In a move which seems to have upset a lot of Bulls fans, the Bulls have not made any moves at the trade deadline outside of the unloading of James Johnson for a 1st rounder yesterday.
The Bulls have the chance to use that extra salary savings to bring in a player that is bought out, but I'm skeptical of there being any buy out players worth bringing in. It's more likely that the extra savings will just go to bring in another player for the Chicago White Sox as Jerry Reinsdorf loves to spend on the White Sox.
So was the writing on the wall that the Bulls wouldn't do anything? Was this another example of them playing the small market team role while raking in the money or was this simply a matter of the right deal not being on the table?
There were hints of the
Bulls being concerned about making a move prior to the new CBA. The
problem with this is that the new CBA is more likely to make it
difficult to bring in talent. That's why a big market team with tons
of money should have been more willing to spend it now when they option
to spend it later might not exist.
However, it seems like the Rockets simply wanted too much for Courtney Lee. How do two firsts not equal Lee given the Rockets present position? However, after the
Rockets unloaded a couple of other guards, they had a greater need to
keep Lee and didn't need the draft picks.
I'm quite content that we didn't give up a pick to bring in Anthony Parker which would have just let to a guard glut without significantly improving the team. The chemistry risk of trying to squeeze four players into the SG slot with another 10 minutes as backup SF seemed like too much to me.
The only potentially depressing news was the O.J. Mayo trade that almost was. Reportedly, the Grizzlies were willing to give up Mayo for a pick and Josh McRoberts. You'd have thought that 3 firsts (Bulls, Miami, and Charlotte) from Chicago + Bogans would have been enough to lure him here or perhaps Taj + a couple 1sts. O.J. Mayo will stay a Grizzly for now, but he has many of the characteristics we'd like out of a SG, decent shooting, defense, and an ability to put the ball on the floor.
Granted, Mayo's reputation vastly exceeds his accomplishments due to junk scoring rookie season where he threw in a lot of points on a lousy team combined with his pre-NBA hype as a future superstar. He had a number of drug problems (I've been told you have to be busted by the league five times prior to it going public) and has groused about a limited role in Memphis which probably was bigger than the role we'd ask of him here.
I would have liked to go for Mayo despite all that, and maybe the Bulls did go for him, but the Grizzlies simply preferred the higher draft pick and Josh McRoberts to our poor selections and Gibson or Asik.
So were the Bulls cheap? Gun shy? Just no good deals available?
That's not entirely clear, and a combination of the three certainly wouldn't surprise me. It's worth noting that the Bulls, as an organization, have done a great job of dumping bad contracts, creating cap room, making minor moves to trade unused assets for future assets at the deadline. Year after year, the Bulls make little trades to help them out. Typically to save money and bring in future assets.
However, the Bulls have failed to spend their assets to bring in a piece that really helps them on the court. It's not salary trimming time anymore. It's not time to collect more draft picks. It's time to use those things to push this team over the edge that said here simply may not have been the right move out there, and I can accept that.
The Bulls are on the verge of something awfully special, and this was hardly their last opportunity to do add a piece before a championship window closes. There will be plenty of players available this summer. Lots of SGs out there, and the Bulls will have flexibility to add someone at the draft since they'll be below the cap and have picks to use, but it would have been nice to be able to pull off that move now and get something for this playoff run.
Not getting anyone today feels a little disappointing, but in the face of that disappointment, it's worth remembering what a good team the Bulls have right now and that it still has some flexibility in the summer. Also, just be happy we're not Celtics fans. They may have just traded away their chance at a title to save money.