Is it time to trade big for small?

Is it time to trade big for small?

The Chicago Bulls need to make a significant upgrade in the backcourt in order to improve the squad to get past Miami. They'll also be facing a far stiffer cap system when basketball finally rolls around again. One solution to those problems is trading big for small.

It's important to realize that the Bulls need to maximize their assets. They presently have four high quality front court players, and while having four high quality front court players is ideal, the Bulls will pay around 40 million per year four the four of them in three seasons when Gibson and Asik are both on extensions.

With Rose making 15 million or so after his extension and Deng approaching that number, the Bulls will have virtually no salary room left to fill out a starting SG, backup PG, and backup SF positions on the roster.

The Bulls could wait another two seasons before getting completely pressed for salary, but Asik will be on an extension already and have less value while Gibson will then require a S&T likely yielding little in return.

If the Bulls look to trade Asik or Gibson now, they'll maximize value on the trade while shifting some of the talent from the front court to the back court.

Asik has one more cheap year left on his deal while Gibson has two, the new CBA should make it more reasonable for the new team to keep either one, and both will be restricted free agents. Both players should have solid trade value.

The Bulls need a dynamic backcourt player, and O.J. Mayo was available rumored to be available for Omer Asik last trade deadline. Trading for Mayo represents its own headaches, because he'll require an extension, but it shifts money from the front court to the backcourt more evenly distributing the Bulls funds among the positions on the court.

A trade of Asik and the Bulls non guaranteed trio (JL3, Pargo, and Bogans) for Mayo will work under the cap and save Memphis around 2.5 million in salary as well.

From a long term salary perspective, Mayo's new contract would replace the combination of Korver/Watson/Brewer, and the Bulls would likely look for a cheap backup PG [vet min] to help spell Rose. In the case of a Rose injury, Mayo could become the primary offensive facilitator.

The hope would then be that Nikola Mirotic comes to the team in two seasons to play the role of cheap fourth big man, while the Bulls would look to bring back Kurt Thomas for one more round or possibly sign Kenyon Martin for the playoffs when his CBA stint is over. They'd also need to look to swap out Brewer or Korver for a big man with some other team as well just to manage minutes and roster design.

The Bulls don't need to trade Asik, nor does Mayo need to be the target. They could also target Aaron Afflalo in a S&T with Denver, or possibly hope to get involved for Monta Ellis from Golden State [though salary becomes trickier there for the Bulls long term].

The point is, if you've already recognized that you can't keep everyone, because it's an inefficient use of funds, then plugging a hole now by using a guy who will be gone in a year or two makes a lot of sense.

Filed under: Trade rumors


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  • Doug,

    Did you see the article where Afflalo said Chicago would be a great fit for him? It seems that he's ready to leave DEN. I doubt they are going to be held hostage by another player who wants out, so I don't know how we get him, but its still encouraging.

  • I saw the article, but it's worth noting someone asked him about Chicago, he didn't bring it up unsolicited.

  • Name two guys from the Dallas starting five that would start over their Bull's counterpart. Other than Nowitzki, I don't think there are any. The backcourts scored at the same rate. The difference was that Nowitzki played so much better than Boozer. If Boozer improves his play, the bulls don't have to make any moves.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Dallas as a whole had more than one guy who could create their own shot. The Bulls didn't.

  • 1. I think the biggest issue is not shooting against size. It is shot creation Vs Size. If we had a big man who can create his own shot, we could make do with an MLE level SG rather than a stud SG. I think anyone other than Rose who can create a shot and is not a great shooter will also work well for the Bulls

    2. As Hubie Brown always says, the talent gets exposed(or shown)after the 1st round of playoffs are done. Boozer has been successful against the lesser teams(which is 65% of the league). It is almost the same with Noah.

    3. I think Asik is too good to trade right now. He might plateau or regress but until he went out with an injury, the Bulls were playing well against the Heat. Brewer and Asik were two guys who played consistently against the Heat(maybe good match-ups or maybe they were not scared/panicky like Noah and Boozer).

  • I like the idea of OJ Mayo. But as Schamburg Fan points out Asik is pretty good for a big man that's new to the league. I just hope we have a season to talk more about it.

  • I'd hate to lose Taj, but to be honest, his potential was most visible when he was a starter; as a bench player, we can find other defensive tigers to replace him. Asik's body and potential range of skill-sets are far harder to replace. If you're not going to trade Jo now, I'd rather keep Asik - we might yet develop a Twin Tower front court (that can't shoot...) No, I like Omer, and hissterling defense was the best new development of the playoffs!

  • Arron Aflallo is perfect. He can 3 and D with decent handles since he was a point guard in H.S. He also has a decent post up game. Listening to his full interview, it seems he is gone from the nuggets. We don't want someone who will take 20 shots since Derrick is the superstar of this team. We need a quality role player at SG

  • '3. I think Asik is too good to trade right now.'


  • Neither big nor small is the true solution. The problem with Bulls roster is they struck out in 2010 free agency settling for Boozer, Korver, Watson, Brewer. The only hope for Bulls is to keep Taj and Asik and to release/amnesty Boozer (as trading him is not likely).

    Boozer is not a starting PF on a championship team – never was, never will be. He is undersized, past his prime, and the worst defender in the NBA at PF. Past the 1st round of the playoffs he is useless - a complete liability. That will not change. Boozer is only good for soaking up regular season minutes.

    The true question is, what can Bulls acquire after a Boozer amnesty? They have the non-guaranteed trio plus Korver/Watson/Brewer. Can they get anything for those guys in trade? If not, that tells you all you need to know about the Bulls 2010 free agency effort.

  • The bulls doesn't need a role player playing the 2, we've already have Keith bogans & brewer for that, we need a coldblooded scorer from that spot, and thats either Mayo or Aaron afflalo, rip, too old, same with vinsanity, we need a younger scorer, I'd rather afflalo, because he can score & play defense,

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