Eric Gordon to the Bulls makes a whole lot of sense

Eric Gordon to the Bulls makes a whole lot of sense

It's not as sexy as the Kevin Love plan, but since a successful trade requires two teams to agree and a player to want to go to his new destination, we can't hitch our hopes to just one potential move. The Eric Gordon plan seems fraught with peril, but it actually fits awfully well into what the Bulls could do over the next few years.

Seriously, what could be better than building a team around two all-star guards with significant knee problems? Probably several things. However, the appealing part of the Gordon plan is the cost.

The Bulls trade Carlos Boozer for Eric Gordon. Maybe they throw in that iffy Sacramento pick as well, maybe they can keep it out.

The Pelicans are looking to dump Gordon on anyone they can and no one wants to take on his salary. Quite honestly, the Bulls probably don't want to take on his salary either. However, if the trade is Boozer for Gordon, they aren't really taking on so much.

Gordon will make around 30 million over the next two seasons, subtract off Boozers 16.8 million and that's just an extra commitment of 13 million. Given the Bulls may plan to amnesty Boozer and would likely have to pay him around 12 million not to play for the team, the Bulls real commitment becomes an extra 18 million for two years of Gordon vs nothing.

In effect, if the Bulls can pull off this trade, their real cost is Eric Gordon at nine million a year with likely no other change to their on court personnel. When put under the financial microscope that way, the deal doesn't look so bad anymore. Sure, I have concerns that Gordon can stay healthy just as I do Rose.

I also have concerns over his performance as he's averaging a career low in points. That said, his efficiency is up (54.6% TS% and 44% FGS 40% 3pt%), he can create shots, and he can hit the long ball. His defense next to Rose might be questionable as the Bulls would have a small back court, but the defensive battle is mostly won or lost by your interior players.

The move also keeps the Bulls above the cap which means they'll have to bring Nikola Mirotic over with the MLE. There's been some concern that the MLE might not be enough, but I can't think of any European prospect that's even gotten that much money to come over before, so I think it should work fine.

For Mirotic, the upside is that if he becomes a good NBA player he's making 15 million a year in four years rather, and the sooner he starts that cycle the better off he is. Even if five million just breaks him even with what he's doing in Europe, it's a peak there while his upside in the NBA dramatically better.

In short, I think the MLE will get it done.

The Bulls lineup in this scenario looks pretty darn good.

PG: Rose, Augustin
SG: Gordon, Butler
SF: Butler, Dunleavy
PF: Mirotic, Gibson
C: Noah

The Bulls will have multiple picks in the draft where they might find another big man (though you always should draft best player available), or they'll need to fill that back up center spot with the veteran minimum.

Is this the sexiest lineup imaginable? No, perhaps not. However, this lineup fixes several considerable problems the Bulls have had in the past. First, Gordon, Dunleavy, and Mirotic are dangerous three point shooters which gives the Bulls the option to truly open up spacing on the court. Even with Butler in the group the Bulls will have plenty of shooting and should have far more space to run their offense.

Gordon can create his own shot, so the Bulls won't be reliant on Rose to create so much offense anymore and should have someone who can shred defenses off the dribble in a double team rather than just hoping to find an open shooter off the double team.

Also, this lineup will keep the Bulls under the cap and create a ton of cap space in 2016 when Kevin Durant becomes a free agent. Maybe getting Kevin Durant is a pipe dream, a lot of things would need to fall correctly for it to be a possibility, that said, you might as well leave yourself open to the possibility now rather than closing it off early.

In the worst case scenario, Gordon doesn't work out in year one, he becomes a large contract to match against a star player in a trade the following year. If the Bulls can't do Love this year, they could potentially use Gordon as part of a deal for Love the following year [or a different star who wants out].

I don't view Eric Gordon as a star player, but his skills, when healthy, lineup very well with what the Bulls need. His contract fits into what the Bulls would want to do, and his asking price might just be the exact price the Bulls can most afford to pay.


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  • Doug its not a sexy lineup like u said but it sure looks like they can SCORE some points plus keeping their defense respectable!!

    why would the bulls need to give pelicans a pick? They are taking on a longer contract with greater risk.

    keep hearing that bulls are no longer optimistic that they can bring over mirotic this summer. Because he would require more than mle...but if bulls can pull it off I would be all for it..its a high risk high reward trade.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Mirotic would be extraordinarily short sighted if he stayed in Europe because the Bulls didn't have more than the MLE or if he refused to come at that price.

    If he becomes a star, he'll be giving up an extra year of 10 million per season on his second contract by delaying his entry for a year. His first contract he just needs to get through.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There are probably some companies that would sign Mirotic to an endorsement contract if he comes over. Even some companies in Europe might well do that. Plus, if he is really good, he will get some huge contracts in his second year here.

    However, I do not like the proposed trade. It might wind up hindering a great FA acquisition or some quality bench players. We do not want high risk/high reward. With Mirotic the Bulls have low risk/high reward! Those are the deals that build a champion.

  • Pass. they can get the other Gordon for the vet minimum next year. At this point the odds that Rose and Gordon play in the same game is about 50%. Why would you want to play $30+ mil a year for that?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    So by your "logic" Rose is a vet minimum player if he got cut. Stick with your delusional dreams of Kevin Love or Pau Gasol turning the Bulls into a unbeatable powerhouse.

  • In reply to Chad:

    where did you come up with that? How is Rose going to get cut or get the vet minimum?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    The only knock on Gordon is his history of knee injuries and that is the same knock on Rose.

  • In reply to Chad:

    You still don't get it. "The other Gordon" isn't Eric Gordon.

  • @doug where's Tony snell in the lineup? Is he traded?

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Ahh, yeah Snell could be a back up there somewhere too, I just forgot about him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I've been an advocate for this backcourt pairing for years; knee injuries be damned. Hopefully the former AAU "Mean Streets" teammates are reunited.

    Oh yeah Doug, how about that Tony Snell? He should stick around.

  • Do we know the specifics of Gordon's knee problems??? Any chance that it could be better in the future?

    Concerned about knees. A lot of bucks. If his knee issues are behind him, maybe. If not, I don't know. But, still intriguing.

    Would the Pelicans really want Boozer? And, straight up? I find it hard to believe that they would do this deal straight up, but perhaps it would be a wise financial decision for them, as Boozer only has one year left after this year and he's had no injury issues so you expect he'll be on the court.

    You have to consider this deal if Gordon can be healthy and only Boozer is required and Mirotic will sign for MLE.

    Maybe the Bulls would rather sign Mirotic for $7-8 mil for 4 years if they are sold on him being a superstar? If you go MLE for 2 years, then you risk losing him in year 3. Or, going deep into the tax.

  • In reply to Granby:

    He's played virtually all this year, so yes, he could definitely better. It looks like he's better right now.

  • if Mirotic is going to take the MLE, then he'll just wait a year when the buyout is less.

  • In reply to bullsblogger:

    Maybe, but if he's a > MLE player in the future, he'd lose potentially 2-4x as much as his buyout money in the future by waiting. He can't play basketball forever, he has a limited number of years to get paid, and every year spent in Europe is one year he's not going to be spending in the NBA at a potentially very high salary.

  • I like it! Hard to bash Gordon's knee problems when he has played more than Rose has the past three seasons... Yeah it would be riskier health wise but he is really young as is Rose and its not hard to see the freak knee injuries possibly being a thing of the past. This would be a much more balanced lineup than the proposed K Love deal would be. Not to mention how nice it would be to have a secondary shot creator and 3pt shooter to both space the floor and keep the defense honest.

  • To be honest, I would pass on Eric Gordon, amnesty Boozer and sign Lance Stephenson. The reason is because Gordon not only has health issues but may not be a good locker room either. I also think the Bulls would be worse with Gordon than without Boozer and Mirotic (assuming he is not coming next year).

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    I like Lance a lot too, but I have no idea what his situation looks like. Is he RFA? If so, Indiana can match, and you know they're gonna want to keep him. He'd be another great defender and can also handle the ball/create a bit to ease the burden off Rose. Again, if Indiana can't keep him, I doubt the Bulls would be able to get him as I think teams will probably throw ~$10/yr for him.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    You won't be able to get Stephenson. Indy will match what the Bulls could offer most likely.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not sure about that as reporters are saying that even if they don't resign Granger, Indi may not have enough to cover Stephenson if he get a big offer. Indi is like the Bulls in 2012, and beginning to look for ways to avoid luxury.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    If George makes the all-nba team this year, he qualifies for the "Rose rule" and can make an extra $3 mil a year, leaving Pacers with maybe $6 to spend and stay under the tax. If not, they can go up to $9, which should be enough to pay Lance. I assume they would give up a pick to dump copeland in case they only have $6 to work with, which would give them more cushion.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Yea, thats what I've been reading. Indy might have a hard time matching at $8 million per, and likely won't match at $10 million per.

    Supposedly, Indy like OKC cannot/will not pay the tax.

    Is Stephenson worth either figure, I'd have to start watching Indy on a daily basis to know for sure.

    If we use all our cap space on Stephenson, will we still have the MLE to offer Mirotic this summer, or will we be forced to wait another year on him, and risk that he does something stupid like extending with Real Madrid.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Is Lance Stephenson UFA or RFA? I'm reading conflicting reports on the internet?

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    From the Sun Times today, as Grant Lowe(grantland) suggested last week.

    "If they fail to land a star of the magnitude of Anthony or James, there is a consolation prize. The Bulls would love to nab Lance Stephenson from the Indiana Pacers, move Jimmy Butler to the three and add highly touted Nikola Mirotic after using the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer. That would give them a talented roster, but still not a great one. Chicago Sun-Times"

    Stephenson certainly won't make $15 million per, but he is kind of a raging jackass(as in Stephen Jackass), not a Bulls type of player. I just don't see either guy enough to know who is the better player, or better for the Bulls. Never particularly liked either guy, although they both have some talent. Who is the better 3 point shooter, Gordon?. Better ballhandler & defender, Stephenson?

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    It's Lance's contract year, so it's probably fool's gold.

    I.e. JR "DNP" Smith

  • I think the highest paid guys in Spain get around 2 million euros (about $2.75 mil) so can't see how the MLE won't be enough to bring Mirotic over, unless I am missing something.

  • the knee thing and big contract doesn't doesn't sound good to me. Give me Gerald Henderson who is taller, good defender and can score. He's not a three point shooter but is on a much better deal. Maybe the Bulls can get him for that charlotte pick returned to the Cats. These are the kind of deals the Bulls will have to make in order to have gar forman "flexibility----read max profitability", anyway there are smaller moves they can make to get the team better even if they strike out on kevin love, aldridge, anthony. The Bulls need to sharpen up the D and R and just get a little more scoring with a healthy Rose, they can do it again if they make good basketball decisions in the offseason and stay away from players that can't score or shoot.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Why won't that deal happen? Because it would make too much sense. That should have been proposed 2-3years ago, as he's Always been a Bulls killer being someone who would thrive in this system of Thibodeaus, he would need to work on the 3 ball though.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    He would be perfect for thibs since he loves to d up and it would give cap space to sign Mirotic down the line. It's a no brainer, a future lineup of Rose-Henderson-Butler-Mirotic-Noah with key reserves in Gibson and Snell, not a superstar team but with great depth, it can compete at a high level. Gar said he's not rebuilding but retooling, well thats a good retool right there.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I've been suggesting that the Bulls get Henderson for a couple of years now. He's not that sexy of a guy, but he sure kicks ass everytime he plays the Bulls. What is he, a somewhat lesser version of Afflalo, but on a very reasonable contract. Charlotte did just reup him, but they have never seemed all that in love with him. Not sure that they would make the deal for their own pick, until at least this summer.

  • Eric Gordon huh..? How about this, how about John Paxson and his anal retentive weasel sidekick Gar Forman just bring in some f-ing offensive talent. Can we just do that??

    Gar/Pax do not strike me as the astute types to forsee an emerging or potential guy like Detroit with Chauncey Billups or Phoenix with Goran Dragic. Sure, homer fans will find fault with these players or the overall management record of those franchises. Fine. Whatever.

    Bottom line: Rather then go for the obvious no-brainer in Gordon whose going to cost you plenty of cap space with a so-so at best attitude and cartilage withdrawal annually accounts from First Knee Bank of New Orleans, find an up and comer and take a chance at real, earned success. Don't get me wrong - You wanna get a real offensive star in their prime - go for it. But knowing day late, dollar short Bulls F.O., not gonna happen.

    Even if they had gotten burned on a guy like Tyreke Evans, I'd rather have a F.O. that tries to acquire quality offensive talent for the fans, but in a earning it, astute fashion. Go get the next Afflalo or Dragic. Then do the same in other undervalued talent like Detroit did with the Wallaces or Dallas with Barea etc. Then fashion together pieces of quality players who still have something left in the tank such as Cuban did with Marion. Go get a young Jason Terry.

    Then, if Rose can't come back as near the same player or ends up out of basketball, we still end up with an offensively entertaining team to watch. Which is what real NBA fans want IMO. Fans who are not boring schlubs that is.

    In the end, I don't think astute offensive talent building has ever been Gar/Pax's strong suit which is why Bulls fans have had mostly offensively shitty teams to watch during their reign. What the Bulls really need to do is have Jerry Reinsdorf f-ck off with his bullshit apologies and hope his son is the next coming of Rocky Wirtz. With his first official duty being canning Gar 'O'l Bug Eyes' Forman and John aka 'The Chicago Strangler' Paxson. great player - in over his head simple emotionally immature hack.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    The problem with what you said is that they Did get offensive talents in Marco Bellinelli and Lil Nate. To a lesser degree, DJ Augustin unfortunately either the FO or coach Thibs has a certain umbrage in regards to the offense.

    They either want the single creator with 3 point shooters and rebounders set up, or some sort of inside out action (without a real post presence to facilitate this) . Either way, there's no diversity in regards what our team can do offensively.

    We talk about the 2 way player and how much it would bolster our overall team play. When in fact, I feel coach feels one way and the FO feels a separate way; and they act aaccordingly. To wit, they could've kept the driving kicking and dishing Belinelli and or Robinson to play WITH Rose, instead they went with Dunleavy to space the floor.

    Don't think they couldn't have gotten OJ Mayo, when Heinrich was picked up much earlier and for more money in that free agency process 11/2 years ago.

    This is a power struggle and too much pride within. Which overshadows another great coaching job by the short fat man who never sits down.

  • Assuming Wade and Bosh opt-in to their contracts this summer, they will expire in the summer of 2016, the same time Durant and Irving become unrestricted free agents. I can already see Pat Riley dreaming of his new Big 3 of Lebron, Durant, and Kyrie.

  • In reply to RichG:

    If I'm Wade and Bosh, I'm opting out of my contract and demanding a new long term deal. Miami is basically fucked if they don't sign them both to two new long term deals because LeBron could also then opt to walk away.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree that Wade and Bosh will probably opt-out, so that they can re-do their contracts, but it’s better for the Heat if they opt-in.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Based on RichG's theory, which is nauseating, we all better hope that Wade and Bosh do opt out. No way that I want either Miami or the Lakers getting Durant.

    Of course, the Lakers being the Lakers, they have figured out a way to tank this season, allowing them to luck into whomever ends up being the best player in this draft(Embiid, Wiggins, Parker), then they'll find a way to get Love in the summer of 2015 and Durant in the summer of 2016. and life in the NBA will again suck for the rest of us.

  • I would pass on Eric Gordon and get Ben Gordon cheap!
    Bulls do good with small offensive spark plugs off the bench who aren't afraid to jack up shots!
    Would rather get Tyreke Evans from the Pelican birds if we dealt with them. Sacramento still has some talent that is wasting away there even after dealing Evans. I would like Thornton and/or Jimmer here for a teacher like Kirk H to them.
    Tall 6'7" Kevin Martin would have done great as a Bull I would imagine! I followed him when I lived in Sacramento.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Tyreke Evans? Jimmer? Ben Gordon? I hope the Bulls can find better.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I hope we get better than those 3 as well especially if we Amnesty Boozer. Heck maybe Deng will change his mind and miss his buddy Noah so much he will take $10M/yr for the 3 years Paxson offered him a few weeks ago in the summer.
    Not too far off, we got Kirk back after FO made room for the BIG 3 before they punked us and wasted our time and hurt Boozer's feelings being on hold until they signed with Miami and we signed Boozer as a obvious distant plan B.

  • If Wade were to become a FA, I am making the fearless prediction that he will sign with the Bulls. It makes perfect sense for both parties. Wade gets to return to his home town and play with Rose. Paxson gets to crow about grabbing a desirable(?) FA after striking out on Lebron and Anthony. Fits Paxson's MO to a tee. He gets a broken down former star near the end of his career. Just like he snared Pippen, Wallace, Hamilton and Hinrich. Paxson will always make the same mistakes over and over. That is why he is Paxson.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Wade is not leaving and I doubt he opts out. He probably feels too loyal after he and Riley's scheme paid off with 2 (or 3?) championships. His career is not going to be too much longer, so I bet he considers retirement at the end of this contract if he can no longer play at an acceptable level. The guy plays like every-other game now. If he can't get healthy, what's the point?

  • In reply to Granby:

    I agree that Wade is not leaving Miami, unless Miami goes cold blooded and doesn't want to bring him back. However, he almost has to opt out, as he took the largest "paycut" of the big 3 to make that original deal work.

  • So what's with the multiple rumors from hush hush sources hispanic and business news about Joakim being traded to the Suns for picks, Okafor etc? Could be just sensational dangling on easy speculation topic but..?

    Problem is Phoenix starts with 13 which is too low as odds drop off past 10. Then they have 18 and couple of others ending at 30. You mean out of Utah, Sact., Milwaukee, Orlando, and Philly no one would bite on value of Joakim understanding his contract isn't cheap, but still? He's been playing pretty well aka difference maker.

    I understand fans who don't want to trade Jo, but if it's going to happen at least get a top 6 pick or one top ten and a early mid teens. Not this 13 and down B.S.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Yes, interesting. Noah would have to yield 2 first round picks, I would think. Or one from a terrible team like Orlando or Utah, etc... that look to be at the top of the draft. In this type of situation, I think you wait 'til the trade deadline so that there is very little time for a terrible team to recover with an upgraded center.

    If you can be assured Utah's (or whoever) pick will be bottom 2 or 3, you just hope to sign Embiid to replace Noah. Huge upside offensively and defensively.

    Doubt this materializes. I like Noah, but I don't think he's worth his contract the next couple years. No rim protection and below average offensively. And, he's not getting any better.

  • In reply to Granby:

    If your doing the deal to replace Noah with Embiid, you almost have to guarantee that you get the #1 pick, which is where Embiid will end up unless Utah gets the #1 pick and takes Parker.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    And, for the record, I don't know if I do this for 2 mid-to-late first round picks. I'll roll with Noah if that's all that can be had.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree.

  • Please, don't.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Competing with BigWay for humor, eh? Not bad.

    The Bulls will need a C with Defense, especially when Mirotic arrives. So, trade Jo for Embiid, sure. But not for a couple of picks around #15. Unless the scouts are targeting a bunch of real sleepers in this draft.

  • Doug, really good thought process on the Gordon prop. The only problem that I see is that in addition to Gordon's contract your getting Gordon's knees and Gordons attitude which seems less than ideal.

    I just don't see the Bulls being interested in this deal, and I'm not sure the Pelly's would be interested in even one year of Bimbo the Bamboozler.

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    Wouldn't be my 1st choice because of Eric's knees...The Bulls have been just hammered with injuries the past couple of seasons so why go after another injury prone player.... And if he's not a good defender that won't sit well with Thibs. However I agree with the article this is exactly the type of move the Bulls front office would make. It sure wouldn't surprise me if E. Gordon would be in the line-up next year.

  • Even at effectively 9 million a year you're still getting a one way player with bad knees, so it's not a great deal, but that's why you can get him for basically nothing.

    I'd do it provided that a) no picks are involved, just a straight swap for Boozer and b) the Bulls really are willing to go back into the tax in the future now they've had this year to help escape the repeater tax.

    You'd really be playing the "if healthy" card with that sort of move though. That might be the Bulls best shot to win, get players who are cheap because they're broken and hope they stay together one season. Not that it's worked well so far.

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    most idiotic scenario and article ever written - this writer is on drugs no doubt

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