There's not much smoke around the Chicago Bulls this deadline, reporters may try to create some because the large Bulls fan base will draw page views, but expect the day to pass without much happening. Chicago would love to find a way underneath the luxury tax, especially to avoid the repeater penalty down the road. They'd love to dump Hamilton or Boozer, but neither seems like a likely proposition.
The most likely scenario to go down, in my opinion, is a Hamilton + pick for nothing trade. If only because if the Bulls didn't have a deal like that on the table, the Daequan Cook signing makes little sense. They didn't need to fill the roster spot, nor did they really need a player at Cook's position, nor have they played him any considerable amount of time since the signing.
However, in a scenario where Hamilton were to be moved for nothing, the signing of Cook makes perfect sense. Maybe they signed Cook just on the thought that such a trade might be on the table later and figured he was too good to pass on just in case. Either way, there's no smoke over such a trade right now, so it's one that just makes sense for the Bulls on paper.
It may simply be that no one is buying draft picks this deadline. The thoughts of a Boozer for Bargnani swap seem silly for both sides. The Raptors don't want the salary, the Bulls don't need an even worse player whom they can't amnesty. It's just a mess for both teams. Redick might be available but giving up a first rounder makes little sense if the Bulls don't plan to extend him and that likely doesn't fit into their salary structure for next season.
In the end, there's not likely a trade out there that really improves the team, so passing on the trade deadline most likely means the Bulls are passing on making a very poor deal just in order to get out of the luxury tax. That's a win for Bulls fans.
Hyped for Bulls/Heat?
The Bulls won the first meeting which I suppose proves anything is possible. Carlos Boozer had one of his top three performances of the season to carry the Bulls offense through most of the game, so I doubt Bulls fans are counting on that again. It's still hard to feel good about this team after their pre-all star break performance, but we have to remember they're much healthier now.
Miami's coming off a win in Atlanta last night, so I suppose the case could be made they'll have tired legs, but after the all-star break they're probably rested enough that it doesn't really matter. The Heat, of course, have shown lapses of concentration frequently in the regular season, and the Bulls typically put forth their best effort against the elite teams.
While Miami should crush the Bulls on paper, I think Chicago will simply want the win 10x as much as Miami which will keep the game reasonably close. I think the Heat will still pull out the victory, and I think they have the talent to crush the Bulls. However, given how the Bulls have played Miami close and effectively won three times without Rose, I doubt I can ever predict a Heat blowout against Chicago.
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