Bulls Pull Trigger: John Salmons to Milwaukee for Expiring Contracts [NBA Trade Deadline Update]
Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve heard from the Bulls before tomorrow’s 3pm est deadline, but it’s good news. A few media outlets are reporting that the Bulls have made a deal with the Bucks:
The Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to a deal in principle that will send John Salmons to the Bucks for the expiring contracts of Kurt Thomas and Francisco Elson, sources said on Wednesday.
As early as this past summer it became clear that in order to clear enough space to make a legitimate run at one of the big 2010 free agents, the Bulls would need to move the contracts of Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, and/or John Salmons. Salmons contract, while technically expiring this summer, has a player option for about $6 million. It is presumed that Salmons will pick up that option. Now that he is gone, that clears his salary off the books, which puts the Bulls at just around $20 million under the cap. If they can also move Hinrich (or Deng, though that seems less likely), then they will be in very good shape.
Clearly the Bulls are not that concerned with the current season, as the pieces they got in return are pure garbage. Elson and Thomas, both old big men that can’t play many minutes, will not contribute much to the Bulls, if they contribute at all. What becomes crucial now is that if the Bulls do move Tyrus (which seems imminent), they must get someone like McDyess from San Antonio in return. If not, their already thin frontcourt will get even thinner especially with Noah hobbled by Plantar Fasciitis.
In other trade news, the Bulls still seem to be in the T-Mac sweepstakes, although word is that the Rockets have continued to up the price and may not move him at all. One rumor has the Rockets asking for Taj in the deal, which should kill any deal for the Bulls. Stay posted for more updates as the deadline looms.