Deng trade too little, too late, and mostly about money

Deng trade too little, too late, and mostly about money

The Bulls may have insisted they wouldn’t trade Luol Deng in a salary dump and demanded assets back, but that doesn’t necessarily appear to be the case. This is a move that had to be done, a move which likely couldn’t have been done earlier, but the protection on that Sacramento pick makes the move somewhat dicey for Chicago.

The primary asset the Bulls received in this trade was the ability to get under the luxury tax. This will allow Chicago to pay the tax in two seasons without having to go into the repeater penalty. The move saves Chicago roughly 15 million dollars, and in a dead season, that’s not a bad thing. Especially since ownership showed they’d pay with a real shot to win.

In that sense, I think it was a good move. It was a move that had to be done and had a very real deadline of today to get completed so that the Bulls could waive Andrew Bynum prior to his guarantee date. The move wasn’t going to get done earlier without the pressure of Bynum’s deadline. I’m not sure which side caved at the end [if the Bulls were asking for more, or the Cavs finally ponied up something extra], but I suspect it was the Cavs since they were shopping all around.

It would have been nice if the Bulls could have made the move weeks ago, took back the signing of D.J. Augustin and have themselves squarely pointed at a bottom three finish, but that wasn’t in the cards because the Cavs were still shopping for a better deal then.

As for the other assets?

That Sacramento first might be a second

The Kings pick is top 12 protected this season (the Bulls aren’t getting it this season) and top 10 protected for the next three years after that. If it doesn’t land out of the protection, then it becomes a second rounder rather than ever becoming unprotected. In essence, start rooting for the Kings.

I think there’s a very real chance this pick never becomes a first rounder for Chicago, and I’m a bit disappointed that the Bulls weren’t able to get Cleveland to commit with their own pick even if it had some good protection on it. Even if Chicago does get this pick, the fact that the highest it can be is #11, and could easily come in a bad draft means it has very little value. It has no significant upside.

Those second rounders are crap

The Bulls also receive a couple second rounders from the Portland Trailblazers, but with the Blazers playing so well, those look completely worthless. Maybe Chicago can stash someone overseas, but by the time those picks are made even the guys worth stashing are all gone.

Second rounders are really only valuable when in the 31-40 range for the most part, and Chicago likely won’t be picking in that range.

Pick swap might produce some value

The pick swap with Cleveland for 2015 is an added bonus, but no given to produce much value. Since the pick swap is lottery protected, the Bulls would need to be better than the Cavs while the Cavs would also need to still make the playoffs.

Both these scenarios are possible, and if I trusted Derrick Rose’s knee, I’d say likely. Perhaps the Bulls can move up from 23 to 17 or something of that nature with this pick swap, but the Cavs will likely need to resign Deng in order to have playoff potential next season. Something which isn’t a lock.

Grading the move….

Financially it’s an A+ move. There were only a handful of trades in the NBA that could have gotten them under the tax. On court value, it’s probably a D+. Could the Bulls have gotten more on the court? Possibly, but certainly not while avoiding the luxury tax.

Would Phoenix have given the Bulls two for sure first rounders [though not great ones] in this draft + Okafor for Deng? Quite possibly.

In that sense, I think the Bulls choose to go for the financial impact first and foremost, but the financial impact will also likely allow management to spend in the future which is probably worth more than getting dicey first rounders from Phoenix this season even if they only end up with dicey ones from the Kings later.

Overall, I don’t think the Bulls could have really done better in this deal, so it’s hard to complain overly much. The deal comes after the Bulls won too many games to realistically fight for a top five slot in the draft which is my only disappointment [even if I understand those extra wins probably earned the Bulls the 1st rounder they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise].

It’s Snell time

With Deng gone, the Bulls will get to take a good long look at Tony Snell whom they’re quite high on. Snell has shown flashes of very good play, but he’s too passive and streaky shooting the ball for my tastes so far. I think it will be a great opportunity to get a good long look at Snell though and see what he brings to the table in the future.

Tough break for Thibs/Rose

The one unavoidable negative in this deal is you likely pissed off your superstar coach and player. However, your superstar player is still living in a fantasy world that he hasn’t let you down by destroying your last three seasons while eating up 30% of the cap. He needs to prove something to Chicago before Chicago can worry about his hurt feelings.

I’m not upset at Rose for being injured, but the Bulls couldn’t continue to build and go on and spend like Rose is going to be healthy until he can prove he’ll actually be healthy for a season. Making short term moves always positions you worse for the future, and unless Rose can show the Bulls have a legitimate chance to win behind him, it makes more sense to give themselves more flexibility.

Thibodeau’s a tough nut to crack in this scenario as well. I think he’s one of the best coaches in the NBA, but his craziness when it comes to minutes combined with his present feud with management make it seem quite possible that he parts ways with Chicago this summer in a deal that sends him to L.A. for some type of compensation. You know Kobe would love it.

It’d be better sweet for Chicago, because in some ways, I think Thibodeau’s balls to the walls regular season approach might never allow a championship. It’s just tough to see any team he coaches ever staying healthy enough to compete for the title, but the odds of getting someone even close to as good as Thibs if he leaves are also low.

It’s somewhat of a lose/lose for Chicago whatever goes down there. Either way, after having his favorite assistant axed this summer and his favorite player traded away now, bet on Thibs not being a happy camper.

In the end…

It was a deal that had to be made. It wasn’t soon enough, and it wasn’t as much value as hoped, but it was still the right move. Now the front office’s real work of rebuilding this thing begins.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: chicago bulls, Luol Deng, nba


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  • Surprised a bit by the fact that they actually traded Deng! While the return doesn't do much for me at least something is better than nothing.

  • In reply to Chad:

    The only problem with the "something is better than nothing" theory is that this trade has a very real chance of being nothing of any on court value whatsoever.

    I guess something in terms of being 15 million dollars of financial savings now and potential 10+ million down the road if they pay the tax in 2 years is still something pretty good though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Ok, so maybe: "better now than never" ;).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think it will be hard for the Kings to stay in the bottom ten for three straight years.

    That and it saved what I considered the worst case scenario of the Bulls resigning Deng to another stupid contract. I don't want to be tied to Deng for 4-5 years at over 12 million per. He wasn't giving the Bulls any discounts so moving him for a probably first round pick and cap savings is smart IMO.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Not that hard while playing a brutal western conference schedule and trying to build your team around DeMarcus Cousin's NBA worst attitude.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You're 99% right, I'd only say that if anyone in the NBA has a worse attitude than DMC, it's Bynum.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    With the way the conferences stack up getting the 11th pick probably just requires you to be the 12th best team in the West. You really think they can't manage at least one season out of the next 3 where they're better than 3 other teams out West? Seems far fetched to me, especially since they're in good position to land a potential star this year.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yes, I think over the next 3 years (2015-17) that Sacramento can improve enough for Bulls to get their 1st. Though the possibility exists that they won't and that the East won't always be as weak as it is in 2014.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The other something, (although some might not consider it something), is that this move "frees up the money" to amnesty Boozer. Basically, all the money saved this year "pays" for the boozer amnesty, and amnesty gets the Bulls out of any possibilities for a tax payment next year while allowing the Bulls to do whatever is necessary to bring over Mirotic.

    I suppose you could still keep boozer and bring over Mirotic but it would limit Mirotic's contract to the MLE(which might not be good enough to guarantee him coming over) and might get you back into the tax and a hard cap situation.

    Now we just have to hope that we can tank our way into getting Dario Saric to replace Deng, although admittedly that leaves Butler at shooting guard rather than small forward.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think you keep Boozer next year, use the MLE on Mirotic, hten have the flexibility to move Boozer for a star player if someone like Kevin Love demands out.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Though it remains a possibility, I have always felt that Bulls would not amnesty Boozer. It goes against Reinsdorf's philosophy.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Bulls paid $10 million for Eddie Robinson to go away.
    The Bulls paid $12 million to Tim Thomas to go home.

    If it helps the team, Reinsdorf allows his front office to pay guys not to play. Obviously.

    NO team wants to pay a guy to not play for them, so it goes against every team's philosophy. But how can you say it goes against JR's philosophy when he's done it before?

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Another meaningless statistic from the person who emphatically maintained Bulls and Deng had a secret agreement to resign Deng after this season so Deng could get a longer contract from Bulls. Got it.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The fact that Reinsdorf has actually bought out contracts for the amount he'd have to pay Boozer at least twice in the past is only meaningless to blind front office haters such as yourself.

    I was just as wrong about Deng as all the folks who insisted that the Bulls would never trade him, just let him walk and the end of the year for nothing. I'm sure you're not in the latter group, right....

  • This is really a glass half-empty kind of place. If you're unhappy with what they got for Deng, then how can you bitch about the fact that he was a weak second offensive option. If OKC is only getting mid-first rounders for James Harden, then the bulls made out like bandits. They are under the cap, they can amnesty Boozer, sign Mirotic, get some more young guys, and potentially sign an impact free agent.

    I can't wait to hear everybody come out and start crying about "They'll never amnesty Boozer, wah, wah, wah." Just like they'd never trade Hinrich, and then they'd never trade Deng...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    They aren't under the cap enough to do anything with free agency i fthey bring over Mirotic.

    Their current guys (Rose, Noah, Gibson, Butler, Teague, Dunleavy, Rip's buyout, Snell, and minimum salaried cap holds) add up to almost 50 million.

    MIrotic would eat up another 5 million of that, which means they'd have about 5 million left to bring over another player in FA, and it might be less depending on teh cap holds for their draft picks replacing their min salary cap holds.

    As for OKC, the HArden move was awful for them, but they got a 20 point per game scorer with high efficiency in Kevin Martin they just choose not to keep him.

    I also acknowledged that I wasn't sure the Bulls could do better, but they needed to do this deal two weeks ago when they still could have bottomed out to a bottom 3 record and got a true second star in the draft.

    They went in the middle with what they were doign not fully committing to tanking, but claerly not committing to winning either, and while this move was better than nothing, it they likely screwed up their shot at a great draft pick and may just get two second rounders in their 50s for Deng.

    It's still better to save the money than ti would be to spend the tax and then see him walk, because at least they likely will ahve greater willingness to spend, but it's silly to view this as a "win".

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not sure I agree with your too late thesis. The Bulls have only 14 wins, other than Milwaukee, the remaining teams in contention for the top pick are at 10-11 wins. If the Bulls were to become truly awful without Deng they could easily drop 3-4 wins in the standings.

    I agree more with your point that bringing in Augustin was counterproductive to tanking. Even without Deng we might have just a little bit too much talent to make it to the bottom, but given our proclivity for injury, you never really know. If either Noah or Butler went down, we'd be toast, so while not hoping for that, it is certainly not out of the realm of real possibilities.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    To get to the bottom three, the Bulls would likely need to finish with 25 wins or fewer. That would mean a 20% win total teh rest of the season (worse than what Milwaukee is presently doing).

    That will be tough.

    I don't think it's all about Deng, but like I said if you had fully committed to the tank instead of bringing in Augustin, then you would have finished with a bottom three record.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree with you Doug, Augustine is about as good as anyone currently on Bulls roster and is a major impediment to Bulls tanking. In addition to Deng, even trading Hinrich may not be enough to fully tank because of Augustine.

    I'd like Augustine next season, but not this season as I am a tanking advocate. Augustine is a nice player, but not worth passing on a top pick in this strong 2014 draft - which appears to be what Bulls have actually done.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    OKC got Martin for one year. And Bynum has a lot basketball left if they wanted to keep him.

    Doesn't the amount of cap room depend on the order in which guys get signed. The fact that the bulls still have Mirotic's rights for one more year means they can use the ~$10 mil they will be under the cap to sign a free agent, and then they will still be able to sign Mirotic after that to the $5 mil MLE, or am I misunderstanding that?

    And finally, when was the last time a top 3 team won the lottery? The bulls could get disinterested real fast and drop 10 in a row without blinking an eye. They are only 4 wins up on the 3rd spot, and have played fewer games. They have plenty of time to fall to the 5-8 spot, especially with the wizards, knicks, nets, and now cavs trying desperately to make the playoffs. The pistons and lakers and grizzlies should all pass the bulls. The bulls have 60 games left, Boozer is hurt, Noah is going miss somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 games. Dunleavy could get traded. I could easily see the bulls go 10-50.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    OKC elected not to resign Martin, that was their choice. Bynum basically quit on his team, Martin was a high quality player for the Thunder.

    You only can use the MLE if you are over the cap. If you use cap space you cannot use the MLE later.

    Both of the past two years a team with bottom three odds won the lottery. However, it's not about winning the lottery per se (though that'd be bad ass), it's about landing in the top three or four picks where there are a great number of guys that look like future stars.

    The gap between four and seven might be very significant, then again, maybe it won't or maybe a better player goes at seven you never know. On paper it looks significant though.

    We'll see what happens with the Bulls and the lotto, I think it will take more than a Deng trade to push them down that far though. Remember, Deng only played in two of their five recent wins.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Bulls are 4-5 without Deng, 9-13 with him. Trading him might not produce a tank at all, though- Snell and Dunleavy on the floor instead of Deng opens things up so much for DJ and Kirk to create, I won't be surprised if the Bulls still make the playoffs without more trades. But I fully expect to see more trades.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I didn't think they would actually trade Deng. Happy to be proven wrong though I think it was the right move. Shows me they may not be content with perpetual mediocrity as keeping and resigning Deng would likely keep them a highly competive regular season team for a few more years at least. Trading him says they are willing to take some big risks in the hopes of becoming an elite team.

    According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News they are intending to amnesty Boozer this summer as well.

  • I really can't believe they finally went for it. As you said, Doug, it's frustrating that they waited this long to make a move when at one point they were sitting firmly out of the playoffs at 9-16 primed for tanking. But this deal may have not been on the table at that time. All reports show Cleveland shopped Bynum's deal hard and seemingly favored the Lakers deal. I feel like Luol is really going to give the Cavaliers a boost but I am sad to see him go. He's been one of my favorite players since he was drafted, but I would have been even more sad had he left in the offseason for nothing while we paid the tax all of this year to be a 6 or 7 seed in the playoffs with a 1st or 2nd round exit.

    I'm going to trust that the org. got everything they could for this and we move on. Excited to get Jimmy back to playing against SF's where his superior quickness was a great benefit at the end of last year. Hopefully he can return to form. A development year for Snell will be a big win from this trade as well - let's hope he capitalizes.

  • In reply to johnbegone:

    Rumors that FO is clearing caps to have a chance on Carmelo next year. Which would make Mr. Rose happy. Let's wait and see if this is true.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    There's basically no way they can get enough room to sign Carmelo unless they trade Noah for an expiring deal and don't bring over Mirotic.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That is not true, there are plenty of other moves the Bulls could make to bring 'Melo into the fold next season. Not that they should do so...

  • In reply to Dionysus:

    In order to sign him as a FA, they need to clear about 10 million in cap room and not bring over Mirotic. Maybe if they could clear Gibson and Teague it might be enough too, but I think that would fall short unless Melo agrees to less money.

    They could do a S&T with the Knicks too, but that's not clearing cap room which is what I stated.

    I suppose they could also clear out Rose for cap room too in order to have room for Melo.

    So to be more clear, they do have options to get 20+ million in cap room, but none of them are very good ones.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    They likely have to get rid of Noah and Taj to sign Melo, or jettison a smaller asset like Dunleavy or Snell and or Teague.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    God no.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Do not want. I'm not sure Carmelo is an upgrade over Luol given everything Luol contributed to this team. I know that there aren't going to be a lot of 2 guard options in free agency, but the ideal for this team is to shift Jimmy to the 3 and bring in a proven scorer at the 2. Was hoping we could have received Waiters in this Cavs deal. He may not be a start at the 2 but he's better than anything we've had since Ben Gordon.

  • Personally i'm glad they traded Deng and I'm waiting to see Boozer get traded next. Either way Deng was going to leave to free agency after this season because he is and always has been all about the money. he's looking for one of those Josh Smith contracts and there's just no way in hell that should happen. At least this way the team saved some money and got some picks. Heck if we can get another deal like that for Boozer I'd be a happy camper.

  • I still think this move helps the tank a little. Hopefully BK and NY can get their acts together, and maybe even Cleveland. If things in tankland go right, I think we can go from #17 to #7'ish with a bit of hope of getting into the top 3.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    7isn is probably the best case scenario, but I bet it's closer to 9ish.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As things stand I'd be disappointed if the Bulls entered the lottery with any worse than the 7th best odds. If the Bulls finish around 9 they've screwed things up somewhere along the line.

    The Bulls are now one of only five teams in the East not trying to make the playoffs - Brooklyn, NY and Cleveland should pass them. Meanwhile only two teams out West have fewer wins than the Bulls.

    7th should be the minimum standard for this tank effort.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree. Getting Deng should put Cleveland out of the lottery, or at least out of the top 10.

    I would think that there are teams that would trade for Dunleavy and maybe even DJ now that they see what he can bring. It would be nice if the Bulls could trade one of those guys and their own 2nd round pick for a 1st rounder. Hinrich should also be trade-able. Why not, especially if it brings a 1st round pick -- or even a higher 2nd rounder.

  • Can't say I'm impressed but I am surprised they got this done. At least they will lose more games now and put themselves in a better position to get a pick in the 9-12 range. Deng wants $15MM per year, the Bulls offered $10MM per and Deng was going to walk while putting the Bulls in a worse draft position. We all would have liked a first-rounded but I see this as win-win.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I think you're right that when the Bulls offered 10 and Deng said no, that there was no point in moving on with Deng.

    It wasn't a great return, but options were limited. The only thing you can really argue about is whether or not Phoenix would have given you real picks and an expiring for Deng but not saved you on luxury tax payments and whether the Bulls choose money over on court value.

    That said, there were no real rumors with Phoenix, and the massive amount of money saved (potentially 25 million if you could future repeater tax penalty) then it's hard to argue against it.

    It's a move I understand and respect, but it's just not what you'd have hoped for.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    KC Johnson said on the Score this morning that the Bulls approached Deng last week with their final offer of $10MM per year and Deng said no.

    Also, the Lakers were interested in moving Gasol for Bynum but required more than the Bulls did. It sounds like the low price the Bulls offered was the key to the deal.

    Agree, not what I would have hoped for, but the best they could do under the circumstances.

  • One more thing, so what if Thibs get mad. Get rid of him too. I honestly feel like he's causing more harm than good. He runs his players to the ground and he's even worse than Scott Skiles. What is it with the Bulls and coaches who think their Drill Sergeants? I thought Del Negro did a better job than he was given credit for

  • Bynum? He fits right in. Another stiff waiting for an injury to sideline him.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    He was probably already released. They only took him to match salaries and waive him.

  • glad they made a move, kind of late and the return isn't great but they had to move on. Now I want to see the front office make needed return of kirk hinrich unless he wants to play for the vet min and go out there and get scoring talent. The Bulls are bottom ranked when it comes to scoring, 3pt shooting, fask break, you name it on offense and they are horrible. Jimmy Butler while a different player, functions like a luol deng glue guy and I'm sure he'll play that role just fine, the Bulls must now find a scoring shooting guard that can handle the rock in a 1-2 punch with Rose. I like Mirotic but he's simply not enough to get this team back to contention. Getting rid of no effort stone foot Boozer is up next and getting a legit backup center would help as well. Let's see what the FO does before we condemn them, not bad so far....

  • Doug - I agree that this trade was a financial A+ move but I would say that the rest of the return - the draft picks that the Bulls got back may very well be valuable.

    You say that with Sacramento, we'll never see that pick or a "very real chance it will be a 2nd rounder." I beg to differ. I agree we wont see the Kings' pick in 2014 draft but we should definitely see it in 2015 or 2016. The Kings have a stud in Cousins and several very good role players in Gay, Thornton, McLemore, Derrick Williams. Say the Kings end up with a top 5 pick in 2014 draft (which is very likely) and draft a PG like Marcus Smart (which is what they really need). With that roster, the Kings will not be a bottom feeder team anymore and may even be competing for a 7th or 8th seed. Thus, I would say the Kings pick is a very real opportunity in 2015 or 2016.

    Furthermore, the Portland 2nd rounders may seem useless but in the new CBA, draft picks are excellent and needed currency. For a contender, you want your top 8-9 players to be taking up 98% of your cap room. That means that 2-3 players to fill out the roster need to come in real cheap and non-guaranteed 2nd round rookie contracts are cheap labor in today's NBA. You're not going to find a stud in the 2nd round but you can find players who are masters of 1 trait (rebounding, 3pt shooting, defensive specialist) and they would be nice role players filling out your roster.

    I think the swapping of draft picks in 2015 is probably the least valuable but that depends on the Bulls and Cavs performance in 2015 season.

    I guess the only quabble I have is about a potential Suns deal but this trade offer was time sensitive and you had to pull the trigger. Kudos to the Bulls for stepping up and beating the Lakers to the punch and getting under the luxury tax and more importantly, for not violating the repeater tax which was totally unnecessary for a lost season.

    The Bulls work is not done, however, as I'd see if there are takers for Dunleavy, Hinrich, and maybe even Augustin has some trade value now.

    Lastly - Thibs is a great coach but I'd look for an opportunity to deal Thibs. Going into full rebuild mode is going to Thibs miserable and the front office climate is going to get even more dicey and difficult. If I'm Gar, I look to see if there are opportunities to trade Thibs to the Knicks or Nets who could use an upgrade at coach. While I love Thibs as a tactician and floor strategist, I strongly disagree with his policy and strategy on player minutes and health. If he's not careful, he could ruin Jimmy Butler - especially now with the Deng trade. I also dont think he's the right coach to oversee a rebuild because during these times, the primary objective is to develop players and winning is secondary. But we all know that Thibs is too competitive to prioritize development over winning. The right thing is developing players such as Snell, Teague, Murphy but Thibs has always been a "redshirt" believer. Lastly, with the FO contention, Thibs may try to stick it to Gar by playing Jimmy, Dunleavy and his veterans full minutes.

    All this is leading to the Bulls needing to push the reset button with players and even coaches. With a look to the next championship window, we may need a new coach and program in place.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    You might be right about the Kings, does depend if they get better in the draft. I also don't think highly of Cousins.

    He's the total loser type who has great stats and doesn't necessarily help wins IMO.

    As for the 2nd rounders, I agree that 2nd rounders are typically useful for cheap role players, but not 2nd rounders projected to be in the mid 50s.

    Those guys very rarely make rosters.

  • Shocked to see the Bulls finally make some sort of big deal that really needed to be done. The NBA haz changed and is now a league where a team needs to be able to score and the Bulls are dead last in scoring in the league. It will be interesting to see what happens with this team next.

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    I believe this was the best they could do with Deng. There is also another thing to consider, getting under the tax this year will be important when it comes to resigning players like Butler, Mirotic. Can't say I trust ownership to commit to paying tax in the future - repeatertax could be high and there will be a limit to what they will pay... When you grade the trade, it's hard to take into account that keeping players might be the most important part, even if it's not "in the deal"

  • In reply to Mattias:

    I think the Bulls showed they'll pay the tax when it matters. They did it last year, and they were set up to do it this year before Rose's injury.

    They won't owe repeater tax now under this CBA, we'll see how the repeater tax looks in the next CBA.

  • I'm shocked the bulls actually made a move but the more I look at the deal the more Im not sure its a good one if we where going to just dump him which We essentially did why not do it earlier well here's to tanking hopefully by the end of the year we"ll have our own pick In the top 7 and bobcats pick in the top 15

  • I'm happy this got done but instead of picks, i really wished we could have just got Bynum and Waiters straight up. I would rather have waiters than picks. I have seen many Bulls fans complain that we traded Deng, but the reality is that they would have been the same ones trashing management after Lu walked for nothing in the offseason. I am happy with the tax savings (makes no sense to pay the tax if you aren't contending) because Deng was no longer a core piece. The only people I am really mad at is the Bulls training staff, they really should have tried to let Deng have a few more games off when his Achilles was injured. Cleveland would have still made this trade if Deng had played 5 less games. I still think Hinrich and Dunleavy are on their way out, you dont make this trade unless you are serious about bottoming out (which there may still be time to do, this team has a 5-23 stretch in them). The Bulls have only played 10 games against the West, they have 20 of those remaining, plus some games against the Heat and Pacers. It ain't over yet!

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Taking Waiters wouldn't have kept them under the tax, he also only has two years left prior to needing an extension and the Cavs likely weren't willing to give him up.

    There are a lot of reasons why the trade probably didn't go down that way.

  • It will be interesting to see what Deng gets on the open market. He is what I would call a member of the upper middle class of the NBA. He is clearly not a franchise player but is certainly more than "just a guy". Under the old CBAs a guy like Deng could expect 8 figures per year on a long-term deal. Under the new CBA, however, I think a guy like Deng gets squeezed. Teams want to replace him with either a vet on a lower-salary, shorter-duration deal or a decent player on a rookie contract. Of course, all it takes is one stupid team (see Detroit and Josh Smith) to give Deng what he wants, but I think in general the market will be much less robust for the Dengs of the world going forward. We'll see soon enough.

    Having said that, he is a great guy so IMO much more deserving of a big contract than many of the knuckleheads that do receive them.

  • "Deng trade too little, too late, and mostly about money"

    This trade is so f-ing funny.. I forgot to laugh.

    Question: Why would Doug write such a downer headline if there was any angle that suggested a better spin or outlook on this deal? I believe he uses the word "dicey" in reference to ever collecting firsts from Sacramento - ironically the team we could have gotten a Top 5 pick from for the very same Luol Deng in the wake of the Megatax scare in the 2012 Draft. Are you serious? And the majority of Bulls fans appear to just compliantly go along with this shit? Man does this town's sports fans get what they deserve.

    I wrote the other day that despite some pie in the sky estimations, the Bulls in Gar/Pax would never successfully garner first round picks in this year's draft. Funny thing is, not only did that not get any first rounders for Deng this year, they're not going to get ANY firsts for him, Period. Too f-ing funny.

    People are wetting themselves over the fact that the Bulls "finally" made a move(like some old guy in a portable commode after three Dulcolax and a quart of water).

    Yeah, Gar/Pax made a "move" and the move is that they just shit themselves. Sacramento is the franchise where the very notion of winning goes to die. Marcus Smart and Rudy Gay as saviors in a brutal Western Conference? They gave away Dillard for Robinson, and someone proposed drafting Smart who can't f-ing shoot and is an immature, non-pro written all over him to boot. So yeah, the Kings will pick him, you're right. And continue to suck mule crack.

    OK, so we at least get three 2nd Rounders from... Portland?? You've got to be f-ing kidding me? They are so talent laden right now unless Lillard, Batum, and Aldridge continue the "curse" which I wouldn't bank on, their picks will be beyond 41 as Doug suggests which pretty much makes them poop. From the guys that brough you Tyrus for Aldridge no less. The inept irony just goes on and on(fittingly). I heard an OKC broadcaster the other week in reference to Tyrus Thomas say he ran into him several times pre-draft and never met a more "angry" young man. Great character appraisal there from the one thing they are supposed tobe good at getting right.

    It's funny because if I would have made up such a "haul" for Deng in sarcasm or parody of Gar/Pax this would have been exactly the kind of move I would have pointed too.

    Bottom line: if the Bulls sans Gar/Pax i.e inept f-cks would have made this move sooner and ended up with such a shitty haul then I would somewhat understand because then along with say dumping Hinrich and not bringing in Augustine we could have Tanked to a Top 5 or better pick in a uniquely talented draft. or if they would have waited this long and gotten a better deal such as a first rounder or two in this year's draft that'd obviously be good too.

    Instead, the Tanking opportunity was essentially wasted and we ended up with literally NOTHING. Gar/Pax you bug eyed, coach strangling inglorious bastards. God love ya.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    The Bulls weren't going to blow it up and trade Deng when they thought Rose was coming back and they had a chance at a championship. That's why Deng wasn't traded in 2012, it was the correct move at the time unless you somehow knew ahead of time Rose was going to have an unexpectedly slow recovery with his knee.

    As far as Tyrus goes, they swung for the fences and missed, you can't win them all. I don't see much relevance in him being an angry young man, Kevin Garnett is an angry man and he's a hall of famer, I don't really see much point in going armchair psychology on the pick.

    I agree tanking sooner should have happened, but the Cavs probably wanted to hold out until the last minute on this Deng deal. Nobody else is making tank trades at this point either. The only thing you can really fault them on is brining in Augustin instead of leaving the tank commander Teague to run the show.

  • Wow. One would think that Sactown will end up outside the bottom 10 next year if they get a top 3 pick (probably over 50% shot) and perhaps even if they get a top 5 pick.

    They will have talent next year with Cousins, Gay, a high 2014 #1 (Parker/Wiggins/Randle), Isiah Thomas and McLemore. If they were to get Wiggins or Parker, I think they would be a lock to at least contend for the playoffs in the west next year.

    I agree that it's a shame that they could not have gotten another "sure thing" first rounder. But, looking at the bright side, the Bulls will definitely have a single digit pick this year, perhaps as low as the 5-7 range.

    The Bulls have picks contingent on Charlotte and Sactown.

    Bulls may be able to swap down with Cleveland next year - as long as Rose is healthy and Deng resigns... obviously, no given.

    The Bulls will have no repeater tax and can spend more freely in Mirotic's 2nd and 3rd years.

    Bulls can slide Butler to the SF and, again, need to find a SG. Not sure that Snell is the answer, but we'll find out. At worst, he seems like a decent "3 and D" type bench guy.

    So, Bulls need to look for a SG that can shoot/score first and foremost. I do like Embiid (Kansas) if he's available when the Bulls draft. Legit 7 footer with huge upside offensively and defensively. Akeem 2.0.

    Wouldn't it be great if the Charlotte pick hits at 12 to 16? Bulls could grab Embiid and a guy like Hood (Duke) or Young (KY). The poor teams in the West are tanking better and almost as bad as the tanking East teams now.

    Are the Bulls done trading???

  • 1) Not a great move, but a good move. The FO now seems to have a realistic view of what is needed to contend again. Cleveland is now sitting at #5 in the draft, with only 3 fewer wins than the bulls. They should drop out of the lottery, so the Bulls move up a notch just by that.

    2) Avoiding the repeater tax may just turn out to be huge -- I think the owner(s) will go into the tax again for a guy like Love or Aldridge. But only to contend, not for a 3rd or 4th seed.

    3) FO versus Thibs. Both want the same thing, the championship banners. If a team that can do that develops, they will coexist quite well. If not, the Bulls can trade Thibs for a pick or young asset. We will see.

    4) Gilbert Arenas and Michael Redd were both 2nd rounders. It's a long shot, but it can happen.

    5) This team needs two more moves by the trade deadline. Losing Boozer would be great, but seems highly unlikely. The Bulls should move the cheaper guys who may keep them from landing one of the top 5 picks, guys not needed for the long term -- Hinrich, Dunleavy, even Nazr. Losing those guys means losing more games!

    Some team might buy Dunleavy and the Bulls' 2nd round pick for their 1st round pick. Ditto Hinrich.

    Maybe at draft time, if the Bulls are sitting at #7, a team would trade a top 4 pick for Taj and Chicago's pick. At least, the FO now seems to have the mindset needed to rebuild quickly.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Perhaps the best thing about the trade is that it tells us that FO is not living in fantasy land with some idea of making noise in the playoffs or appeasing ticket holders in the short run at the expense of the long run. They're reloading for a championship. It might not be a great move but at least they're thinking about this in the right way.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Absolutely. Now we see if they can make a couple more smart moves.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    You would give up Taj to move up 3 spots from 7 to 4. Not really sure that is a good deal for the Bulls, unless they are looking to dump Taj's salary, and even then it would seem that they could get an actual addtional #1 pick for him.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It would depend on who was available to take in the #4 spot, and it would depend on the talent evaluators on the Bulls. For example, if the Kansas C was still on the board, which he likely will be, I would do that trade.

    You wrote, "it would seem that they could get an actual additional #1 pick for him [Taj]." You are right, of course, but not the #4 pick of the draft. For that pick the Bulls would have to trade their pick plus throw in a decent player.

    Then, not only would the Bulls have the big C, plus Mirotic, but with TAj's salary off the books and the Boozer amnesty, they might have enough money and talent to get Anthony. All they would then need to win the Finals would be a strong SG. Rose would not even have to come back at elite level.

  • I think FO did about as good as they could with trading an unrestricted free agent who now has no obligation to resign this summer with Cleveland.

    I hope that additional moves will come both at the trade deadline and in the off-season. But Bulls organization is so secretive they will never disclose their intentions, we will just have to wait-and-see.

    The only unfortunate thing I see is the recent 5-2 record that derailed the Tank Train. Hopefully, we can get the Tank Train back on track, but I think it will take another roster move.

  • Not to say that this trade is a bad one, but in terms of financial savings, you also have to account for the fact that the Bulls will lose revenue this year by not making the playoffs. I don't think it would have been a stretch to see a healthy Bulls team with Deng moving up to the 3-4 seed in the garbage East. With that kind of seed, the bulls would be looking at 2 rounds and potentially 6 or so home games. I'm not sure, but considering that the players are essentially playing for free, I would bet each home playoff game is easily worth 1-2 million to the team, so missing the playoffs is certainly significant from a financial standpoint.

  • In reply to ds1848:

    If they could have gotten to the second round they likely would have had another 6-10 million in revenue I suspect. Of course it depends how they performed in the playoffs too, but it's a fair point when discussing the money saved.

    I think the other point about the saved money is the potential amount saved later in repeater tax. If the Bulls are 5 million in the tax in two seasons they'll save another five million from this trade at that point.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    One other point about playoff money. How many playoff home games will the Bulls have if they make the Finals for 5 years? And how much will that be worth, not just in tickets, but also in jerseys, caps, etc?

    Lose a few home games this year to go deep into the playoffs for the next 10 years -- that is a financial win! We fans care more about those banners, but the team needs to win financially for us to win psychologically.

  • Pretty much agree with the general sentiment around here. Not a great trade for the Bulls, asset wise, but it had to be done since we offered $10million per and Deng wanted $15. Something/anything is absolutely better than nothing, plus we have to end up with a better draft pick, unless Deng isn't all that like some contend that he is. Cleveland almost has to cave in to his demands, whether it is 4/60, or 5/75, I know nobody around here wanted to be the team paying him that.

    Even though I have been calling for Deng's trade since at least the day that he rejected the Bulls initial resigning offer of 5/55 about 6 years ago, and have probably been the most vociferous voice against his value as a championship piece, I still feel a tinge of sadness now that he will actually be gone. He was after all a decent human being(and I mean that in the good way, not the average way) in addition to being a decent player, as opposed to the BozoHole who I will jump out of my skin with joy when we are finally rid of him.

    Personally, I wish Deng the best wherever he chooses to end up, but hopefully that will be as a 16 & 6 defense and glue guy and no more.

  • I fully expect to see more trades before the deadline. Seeing lots of reports with the Warriors showing some serious interest in Hinrich as a backup point. Maybe Hinrich + 2nd rounder to the Warriors for their 2014 first rounder. Warriors have trade exceptions that I believe would allow them to trade for Hinrich without sending any salary back.

    As for everyone disappointed with the possibility of the Kings' pick only netting us a future 2nd rounder, I don't envision the Bulls FO keeping this pick long enough to see what it turns into. It seems the stock of this pick may never get any higher than it is now, leaving the possibility that it will be packaged in a larger trade in the near future.

  • In reply to Motoman:

    I have also been hoping for a trade of the Bulls' 2nd round pick and a player for another team's 1st rounder. In fact, the Bulls could even include one of the Portland 2nd rounders to get another 1st. It would be good to move Hinrich to increase the losses.

    The Bulls need another couple of trades. Dunleavy or even DJ and a 2nd rounder for someone's 1st sounds good.

  • I believe someone repaired the Tank with this trade!!!

  • In reply to mariiito:

    A good first step, but they will need to move at least one, if not two, of their Gs to complete the process. Hinrich, Dunleavy, and DJ should all be available for teams wishing to acquire them. Make this happen, FO!

  • Parsing words related to cost:

    1. Did Jerry actually not have to pay Bynum, or did he have to pay him, but not count it toward the cap?

    2. If they amnesty Boozer, they still pay him (minus whatever another bidder pays), and if they sign players up to the cap, they're still paying more than the cap -- or some version of an 'amnesty tax'

    Meaning, this really may not be about 'saving money' but about creating future flexibility. If this is about future flexibility, then the players we need to get need to be better than the ones that left -- (or some percentage of the players that left, if we want to get algorithmic about it).

  • In reply to Gunga:

    1- Bynum gets $0 from the Bulls.
    2- No, Boozer's salary is completely removed from the Bulls payroll. No tax on it, no counting against the salary cap, they just pay him whatever another team doesn't (though it's a little more complicated than that).

    There is no such thing as an "amnesty tax".

  • Next up Hinrich (possibly to G-Dub's)...

  • Wow! What a day! Pax has a dramatic side and you are all convinced that this Deng thang is all over. But, lets suppose Pax and Gar are smarter than what they look like. What are the possibilities guys?

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