New Kirk Hinrich Rumor; He’s Going to the Lakers This Time [And Other Bulls Trade Deadline Speculation]
The last week’s 4-game winning streak has given Bulls fans hope for the stretch run this season, but it’s tough not to look ahead to the deadline and the summer. Mike McGraw wrote an article this morning, speculating on all kinds of Bulls rumors that are a combination of speculation and actual news. The biggest rumor is about Kirk Hinrich, but bit of McGraw’s speculation deserves a closer look, so we will start from the top.
A source confirmed the Bulls have had discussions with the Lakers about Hinrich, most likely for Adam Morrison and Sasha Vujacic, but nothing is imminent.
As well as Kirk is playing (and its well, the Bulls look like a better team with him on the court), we can’t lose sight if the real goal: getting as much cap flexibility as possible for the summer. Vujacic, though a douche, can be a very helpful 3 point shooter, and Morrison’s 5 million dollar expiring contract will give us even more flexibility this summer. If the Lakers are interested, the Bulls should go for it.
It’s possible the Bulls could resurrect the potential deal sending Salmons, Brad Miller and Jerome James to Houston for Tracy McGrady and filler before the deadline.
I discussed this earlier. This scenario is only slightly different with Salmons instead of Hinrich. Since Salmons is essentially signed through 2011 ($7 million player option), it would free up space and give us an interesting 3 months watching Rose and T-Mac.
By trading either guard before the deadline, the Bulls could have around $20 million to spend on free agents this summer and wouldn’t have to sweat Salmons’ decision of whether or not to opt out of his contract.
The Bulls’ dream scenario is to sign Dwyane Wade or Atlanta’s Joe Johnson this summer and also trade for an elite power forward. In theory, the team would become an instant title contender.
If they can move either Salmons, Kirk or Deng for expiring contracts, they have to do it. Even if they are unable to sign any of the big names being thrown around, it won’t hurt them long-term to move Kirk and Salmons. Deng’s contract is also a bad one (he’s not bad, but not worth $11 million a year for the next 100 years).
There are reports that Phoenix is again shopping all-star center Amare Stoudemire, who has the option of becoming a free agent. The Bulls’ interest is mild, though there has been talk between the teams.
The Suns are listening to offers because they’re not sold on the idea of giving Stoudemire a long-term contract near the maximum salary. Neither are the Bulls, so it makes little sense to give up assets now for a player who might not stick around beyond the end of this season.
In the same scenario last year, Phoenix was interested in a package of Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha for Stoudemire but also wanted multiple first-round picks, according to a league source, and the Bulls passed.
Would the Bulls take a chance on Stoudemire if the Suns were willing to take Deng, a higher-salaried player in return? Still doubtful, since no one knows what kind of money it would take to keep Stoudemire around.
We’ve covered this Amare rumor ad nauseum. I have my reservations about his defense and his attitude, but in general…wait, what? The Suns were willing to take Tyrus Thomas, Thabo and picks for Amare? That can’t be true. Because no sane person would have hung onto Tyrus and some first-round picks over Amare. If we had Amare we wouldn’t have lottery picks every year anymore anyways! Another blown blockbuster because Paxson is afraid to pull the trigger.
For now, it appears that Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Utah’s Carlos Boozer will not be traded before the deadline. That could change, since both power forwards are likely to change teams as free agents this summer.
We’ll see, we’ll see. This doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m in no rush to make a big move by the deadline, as long as they end up having a big summer. So there you have it, McGraw basically covered all the bases. The general idea for this trading season is simple: 1) Noah and Rose are all but untouchable; 2) Anyone else is fair game, but not for any contracts that go beyond this summer; and 3) Clear space!
To address those who say its a sad situation that the Bulls are literally throwing this season away, I say to you that they are not. The last 4 games have proven that if nothing else, this team can be very fun to watch right now. They are out there trying to win with what they have, and in spite of Vinny’s ineptitude, they are 22-22 and tied for the 7th seed in the East. That Derrick Rose kool-aid is unbelievable…try some.