The trade of James Harden to the Rockets shakes up the power structure of the NBA. On the surface, Kevin Martin seems like a fair replacement for Harden in a scenario where OKC needs to save cash. Martin's one of the few players in the league who scores with high volume and efficiency, much like Harden and has done so without two more dangerous scorers next to him to relieve the pressure.
That said, this is a big loss for the Thunder. Martin brings little else to the table outside of scoring. He's not as physical, he's not as good on defense, and he's struggled to stay healthy for nearly his entire career. He plays on a much cheaper contract than Harden was demanding, and the Thunder got Jeremy Lamb thrown in the deal as well as a couple draft picks.
In the long run, the deal was likely about as good a moneyball style deal as the Thunder could find, but when three shooting guards that Bulls fans have been interested in move in one trade, you have to wonder could the Bulls have gotten involved?
The simple answer is likely not. Not at a price that would have made any sense.
The Bulls could have perhaps made a play for Lamb by offering up Jimmy Butler and the Charlotte pick, but it's hard to see that trade making much sense for Chicago unless they're big believers in Lamb, and they likely could have made that trade with just the Charlotte pick on draft night anyway which means they probably aren't.
They could have perhaps swapped in Luol Deng for Kevin Martin, and that may have worked out well for the Bulls scoring this season and beyond, but Martin doesn't play the defense, doesn't rebound, and scarily enough, has more health concerns than the guy with the torn ligament in his wrist.
The jewel of the trade is obviously James Harden. Could Chicago have of had Harden? Nope. Even if we accept the premise that Bulls 2013 pick + Charlotte pick + Deng + Mirotic would have gotten it done, and accept the premise that the Bulls were willing to give all that up, and then still believe it's a good idea, it couldn't happen.
The Bulls would be sending out just one player in the deal and in order to take back enough salary to not exceed the hard cap would need to take back a minimum of four players which would put them over the roster limit. There's simply no way the trade could have cleared the legal hurdles even if we ignore all the talent considerations.
It's always tough to see big trades get made without the Bulls involved even though that's a ridiculous expectation. They're just one of 28 teams not involved, and there was no opportunity missed.