The trade of Luol Deng could mean several things for Chicago. One of them might be that the Bulls are looking to blow up the entire cast after this thing didn't work this season. According to Chad ford, the Bulls basically have everyone on the table.
Are the bulls done trading? That about Kirk or Noah?
Chad Ford (1:26 PM)
Don't think so. Lots of talk about those two as well as Boozer. I've said this in several of our last Tank Ranks, management has made the decision to tank this season. Coach isn't on board, but they can keep taking cards out of his hand to play.
Let's break it down a player a time...
Joakim Noah's not going anywhere
Management, reportedly, wouldn't give up Noah in a trade for LaMarcus Aldridge this summer. After the Blazers hot start, there's virtually no chance that deal's on the table now, nor is there any chance the Bulls will get even close to that value anywhere else. Out of their own pride, it's hard to see them dealing Noah simply because he's likely worth more to the Bulls than anything they can get for him.
Even if the Bulls were willing to completely scrap things and start over, it's tough to find quality centers, and the Bulls have nothing in the wings in terms of centers to bring in for him. There are several quality center prospects in this draft, and that would be the Bulls best bet, but the odds any of those guys end up as good a player as Joakim are iffy, and it certainly doesn't leave them in good position.
I don't think the Bulls are married to Joakim. He's one of my all time favorite Bulls, but I'm not married to him either. I think he's got limited shelf life left with the way his plantar fasciitis kicks up every season and plays largely on hustle which will dissipate as he ages. He's a good player, but it was clearly a mistake to not move him for Aldridge (unless there were ridiculous amounts of the pieces required as well).
In the end, I don't see the Bulls getting the kind of return on Noah in trade to make a deal worthwhile.
Carlos Boozer's not going anywhere
The Bulls would dump Boozer for an expiring. Any expiring. However, after that? What's the upside to moving Carlos Boozer? No one's giving you an asset back for him, and I doubt the Bulls can find someone to take him as an expiring.
If they can't move him for an expiring then they've lost a bunch of flexibility next season, so there's just no gain. I'm sure management is aggressively shopping him, but I just don't see a team giving the Bulls something that's worthwhile for them. There are a couple teams that might be desperate enough (Nets/Knicks) but they don't have the right contracts to send back.
The Suns have Okafor's contract they could send for him, but it's unlikely they'd want to screw with next year's cap space by clogging it up with Carlos Boozer even if they felt he could help this seasons.
In short, you'd need to find a team looking to win now, that could use a PF, that has a large expiring deal (but smaller than Boozer's because the Bulls are right on the tax threshold) that doesn't mind keeping him for one extra year and is willing to complete swing for the fences.
Kirk Hinrich should be easy to move
Golden State can accept him inside a trade exception and send nothing back to Chicago. They also have interest. They would likely send guard Toney Douglas back to Chicago in order to avoid the luxury tax. The move would save the Bulls a bit of money, but not a significant amount and serves no purpose other than doing a solid for Kirk if he'd prefer to go to Golden State because they're winning and possibly help the Bulls lose more games.
Maybe GS can be convinced to give up something, but what? Their second rounders are too late to mean anything, their first rounders are too valuable for Kirk Hinrich. It's just hard to see what the Bulls could get in a swap that would incentivize them enough to pull the trigger after they got under the luxury tax with the Deng move.
Maybe tanking is enough to do so, but quite honestly, I think moving D.J. Augustin would help a lot more with the tanking effort than Kirk Hinrich.
So are the Bulls tanking?
Chad Ford notes the Bulls are committed to improving draft position. I don't know if that's the case or not. Maybe they caught lightening in a bottle with the D.J. Augustin signing unintentionally, but Marquis Teague was a tank machine, and they sent him away to be replaced by someone else.
If they were looking to lose that move simply doesn't happen. The coach and players are still focused on making the playoffs, and management's best shot to actually lose games is to bring Marquis Teague back and make sure he gets huge burn every night. So far they've done the opposite of that.
A Kirk trade with a Teague call up would probably signal the white flag for the Bulls season in terms of making the playoffs especially if the Bulls don't receive anything else of value for Kirk. We'll see if that hapepns.