Yesterday, The Chicago Bulls traded small forward James Johnson to the Toronto Raptors for Miami’s 2011 first round draft pick (which Toronto had from the sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh). And with this trade the Bulls stoked a myriad of rumors involving them going for a (what else) shooting guard. You see, by trading Johnson, the Bulls freed up another $1.7 million in cap space (giving them just under $3 million total) and acquired another asset (the pick) that might facilitate a deal.
Tomorrow is the trade deadline, and the same names are being discussed with the Bulls, i.e. Courtney Lee, OJ Mayo. However, while the Bulls would like to get a player and send a few draft picks the other way, it is believed teams are looking for one of the Bulls rotation players, i.e. Taj Gibson, Omer Asik. Seeing as names like Lee and Mayo are not exactly game changers, I do not see the Bulls shipping anyone who gives them solid minutes on a consistent basis.
But wait, there’s more! The Bulls also have the chance to acquire a player who seeks a buyout from his current team. A buyout happens when (before March 1st) a player (Tayshaun Prince) in the last year of their contract with a team going nowhere (the Pistons) negotiates with the team to be released. Everyone wins: the team saves money and the player gets the opportunity to play for a contender. With the Bulls now having the aforementioned $3 million under the cap, this a possible avenue for them. In addition to Prince, the Bulls are believed to be interested in Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard Anthony Parker.
What does this all add up to? Nothing much. None of the players mentioned above are going to revolutionize the Bulls roster. At the same time, the Bulls hardly need a revolution. It is possible that one of these players is the nominal upgrade the Bulls can use to help them make a push in the playoffs. Of course, that is assuming that any of them can push the unmovable Keith Bogans out of his starting spot. One thing is certain, over the next week there will be plenty of rumors a flyin’. Stay tuned.