The Chicago Bulls are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference with a 30-22 record and are just 1.5 games behind Indiana for the lead in the Central Division. They’ve played all of their games without point guard and star player Derrick Rose.
The Bulls in this previous off season broke up what was known as the ‘Bench Mob’ that had CJ Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and Omer Asik. Their replacements? Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli and Nazr Mohammed.
At the break, Robinson is averaging 12 points per game off the bench and has seen his minutes go up with injuries to Hinrich and Hamilton.
Belinelli, since returning to the bench when Hamilton came back has been up and down in terms of scoring but is maintaining an average of 9.6 points per game.
Hinrich who has been hit by the injury bug 5 times over the course of this season is averaging 7 points per game and leads the team with 5.2 assists per game as the starting point guard until Rose returns. His gritty style of play and intense defense is a big part why hes missed a lot of games.
Mohammed was in favor of being in Thibodeau’s rotations off the bench and looked good early in preseason but at the end, he fell heavily out of favor and has only seen time when an injury happens or the game is a blow out.
Now there were several recent reported rumors were that the Bulls were interested in dealing power forward Carlos Boozer to relieve some salary cap space. The biggest rumor was for a deal to the Toronto Raptors for power forward/center Andrea Bargnani.
Now a recent reported stated that the Raptors “have no interest” in taking Boozer but the deal is still being thrown around there. This would benefit both teams definitely but there are a couple of conditions:
First of all, It has to be a multi-player deal. With the help of the NBA Trade Machine, I was able to calculate a possible deal that would go through straight up and the response was “The Raptors are over the luxury tax threshold with this trade”. Secondly, I was able to adjust the deal.
Who else was thrown in? Landry Fields and Rip Hamilton. The result of the trade was successful! While the projected wins difference was a +3 for the Raptors and a -4 for the Bulls, that could all change depending on how they play.
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Carlos Boozer and Jonas Valanciunas as the Raptors starting 5 with John Lucas, Rip Hamilton, Alan Anderson, Amir Johnson and Terrance Ross coming off the bench? Let that sink in for a bit.
Having Boozer down low would open up for guys like Gay, DeRozan and Lowry. His defense has even improved and his 15.7 PPG and 9.6 RPG is an upgrade against Amir Johnson’s 9.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Toronto has lacked a pure shooter for a while, having Hamilton would take care of that problem.
As for the Bulls, by acquiring Bargnani, they’ll have a legitimate backup to Joakim Noah. His salary is about $5 million less than Boozer’s so that wouldn’t be so bad. Another plus, is that hes a perfect set up for the pick and roll. Him and Nate Robinson with pick and rolls off the bench? That’s trouble.
Now 14.8 PPG is good but 3.9 RPG is horrible for a center, if he comes to Chicago that RPG average has to go up. Hes just 27 so, hes got more more potential to grow. He would need to stay healthy and be consistent offensively.
Landry Fields would be another perfect pickup for the Bulls. hes only 24, can play multiple positions and is consistent on defense. We all know Thibodeau is about, so that would be a plus to him. 5 points per game and 5 rebounds per game will be enough to come off the bench in the Windy City.
Now another possible deal and this one is a straight up trade according to the NBA Trade Machine. Boozer to Brooklyn for the star troubled Kris Humphries.
The 28 year old Minnesota born native has been in a slumping season this year, averaging 6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game in just 19.3 minutes. He was originally a starter and is now seeing very limited action.
He has been in the discussion to be sent to Charlotte for Ben Gordon but talks have ceased since then. This would be an opportunity for a deal to go down. Reggie Evans is a really good post defender but is an offensive liability.
Having Boozer and his points would be a huge boost for the Nets. They haven’t had that consistent production in a while and having him alongside Brook Lopez is a scary thought. On the other side of this deal, Humphries will have to get ready for some of the toughest assignments yet.
He could go from stardom glamour and the divcore from Kim Kardashian to a force to be reckoned with inside. He would be given the chance no doubt but he would have to learn quickly or fans will get impatient in a heartbeat.
These both seem like great trade ideas but the Bulls really don’t need much other than trying to shed some salary cap and find a backup center that will give Noah 10-15 minutes rest a night. Both ideas are pricey but less expensive than some of their current contracts
Jordan Jaye Sanders
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