The Bulls options are fairly limited and as the team has started off looking like a poor man's version of itself so far fans are loooking at how it can address the same ole issues.
Chicago lacks shooting and shot creators. This is no shock. I complained about it over the summer, and I was hardly the lone dissenting voice on the topic.
The Bulls miss having a Nate Robinson whether it was the Nate Robinson or some other short combo guard who could shoot and create even if erratic and a defensive liability.
However, they aren't a Nate Robinson away from solving their offensive woes. They really need a shot creator / shooter that isn't quite so erratic and will likely score consistently against quality defenses.
In short, they need a near star level scorer. It's unlikely the Bulls have the means to get the player they need.
Fans have dreamed of replacing Carlos Boozer with Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, or Al Horford. All moves would indeed improve the team. Would they improve the team enough to sacrifice Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, and a draft pick?
If Mirotic is a bust, then perhaps so, if he's a really good player, then probalby not. Especially given the fact that you're trading all your reasonable salaries for one expensive player.
For all the complaints about how Boozer folds when it matters, Kevin Love is still waiting to play a game that means something while Horford and Aldridge both sport lower career playoff PERs than Boozer and show significant decline from their regular season numbers just like Boozer.
This isn't to say I wouldn't love to swap out Boozer for either guy on a one to one basis, but the upgrade isn't so large that I want to sacrifice two starting caliber players with high ceilings with a draft pick to make the swap.
That's even assuming such a trade would get it done, when in reality, there's a good chance that it wouldn't be enough to entice those other teams to lose their player either because teams with a borderline star and a bunch of role players aren't made better by removing the star for more role players. The trade really ends up a lose/lose.
The idea of moving Luol Deng for Eric Gordon seems a bit more palatable now that Gordon is not sitting out with a knee injury and looks pretty good in New Orleans. Of course, the possibility of pulling off that trade may have left the building for the same reasons.
The Pelicans may still move Gordon given the roster, salary, injury history, and stated desire to leave. However, Gordon's may have rebuilt his trade value some, and Luol Deng's play certainly isn't helping his any. If Gordon's healthy at the deadline and the Pelicans are willing to pull the trigger, it's probably the best case scenario for Chicago.
Jimmy Butler looks much better at SF, Gordon brings a legit shooting, ball handling, and shot creation presence in at SG, and the Bulls are suddenly much better balanced than they were before.
The other shot the Bulls have is to fire up the Carmelo Anthony discussion. Anthony discussed wanting to hit free agency, so maybe he's uninterested in a trade to Chicago with an extension in hand.
However, maybe the Knicks see the writing on the wall and are willing to move him. At 2-4, the Knicks are a long way from competing for a title and with no assets, they don't really have room to do much of anything even if Anthony resigns.
There likely won't be any bidders on Anthony as a rental, and Anthony controls his own destiny in terms of whether he agrees to an extension. He's also sort of an abomination when it comes to team basketball, but the Bulls couldn't find a better shot creator/scorer as Anthony provides much of what the Bulls really need.
From his perspective, if the Bulls could pull off the trade for Deng, Hinrich, Mirotic, and a couple 1sts, then the he's unlikely to land anywhere else with a better cast. The Bulls would obviously need to keep Boozer in this scenario, but they'd suddenly match up pretty well against the Heat.
Of course, any trade that involves all of the following:
1: The Knicks giving up on keeping Anthony
2: Anthony giving up on becoming a FA
3: Anthony choosing Chicago as the only place he signs an extension
4: The Knicks agreeing to a Bulls package that allows them to keep a title contender
5: Jerry Reinsdorf agreeing to pay Carmelo a max deal and likely take on repeater tax
Seems like it's kind of a stretch to hope for.
There might be other options the Bulls could take a chance on. Tyreke Evans was just signed by the Pelicans this summer, but he already looks like a poor fit and might become available after his three months are up. Something centered around Luol Deng for Evans might be a possibility if New Orleans views the move as a mistake.
Evans would improve the shot creation/ball handling for the team and move Butler to a more natural position, but he actually makes the shooting problem even worse.
Evan Turner is clearly on the market and would add some ball handling and shot creation even if he doesn't improve the shooting problem any. However, he's sudden playing with a PER over 20 after averaging closer to 12 for three seasons. The improvement could create a dangerous bidding war with a team that feels Turner will keep up this level of play and significantly overpay.
The 76ers would really want future assets for Turner who's a free agent this summer, so an expiring contract won't get it done. The bulls could likely swap Hinrich + draft picks/Mirotic for Turner, the only question is how many draft picks, which ones, and whether Mirotic is in on the deal.
Then right after trading for him, the Bulls would need to deal with his impending free agency which is a dicey proposition as well, as he'll have a good chance at becoming overpaid six months after his acquisition.
That's the thing with the trade market though. There are rarely sure fire solutions. Opposing teams aren't lining up to give away their talent for nothing, and the Bulls only have enough assets to really strike once on the trade market if at all.