For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Avi_RagingBull) or have followed this Tumblr for a while (despite how infrequently I post), you’ll know that I love to play GM. In the past, I’ve spent quite a bit of time obsessing over roster moves and trades that I think Chicago should do (ex: Trade Ronnie Brewer for Dorell Wright, something I was initially ridiculed for).
Well, I’m back in that mode again.
A lot has happened this NBA season. Despite having a makeshift bench and no Derrick Rose, the Bulls are finding themselves in a good position just over a quarter of a way through the season. But it’s still early in the season and, unfortunately, my pessimism about this team remains intact.
While Chicago may be fighting for the division and own one of the leagues top 5 (top 3 statistically), they still are one of the worst scoring teams in the NBA and still have no one to create a shot for them. Rose will be coming back and that will definitely help things, however it’s completely unreasonable to expect him to regain full basketball form this season. So while the Bulls may be able to make the playoffs this season, there is still not getting out of the first or second round.
For this reason, I’ve focused my expectations solely on the Bulls future and my mind on ways they can set themselves up for the future. When I think of that, one person comes to mind, Kevin Love.
A quick refresher: in a recent interview Kevin Love expressed displeasure with the Timberwolves organization and how things are run. He hinted that unless a consistently contending team is put together he will opt out of his contract at the first available opportunity.
Keeping that in mind, I (and many other Bulls fans) figured, “What’s the harm in exploring trades for Kevin Love?” We all know it’s not going to happen (I’ll expand more on that on Bulls101*), but hey, let’s see what we can put together.
*Note: If you dont follow Bulls101, I recommend it. The site is Bulls101.Com and the Twitter handle is @Bulls_101
After spending hours on the NBA trade machine, this is the most fair trade I came up with:
Under this trade, Chicago would send two first round draft picks (this year and next year) to the Sacramento Kings and the future Charlotte Bobcats pick that they currently own to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
First and foremost: I KNOW THIS TRADE ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. The Timberwolves have no reason to trade Kevin Love while the Kings get slightly screwed in this trade (though I still believe by not much).
But here are reasons why I believe each team should pull the trigger:
- The Bulls cut salary, something they’ve wanted to since the preseason. Currently, the luxury tax threshold is set at $70.307 million with Chicago at $74.638 million in salaries. The ramifications of this is that the Bulls have a smaller MLE to use in the offseason and cannot use the bi-annual MLE. This trade only cuts about $2 million for the Bulls which isn’t quite enough. However, it puts Chicago in a position where they can ship off Kirk Hinrich for absolutely nothing to just about most teams which puts them at just under $70 million. Of course, this is also a reason why Chicago wouldn’t do the trade. They could easily just trade Hamilton for nothing. Also, the front office loves Hinrich so much that they’d never let him go again.
- The Bulls rid themselves of Boozer
- The Bulls get a young, borderline superstar in Love to pair alongside Rose. Love also helps expand the floor with his three point shooting and is a better defender than Boozer.
- The Bulls get a guy who can create his own shot in the form of Tyreke Evans. While Rose is out, Reke can also play point guard (which replaces the loss of Nate Robinson- who’d get cut anyways despite him playing better than most players on the Bulls- and the loss of Marquis Teague.
- The Bulls get a tough defender in Stiemsma to replace Taj Gibson.
- The Timberwolves don’t get equal value for Love, however they get a young and good center in Demarcus Cousins (who may be up for trade after more issues w/ the Kings coaches and front office).
- They dont lose too much range since Boozer can hit the midrange jump shot consistently.
- They get an excellent guy (Boozer) to run Pick-n-Rolls and Pick-n-Pops with Rubio. For as much as I dislike Boozer, he’s excellent at running those.
- The Timberwolves fulfill a void at shooting guard cheaply with Richard Hamilton. They’d also have the option to let Hamilton go this offseason if they’d like someone else.
- They get a sure fire lotto pick from the Charlotte Bobcats.
- The Kings replace their problem child (Cousins) with Nikola Pekovic. Having someone who will play is better than having someone who you voluntarily bench. Benching Cousins is similar to not having him on the team altogether.
- Pekovic is a better finisher around the rim and hardly takes jump shots which allows the Sacramento power forwards to do their thing in the midrange game.
- The Kings at least get some players in return for Tyreke Evans (who they have said they may not keep around next season)
- The Kings get a strong defender and good leader in Taj Gibson.
- The Kings get Nate Robinson to replace Tyreke Evans scoring. Nate Robinson has been the second most efficient Bulls player this season after Joakim Noah.
- The Kings get a young point guard who was projected to be a top 10 pick in this years draft (had he stayed an extra year) with Marquis Teague. With Teague, they get someone who should be able to distribute the ball better than anyone else on their team which ultimately helps their offense.
- The Kings get 2 first round picks from Chicago. Draft picks are always nice.
Now, there are a bunch of reasons why this trade wont happen. And I know it wont at the end of the day. However, it’s what I’ve come up with and, ignoring my bias, I believe it to be the most fair and the wisest for all the teams. Each team gets something of value in return and fulfills major needs that they have.
Focusing solely on Chicago, this team also contends heavily moving forward. A team starting Noah, Love, Deng, Evans, and Rose with a bench of Stiemsma and Butler is definitely a contender. To fill the rest of the pieces on the bench, all Chicago would have to do is use their MLE and a couple of minimums on quality players to fill the rest of the bench. This route also opens up the option of using the amnesty on Luol Deng (though I wouldn’t go that route).
Anyways, that about wraps up my rant about this trade and my belief in it. Thanks for tuning in. If you guys have any thoughts on the trade or have any of your own to share, please leave them below. ?