The Chicago Bulls look to be putting everything together lately. Just about everything is going well for the team right now from offense to defense to injuries [including the Hinrich injury which hopefully forced Thibodeau to see how much better the Brooks/Rose combo really is]. That said, the Bulls still feel like they're one wing player short.
Jimmy Butler is playing a ton of minutes which could be lessened some to keep him healthier and better rested come playoff time, and Chicago continuously shifts the closing lineup to try and find the right balance on the wing or find the hot player.
Nikola Mirotic - Bulls fans will cringe at the idea of trading Nikola Mirotic, and Chicago probably won't do it. The problem is there are no targets good enough to be worth throwing Mirotic into the equation whom will likely be available.
He'd be the piece if the Bulls could bring back a star player, but none of the star wing players right now are remotely available.
Taj Gibson/Joakim Noah - The Bulls could afford to trade on of the two as long as everyone stays healthy. However, that's a big risk to take with Chicago's current front court. An trade would likely need to be a three way as well since the team giving up a veteran wing we need probably doesn't want a veteran big and is more looking for youth.
Also, much like with Mirotic, I'm not sure the caliber of wing player on the market matches the value of these players which makes trading them a bad idea most likely.
Mike Dunleavy - His main value is of an expiring contract. The type of team willing to give us the wing we need probably has no need for Mike Dunleavy the player, because they're likely rebuilding. That said, Dunleavy could provide some good veteran mentorship for half a season as well. He doesn't add much to the equation though.
Doug McDermott - The Bulls traded two first rounders to move up for McDermott, but he's now out for awhile with knee surgery and likely won't have enough time to help them with this playoff run. There's a fair chance Chicago will have two 1st round picks next year (Kings and the better of their own and Cleveland's), and seems unlikely Chicago has room for all that youth.
In short, moving McDermott for a veteran combined with Dunleavy's salary seems like a trade that would interest a lot of teams who'd be willing to roll the dice on a younger talent and rookie salary.
Tony Snell - I doubt he has any value round the league, and might even have negative value since he's guaranteed for next season. He's mostly contract filler at this point, but some team might be interested.
Picks - As noted, the Bulls likely have two picks next season, and they don't need two picks + McDermott + Mirotic as young players on the team while trying to win a title. If they keep McDermott then they might consider trading one or both picks for the right player.
Kevin Martin - I've discussed him several times on the blog before. It's believed Minnesota would be open to moving him as they tried to put him in the Kevin Love trade. He's presently out with a wrist injury, but is due back in a week or two.
Martin provides great shooting, can draw fouls, and score off the dribble. He would give the Bulls an absolutely elite offensive wing group. Rose + Martin + Butler is a metric ton of scoring power. The fact that he's a great shooter means the Bulls wouldn't lose the threat Dunleavy provides on offense.
Martin doesn't bring a whole lot of defense, and the Bulls might not need what he does bring so much anymore. Chicago isn't desperate for scoring right now and may not have enough shots to really accommodate Rose, Martin, and Butler in the backcourt.
Dunleavy + Snell for Martin means Chicago gives up very little to try it out.
Arron Afflalo- The Nuggets aren't going anywhere, and there's a good chance Afflalo opts out after the season is over. As such, they'd be wise to get something for him if they can.
Afflalo is generally regarded as a good shooter/defender. He's the 3D guy that team look for. He'd give us some dribble creation, upgrade our athleticism, and is a solid professional that would fit in with our culture.
Afflalo hasn't shot the ball well this season, nor did he two seasons ago. He was good last season, but two out of three poor seasons might be cause for concern. He'll also likely opt out on the Bulls this year, so the question is how much you pay for a rental?
Mike Dunleavy + Doug McDermott is probably the only deal that really works under the cap. The Nuggets don't have enough waivable players to do a 3 for one with Snell and a minimum salary guy. Would the Bulls give up McDermott for a rental?
wilson Chandler- He has two years left on his deal and is a player that Denver may or may not be willing to unload. He's probably not a long term fit for them, but he's on a fair enough contract and is a quality player with a season left, so they don't have a strong need to cut bait.
Chandler would give the Bulls another athletic wing defender, and he's a decent enough shooter [though not great]. He wouldn't require a whole bunch of shots, but would be a threat on offense and improve the defense quite a bit.
Moving an elite shooter for a non elite shooter might screw up the floor spacing for Chicago and also leave them with quite a bit less shooting overall.
Dunleavy + Snell + picks or Dunleavy + McDermott might both be tempting for the Nuggets.
Jeff Green - The Boston Celtics may be willing to shift virtually any veteran talent around after moving Rajon Rondo and entering a clear rebuilding phase. Green's got one year left on his deal and is in his prime, but may not be a guy they'd want to resign post 30 when the deal is over.
Green's a solid defender who can do a bit of everything on offense. He also helps the Bulls considerably with their perimeter athleticism compared to Hinrich/Dunleavy/McDermott.
Chicago loses a bunch of shooting moving from Dunleavy to Green and the overall court spacing might get considerably tighter. He's been a good volume offense player for the Celtics, but the Bulls don't need that really and don't have lots of shots for him.
Green's salary means the Bulls need to include Gibson [not worth it to me] or do Dunleavy + McDermott + Snell. Boston would need to waive two players to make the final deal work but would likely be able to figure out a way to do it.
Nick Young- Young isn't really getting the playing time in L.A. that you might expect he would after signing a four year deal. He seems to be the next generation J.R. Smith, quality three point shooter, enough athleticism to drive [but doesn't], and general all around idiot.
Swaggy P can shoot, create off the dribble, and would upgrade the Bulls athleticism. He's more or less a pure off the ball player similar to Dunleavy and could play the same role for the Bulls while providing more firepower.
He's signed for three season after this one, and if the Lakers were already willing to trade him that's a sign Chicago probably doesn't want to deal with him for three additional years. His defense, decision making, and attitude are all suspect.
Dunleavy + Snell or just Dunleavy for Nick Young - The inclusion of Snell is optional and based more on whether the Bulls want to unload his guaranteed salary in 2015/16. The deal only goes down if L.A. already feels they've made a mistake with Young which should be a concern for the Bulls grabbing him as well.
All in all, I'd rather get Martin whom I feel provides similar things with better foul drawing ability, more professionalism, and one less year on his deal even if his overall salary is higher.
Lance Stephenson- Lance was a guy many wished the Bulls chased this off-season. He'd provide a terrorizing defensive element to the Bulls team and is a bull in the china shop when driving through the lane. He's struggled mightily this season [as have the Bobcats] which might make him available.
Lance compares to Jimmy Butler in many of his strengths. He can drive, draw fouls, is physically tough, and plays great defense. His contract only has one more guaranteed season on it as well.
His attitude issues are well known and caused the Pacers to blanch at signing him to a big money deal [though the still offered him a five year 45 million dollar deal]. He's struggled badly this year and was reportedly not in great shape either. Beyond attitude, you'd wonder if his lack of three point shooting shrinks the court too much.
Potential deal: Dunleavy + McDermott + Snell are all needed to match salary. Lance is a guy I'd probably pass on. The attitude issues are a bit too overwhelming to overcome given that he's also playing badly right now. You'd have to hope for a reversal in attitude and play, and even then his fit is dicey. He'd make the Bulls defense absolutely ferocious, but I'm not sure that's enough.
Odds of the Bulls making a trade?
My favorite trade is the Arron Afflalo possibility. It addresses several needs for Chicago if the Bulls can lean on his historical success from beyond the arc and ignore the couple of recent seasons where he was subpar. If he shoots close to 40% from there it's a steal for the Bulls and probably helps the Nuggets too.
If Chicago was interested in acquiring Kevin Martin then they probably would have already done so this summer.
The Jeff Green deal is one I could see Chicago considering, but I think it's marginal for Chicago at best given how much shooting they lose in it. The same can more or less be said of Wilson Chanlder. In either case, the Celtics/Nuggets might rather just hang on to their guys.
The risks of Swaggy P and Stephenson seem to outweigh the benefits in my opinion, and the Bulls pride themselves on character guys so it seems unlikely they'd go out on a limb with those knuckleheads.
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