive upside, for young, who's a decent enough prospect (i guess), but already old for his draft class (he & young are the same age) & a scrub in carroll? yeah, i get that they're rebuilding, but isn't young the kind of young player that should be part of a rebuild?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Nick Young unfortunately is a chucker & ball stopper, & does little else than score/shoot

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I dont see why we dont just use CJ in the SG position a little more often. He can play his usual 10 minutes at back up PG and take most of Bogans minutes at SG.

    And am I the only one who has been pretty darn impressed with Brewers shooting lately? He has been knocking down jumpers regularly. He definitely needs to be our starter. I understand that Bogans is not playing "starters minutes" and is not in during crunch time, but that is all BS when you get down to it.

    The fact is you want your best 5 starting. The Bulls would be much more dangerous on both ends of the floor with Brewer in. I know he doesnt stretch the floor like Korver can or how we hoped Bogans would, but Brewer has been knocking down open jumpers, slashes pretty well (with and without the ball) and can definitely provide the defense we need from that position. In fact, with his knack at getting steals, it might help our currently non existent fast break game.


  • In reply to bcz1980:


  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Agreed, basically Dougs post from lat week or whenever is was says it the best. We can upgrade our SG position with our current roster. Until Bogans is benched and Noah is back we wont really know how good this team can be. And unless a Melo trade works out there prolly isnt a move to make that is worth giving up our assets.

  • In reply to OnePointSeven:

    No way! Why give up so much and then take in an over-the-hill guy as well. This doesnt improve the team at all.

  • In reply to OnePointSeven:

    Talk about a chemistry killer, adding not one but two of the jerkiest jerkoffs in league history at least one of whom cannot play anymore or even get in shape to play.

    I want no part of either of these despicable characters on my team.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "one but two of the jerkiest jerkoffs in league history"

    Offhand, I can't think of the last title team that didn't have at least one total pr_ck on it. Unless there is something going on that hasn't been reported, I think this is something the Bulls are lacking.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    Barbosa is a nice upgrade from Watson IMO... He can play both guard positions, has playoff experience and can hit the 3 if needed (even with his funky shot). Watson is a free lancer who doesn't play with discipline offensively or defensively. For a stickler like Thibs, he's never been a good fit. Barbosa is a better fit.

    Before Barbosa though, I want the Bulls to explore the opportunity to acquire Shane Battier. I know he's a SF but I think he might be able to play SG. He's a great defender, got size, playoff experience, great competitor, outstanding 3pt shooter, and can create his own shot if needed but can also play off Rose. His length would be important in guarding the likes of Kobe, Wade, James. If Houston continues to struggle and sink by the trade deadline, I wonder if the Rockets would be open to trade Battier who would be the perfect complement to this team. I would give up any bench player including Gibson to get Battier, although if 3 first round picks and James Johnson, keith Bogans and Watson would do it, I'd be happy with that deal too. I'm certainly hoping for the Rockets demise and maybe Battier might be available...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agreed, we need to hold assets for when prices step off the cliff they are standing on.

  • In reply to smiley:

    If he's expensive, isn't a big improvement over CJ or Brewer, why would you want him? When you bring a new guy in mid-season, it can be more painful than helpful. I just don't see anybody out there that's available who would be a definite upgrade. Besides, none of this is up to any of us, so it's really just a lot of "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

  • In reply to smiley:

    I cant see Watson as being a desired return by Toronto. They will probably want Korver & Johnson.

    Of course, I would make that trade also.

  • I like that idea...but like the other poster said, the Bulls might not like the idea of having a small SG.

  • I haven't watched him much since he left the Suns, but he was definitely more of a SG here. They tried to cram him into the Nash backup role, but he really didn't fit that well. He scored ok, but wasn't able to get others involved. He did very well running with Nash, though.


    BARBOSA does NOT make US a CONTENDER, It's time you all STOP being
    CLUELESS followers

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    I was about to reply when I realized Happy didn't actually write that. It was the bold that made me double-check the name.

    Doug - Make it Bogans instead of Watson...or instead of Johnson...or in addition to both, and I'm down with your proposal.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    I was fooled as well. And IF I HEAR one more MENTION of the name WALLACE, im GOING to FLIP.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:


    He said it, not me.

  • In reply to jpbaker81:


    Melo is still the Bulls #1 Trade Target. That has to play itself out first.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr Happy, who in the Bulls organization has told you Melo is their #1 trade target?

    I'd be curious to learn who your source is...

  • In reply to thegreatlie:


    Somebody, but I will keep that person's name to myself.

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    Please DONT trade JJ .. This coach dont play at all but the guy has game. The few times hes been out there he actually help ed win the games early in the season.. Then hell make a couple bone head plays and sits.. All the other guys make the same bone head plays (Taj,Brewer,etc) but they continue to get playing time . yet JJ sits .. I dont know the reason except this coach is STUBBORN and wont change.. Its the main reason I dont like the guy plus he never sits down . SICKENing Play JJ and Omar you dope!!! They cant improve unless they play .. JJ can play D just like Deng who is our best Defender. Brewer gets lost to much guarding his man .

  • In reply to mikem:

    its esentially the problem the Bulls have always had for these last several years that they have gotten back to being a playoff team; you want to play the young guys, but an unestablished coach is not secure enough yet in his job, and trusts the vets a lot more than the young guys.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    a) what possible package could the bulls put together that would entice the nuggs to make that deal, and

    b) what *evidence* is out there to suggest melo would be interested in signing with the bulls, even if they (the bulls) could make a deal work that made sense for them?

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    If I were part of the Bulls' management, this is who I would be targeting.

    #1.) Carmelo Anthony
    #2.) Nick Young (+ Hilton Armstrong)
    #3.) Courtney Lee (+ Chuck Hayes)
    #4.) Jordan Farmar (if they trade CJ Watson)
    #5.) Sam Young (+ a throw in)

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Nick Young sucks. He can't pass the ball. He's a poor man's Damon Stoudemire. No one wants a idiot who can't pass the ball. There's a reason he is scoring for Washington. There is no one else to take the shots. How is a high volume shooter like Young going do with the Bulls? Destroy their starting core or implode the reserves. There is a reason no championship teams have a guy like this on the roster. Shoot first scrubs with mid-level talent like Young end up on mediocre teams because they can only shine there. Young would be another Ron Mercer for the Bulls.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I still agree with you about getting Carmelo, but when it comes to Young you need to put down the pipe. It doesn't look like Melo is coming here.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I agree with King Of Crumbs, Nick Young sucks and he's a whiner.

    Mr Happy seems to have the inside source with regard to Mello, although I doubt he'll end up hear. IMHO

    GO BULLS!!!

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Need to add Shane Battier to our list of targets to trade for. Would love to see if he could play 2 guard.

    I dont think you can wait for Melo if we have a deal that will definitely make us better now. We waited for the big 3 and none of them came. We need to strike if the deal is right... Melo or not. Now, if Melo was smart, the Bulls would be his first pick because we're already a top 3 team in the East. Add Melo and we are definite contenders.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I wouldnt be suprised if Melo was. You never hear anything from the Bulls and what they are doing. The Casspi rumor was very odd, so you never know what could happen.

    As far as stealing players from the best teams....we should have been doing that since the season started. We could of had Dampier on our team...(he sucks i know), but at least he wouldnt of went to Maimi.

    As of right now, Id say lets wait it out until Feb. MANY more players start becoming available as the deadline nears....i wouldnt be suprised if a new name pops up in Feb.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If they trade Watson, I would try to get Lin from Golden State, his per 36's are ridunkulous!

  • Kurt Thomas has at least shown he can be useful and will harass other bigs. I'd say we are fine with Noah Asik and Kurt to throw out against the Celtics along with the solid PF tandem of Booz and Taj. Besides, Jawrong Collins wouldn't be the answer, even if I didn't feel this way.

  • he can play pg in spurts, but he's definately more of a sg.

  • what I really mean is to signing players they may need to prevent them from improving

  • In reply to bobhot:

    Tough to target specific team's players when you are working with the MLE at a best for off season spending. That is unless the new CBA came out similar to what Doug suggested, setting a hard cap but raising that cap to about 70 million. Unfortunately its more likely the MLE is depleted or ceases to exist than a significant raise of the cap. Barring a hard cap which would cripple our team since we still need to sign DRose to a max deal, we will have to make our hay trading for players that we can resign into the luxury tax. Fingers crossed.

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