Trading for LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love in 2014

The Chicago Bulls are likely done for the summer. Today they’ll introduce Dunleavy at a press conference in Deerfield and perhaps will sign one additional player to the veteran minimum somewhere down the line if they don’t keep Malcom Thomas who’s on a non guaranteed deal and presently playing for the summer league squad.

We’ve heard some about the 2014 plan, and to give a brief overview, the 2014 plan doesn’t mean the Bulls are signing a max free agent or even close to it. Even letting Deng/Boozer/Hinrich go they won’t be max room under the cap, so Chicago will need to look to do a trade to get a deal done.

One of the interesting pieces that might work next year is moving Carlos Boozer as the main salary matcher in a deal next season. He’ll make similar money to LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love, too big men Bulls fans have been targeting for awhile. Blogabull discussed the Aldridge situation a bit yesterday.

There’s a part of me that wonders whether either player is really a big upgrade over the Boozer we signed a bit over three years ago, but if nothing else bringing one in maintains your present place.

A trade for one of the pair likely looks something like Boozer + multiple 1sts (certainly one of them being the Charlotte first) and possibly Mirotic. The advantage of a trade with Boozer rather than using a cap room trade is that the Bulls will then be free to retain Luol Deng if they choose, use the MLE or MMLE (depending on salary status) and still possibly have room for Nikola Mirotic if he’s not included in the trade.

If Boozer has another healthy, solid season for Chicago then such a trade might be palatable for the opposing team. While they certainly downgrade talent, they at least get a poor man’s version of the player they give up for a year to match with the assets included to make the trade go. Of course the success of such a trade may hinge on how strongly Aldridge or Love push for Chicago vs other destinations.

If either player moves, it will be centered around winning. It’s also possible that both players may see their situation improve considerably this year and decide sticking it out isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Now the Bulls will be able to absorb a huge chunk of salary with the cap room in an amnesty/let Deng walk scenario, but if they can’t convince a team to take Boozer as a salary matching piece then Chicago would need to send Taj Gibson in order to match salaries as they don’t really have anyone else who fits the bill.

Now a team giving up Aldridge/Love may have plenty of room at PF and appreciate getting Taj back [or not, depending on how well he plays this season], but that also now means your cost for one of those guys becomes Deng, Taj, and Boozer. That’s a pretty steep cost for a couple guys who don’t really have the “it” factor IMO, especially since the Bulls won’t really have any method of adding a third big man to the roster.

They might not have a method to even bring Mirotic over until 2015 in this scenario. Perhaps we’re hoping for a break out season from Erik Murphy.

The Bulls could also look to make a move at the deadline for one of these guys by dangling Deng instead as the salary matcher, but it has some not so great tax implications for the team. Maybe they’re willing to pay it if they can get Aldrdige, who knows.

If Chicago were able to keep Nate Robinson at the minimum a deal of Deng + Hinrich + picks might be workable for both sides with Chicago sending cash to pay the salary difference but then saving a bunch of money in luxury tax.

All in all, the thought of adding Love or Aldridge to the roster is pretty good, but it’d be a fairly significant makeover to the team. When all is said and done, there’s a good chance such a move costs you Deng, Boozer, Taj, multiple 1sts, and possibly forces you to wait on Mirotic. If you believe either guy is a star then that’s all fine. You can always find role players later, especially if you’re team’s really good.

However, if you think these guys are both closer to borderline stars then all of a sudden you’re putting a lot of eggs in the borderline star basket which historically isn’t a great idea. Both players will also have contract extensions coming up soon afterwards and if either guy wants the high level max (or can get it from another team) then you’re really in the massively overpaying boat for them.

It’s a scary proposition paying either guy 20+ million a year, but when you look at Bosh, that might be what you’re signing up for if you trade for them now, either that or letting them walk for nothing which isn’t so practical given the number of assets required to get them in the first place.

In the end, it’s going to be difficult for the front office to find the right move. Aldridge/Love represent the best chance at really good players who may really want to come here and fill the needs we have, but they’ll have considerable costs, considerable risks, and aren’t likely to be good enough to put you over the top even if it happens.

Not a pleasant thought when contemplating how this team gets from point B to C.

Filed under: Trade rumors


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  • Aldridge and Love are both fringe All Stars if you put them on a deep team. Neither has physical tools to be a superstar so that makes such a move very questionable.

    Besides with Mirotic coming over in a year or two and looking like he maybe starting quality. Is PF the position you really want to put all your assets into upgrading??? Maybe move Boozer and pieces for Kobe next season? I think SG is where you get the most bang for your assets even if its a fringe star.

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    In reply to Chad:

    I agree, shooting guard is what we need. Next year Boozer will be more appealing to other teams, and of course we have Mirotic to work with. Alridge might pan out but its a big risk.

  • In reply to Chad:

    A big man is where I want to put my assets yes.

    The two most important pieces on a great team are a great perimeter player and a great interior player.

    If we feel we need a star shooting guard, what we're really saying is Derrick Rose isn't good enough on the perimeter.

    A star big man will open things up for Rose more than another SG will IMO. It gives you a strong two man game. Surround with shooters, and role players, and you're set.

  • I don't really see there being a lot of risk to getting Love or Aldridge. What other basket are you going to put your eggs in? Rose isn't going to age well, the Bulls should be making win now moves, because worrying that the team may not be good enough and have to be blown up in a few years is silly. The Bulls can't afford to be patient and wait for the very best move and ignore a good one if it's available. Rose doesn't have the game that translates well to his 30s. May as well take a big gamble and try to win while Rose has athleticism (assuming he'll have that when/if he ever comes back from his injury).

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Also if they don't think a Rose/Aldridge or Love/Noah core can win, then they should be blowing things up NOW and trading Noah/Rose for as many picks as possible and tanking. The way to win in the NBA is to land a superstar, and if Rose can't win with two all-star bigs then he's not a superstar.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    There goes the Rose bashing once again. Rose, if healthy and recovered from his injury is a superstar player. He needs management to get creative and bring the right players to the bulls to contend for championships, not just regular season championships. It's not Rose job to go out and be a big time recruiter, Im sure he talks to players like Aldridge because of sharing the same agent, but ultimately it's the Bulls joke of a FO to get the trades done. I will be ecstatic when this upcoming season is over because then some moves will definitely have to be made with the core of the bulls roster.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think you have a different definition of superstar to me. If it's bashing Rose to take the view that he's no LeBron/Jordan/Shaq/etc type player that you can build around and be almost guaranteed at least one championship unless you really stuff it up then sure, I'm a Rose basher. I don't think you can build a team around Rose as your best player and ever be the stand out favourite for the title. Those are the superstars, the players who have been the foundation for ~90% of the championship teams.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I disagree, Jordan, Shaq, & LeBron all had a second star to play with, give Rose that & he's guaranteed one, at least if he comes back healthy.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Name a second star that would make the Bulls championship favourites and wouldn't be the best player on the team. I don't think you can.

    As for the other guys second stars, Pippen was better than Rose, so was Kobe, and Rose wouldn't be able to win with his second star as broken down Wade IMO.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree that Rose isn't the alpha type player that you simply need to get a good cast around and get lucky. The Bulls have a good cast around Rose. They don't have an elite one.

    That said if you add Chris Bosh by subtracting him from the Heat, I think the Bulls are favorites (Though that's cheating I admit).

    I think if you could add LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love without subtracting anything then the Bulls might be right there, but you're probably still not the favorite.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think getting Love for free would put the Bulls "right there," but there is no way they can pull that one off.

    They need Mirotic to become at least a solid starter, plus they need a couple more finds like Butler in the draft, plus they need Butler/ Teague/the new draftees to progress well, plus they need Noah/Taj/Rose to stay healthy. That is asking a lot, but it might do it.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    And off the top of my head I can't think of one MVP who wasn't a superstar, not to say that all have won a championship.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    By my measure Nash and Iverson weren't superstars in the same way I'm saying Rose isn't. Great players all three, but if I land them at the start of their career I wouldn't put money on being able to build a championship around them.

    But if it bothers people so much then fine, Rose is a superstar - but the Bulls still should consider blowing it up and tanking if they don't think a Rose/Love/Noah core can win a chip, which was my actual point, not to argue semantics of the word superstar.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    While I agree with your take on Rose. I don't think you "blow it up and tank" if you don't think Rose is the once in a generation superstar. You could tank for 30 years and never get that guy.

    You're still better off hoping to add enough very good players to be the team that gets lucky in the 10% than going through the 1-3% chance of landing the "true" superstar in the lottery.

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    In reply to Shakes:

    Rose is most certainly a superstar and if healthy def. could of gave a run at beating the heat. If Indiana and a talented but aging Spurs could almost beat the Heat and arguably should of, then of course Rose with the Bulls could of had a chance, not to mention Chicago would prob. have made more aggressive moves had Rose been healthy.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I think if you think its close you stick with it, and the Bulls are close. Trading Rose to play the lottery is far more likely to lead to a decade of failure than a team better than what we have.

    If you thought Rose and two star big men were only keeping you around 45 wins, then you blow it up. However, when you're a top 4-5 team in the league you keep going at it even if you don't think it's likely you'll win.

    The Mavs weren't likely to win, neither were the Heat (06) or Pistons, but they were close and got lucky in a given year.

    The Bulls could be one of those teams.

    They clearly don't have dynasty (present Heat, past Spurs/Lakers) type talent, but they do have Cinderella/Puncher's chance talent.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I do agree that the Bulls need to be pretty aggressive. They need to view this as, at most, a five year window in Rose's career to win a title with him as an alpha player.

  • I'll just be happy they get rid of Boozer and his downright awful defense and lack of effort, its just frustrating watching him get constantly outplayed by david west and others(did we sign the wrong guy???). I think even class B guys like Ryan Anderson(stretch 4) and a few others could be great fits next to Rose. Maybe even a Ben Gordon lite presence like Marcus Thornton who can space the floor for Derrick can really transform the Bulls offense. Let's see how this theme of adding 'shooting' next to Rose works out this year. Thibodeau loves the 3 ball and Tony Snell says he likes the corner 3 shot, he probably won't play this year but there's possibility this year's offense can be more dynamic. The big mistake I see is not resigning Nate who would give them that 6th man scorer off the bench they've been missing the last few years but I guess they want to stick it out with marquis teague and see what he can do.

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    In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Boozer gets paid to much, he still has helped our team. It will be interesting to see what we will spend our money on If not on Boozeer, but I got love for Booze.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Boozer's frustrating, but if we lost him without adding someone significant we'd be a lot worse, and there's no way to add someone significant by amnestying him and no one is giving us someone significant in trade.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Carlos Boozer to me is a great player. His defense may not be great, but it's good enough for a 32 year old. he ranked top 10 in rebounds, which is incredibly tough to do agaisn't bigger people like Dwight Howard and Kevin Love (when they're healthy). His offense is good in the post and his midrange jump shot is almost to the point of being very consistent. the only thing i don't like is his contract, but that's whats keeping him in chicago where I think he belongs. I think he is even more valuable at 10-12 million a year and not 15 million. As for Nate, he didn't fit Thibs defensive style play, but was perfect this year when Rose was gone and Hinrich dealed with injuries.

  • In reply to chezizel:

    here is a link to his stats‎

  • Just find it hard to believe bulls would have to give up almost everyone minus Noah and rose to get a player on last year of deal. I would think trade would be in bulls favor by trading boozer and picks. Both could walk for nothing and threatening to not sign an extension if trade is to undesirable team i. e. Carmelo and Howard.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    I agree, besides the salary matching asset, Deng or Bozo, the Bulls should not have to give up more than one additional top line asset to acquire either of these guys, especially in the Deng deal. If Noah is in the deal, I am not giving up any additional top line assets. and your right with Mirotic on the horizon how much do you want to blow up the teams depth and future for another power forward.

    If Doug thinks that Aldridge and Love are only minor upgrades over Bozo, then how much of an upgrade are they over Mirotic.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes, but Doug is perhaps more wrong than he's ever been on this; Kevin Love and Aldridge are absolutely upgrades, Kevin Love is a huge upgrade IMO. Don't forget these two have been starving for a chance to win since they got drafted and have mired on mediocre squads just as long. I can't name a PF I'd rather have than Kevin Love, the guy did lead his position in PER 2 seasons past, and ranked 5th in the entire league, Boozer ranked 41st the same year; this year he didn't crack the top 50(neither did a single Bull).

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    They've been starving for a chance to win because they don't generate wins. Shouldn't that tell you something.

    I agree they're both upgrades. I just don't think they're huge upgrades from where Boozer was when we signed him. Boozer had a PER of 21.3 the year before we signed him which is higher than both Love and Aldridge last season [granted Love's was much better in his last healthy year, but it didn't impact wins though Aldridge has only beat that mark twice and barely].

    This trade helps all teams. Pls comment.

  • In reply to Mitch:

    I doubt the Pelicans dump there young SGs to pickup a oft injured vet SF. Plus four team deals rarely happen. That said it would be good for the Bulls.

  • how is it that the salary cap remains the same??? I thought the stern powered Lebron mania would save the NBA and grow it. Just wonder what a great Chicago Bulls run can do for the NBA like the Blackhawks have done for the NHL. Anyway looks like the Bulls won't have that much to really sign any potential free agent all star next summer. I guess they will stick to their plan of bringing over Mirotic and hoping Snell, Teague and Murphy develop.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    The players percentage of basketball revenues was reduced in the new CBA from 57% to 50%. However, the salary cap was frozen at the old number $58 million until the 50% number caught up to the old cap. This means that revenues have finally increased enough that 50% of todays revenues are now slightly greater than 57% of the revenues of 2 years ago. Expect a pretty decent rise in the cap number next season.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't think I'd expect another big year of growth from the NBA until the new national TV deals kick in. We might see a 3% growth which raises the cap to 60.5 million or so.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    That is actually not a bad plan, plus they will have the Charlotte pick on the horizon.

  • Bulls had a luxury tax bill of almost 3 1/2 million for this past season and the franchise worth is in the top 3 in the league but they can't bring back Nate on a 2 or 3 year deal...WOW TALK ABOUT BEING CHEAP!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    If they had done what you propose I would have commented, WOW TALK ABOUT BEING STUPID

  • Doug I can't believe you don't think a scenario that includes picking up Kevin Love, without losing Deng, Noah, or Derrick doesn't position the Bulls to win it all. Does it make them the hands down favorite? Nothing outside of adding Lebron or Durant would do that. But the Heat have one more year together, they absolutely will not repeat unless Wade's health stops deteriorating at the same rate it has the past 4 years straight(unlikely). The Thunder have failed to improve their roster whatsoever, they have a weaker roster than they did 2 years ago. SA just missed their last chance. The Clippers could galvanize to champ contenders but I don't see it until maybe year 2 or 3 of Doc Rivers tenure. Dwight Howard won't win a damn thing, ever. Kevin Love is an outstanding player, an outstanding teammate, and playing aside Noah might go years without being outrebounded for a single quarter. If we picked up KLove via trade I'd pick us to win the East, and it's not because I love the Bulls. If it's Aldridge I think we have a good chance to make the Finals, but I wouldn't put money on it.


    Anybody want more BAD NEWS?!? I've been saying for 2 years that Bulls should have learned from Deng's last contract negotiation (when he refused a generous offer and played to free agency) and trade him to avoid a second negotiation. Bulls didn't learn their lesson. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on Bulls.

  • I want to hear from someone who has seen Mirotic play to know how well his game translates to the NBA. In my mind, everything depends on what the Bulls believe him to be. If they think that they are getting a star next summer, then they will not pursue any trade for Love or Aldridge. If they think he is a nice backup, then I think they would go hard after one of these guys. If I had a choice, I would trade all but Noah and Rose to get Kevin Love. I'm not 100% convinced that Aldridge would produce the same numbers on great team, but still would take him over Boozer. I don't believe that the Charlotte pick will be in play for anyone if there is a chance for it to be used next season. From what I hear, next seasons draft is stocked beyond Wiggins so I don't see the Bulls giving that up lightly. But this trade talk might be a non issue anyway. The Wolves have had a nice offseason, getting Martin and the draft picks. They were not that bad last season until they started having injuries. The Blazers might have a future as well with a few nice signings that they have had. Point being that Love and Aldridge might be happy were they are.

  • I feel like everybody is forgetting that in two consecutive ECF's the Heat were taken to 7 games by teams that won less than 50 games. The year prior to that they beat the Bulls in 5, but they did the same to the Thunder, who have since lost James Harden, and nobody is saying the Thunder should blow it up. The Bulls have won 68 of the last 82 regular season games that Derrick Rose has played in. This team has had one healthy post season run, they should stand pat going into this season.

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