LaMarcus Aldridge wants to land in Chicago, and the Bulls covet Thomas Robinson. Chicago is also discussing an extension with Luol Deng, except that they're not.
The Bulls are always popular in terms of draft day and trade deadline rumors for a couple reasons. First, they've been reasonably active in doing something during many of the trading periods, and second, a big market generates lots of page views when it's team is involved in rumors.
The most interesting is LaMarcus Aldridge saying he wants out and wants to land in Chicago per Mike McGraw.
Word is, Aldridge wants to escape from Portland's rebuilding project and has made it known that he'd like to land in Chicago.
Deng for Aldridge won't get it done. The Blazers want Joakim Noah in return and the Bulls don't want to give up the superior defensive big man.
Given that the Blazers just turned down #1 and #19 for Aldridge I don't like our odds of getting this deal done. Personally, I love Joakim Noah to death, but I'd probably move him in this deal despite the fact it would jack up the roster by leaving us with no true center. Aldridge is the offensive big man the team could use. He's like a Carlos Boozer who doesn't completely suck when you iso him and cares on defense.
That alone might not convince me to move the needle, but you add in Noah's persistent foot issues, and I'm awfully tempted. The problem, of course, is the Bulls are still left thin in the front court and now without a center with Boozer and Aldridge playing similar roles, but I'd make the trade first and figure that part out second.
Mark Stein and Chad Ford report that the Bulls covet Thomas Robinson and suggest that Chicago may land him with the #20 pick in the draft and their trade Exception from the Korver trade [the trade would then be made official after the salary structure resets on July 1st].
Sources say that the Bulls, meanwhile, also covet Robinson and are offering the 20th pick. Chicago doesn't have cap space to absorb Robinson's contract but does possess a trade exception that Robinson could slide into. If the Bulls do acquire Robinson, word is they intend to flip him to another team in a subsequent (or connected) deal.
It was hard for me to see this one going down as I don't see the Bulls taking on that much additional salary just to get Thomas Robinson who was the #5 pick in last year's weak draft but was already traded and looking to be dumped by his second team. However, if they have a second trade partner lined up then the deal makes a lot more sense. Of course the question becomes what's the full deal?
Also, yahoo sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Bulls and Luol Deng have started contract extension negotiations only to have his agent flatly deny that's true via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago. Quite honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if the Bulls blew up the 2014 plan and looked to extend Deng as they won't get significant cap room in 2014 anyway.
Chicago should at least be trying to gauge the cost of an extension if for no other reason than to decide whether to keep him or trade him now. In that sense, I find it more likely than not that some numbers have been thrown around, but I don't think a serious attempt has been made at negotiation yet.