Chicago Bulls Trade Speculation: Ranking Their Most Tradable Assets

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIIMarch 13, 2012

Chicago Bulls Trade Speculation: Ranking Their Most Tradable Assets

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    The Chicago Bulls have some valuable pieces that the franchise could broker in a possible trade to upgrade the team.

    As the trade deadline is coming up, the Bulls will not part with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. However, there are other players or assets the Bulls could use without tinkering with the core.

    Here are the five top tradable assets for the upcoming March 15th trade deadline.

5. Jimmy Butler

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    Jimmy Butler can ball, and he has shown the Chicago Bulls and the NBA that fact despite limited minutes.

    The 22-year-old swingman from Marquette was an effective starter for the Golden Eagles for three years. Butler provides good length and size (6'7", 220 pounds) and is a solid perimeter defender.

    When on the court, Butler has good basketball IQ and has carried himself as a veteran.

    He has a good chance to be a solid starting shooting guard or small forward in this league, and teams would be vastly interested in his potential.

    Possible teams who could use a young small forward include the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic.

4. Nikola Mirotic

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    While Nikola Mirotic is playing in Spain for Real Madrid, the Yugoslavian baller can affect this year's NBA trade deadline.

    The 21-year-old athlete's NBA rights were claimed by the Chicago Bulls during the 2011 draft, and he is going to play for Real Madrid until probably 2013, when it would be more affordable to buy out the remainder of his overseas contract.

    Mirotic has been compared to Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki for his high powered offensive game. The 6'10", 225-pound Mirotic still needs to add some strength and become more physical to be a great NBA player.

    Playing for Spain in the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, Mirotic helped lead his country to a gold medal and was the top scorer and tournament MVP (a record 27 points, 10 rebounds).

    Mirotic is a young phenom who could be a great trading piece for the Bulls.

3. Taj Gibson

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    A young and more polished NBA player the Chicago Bulls could offer is Taj Gibson (26).

    The backup power forward from USC is in his third NBA season. Standing at 6'9" and weighing 225, Gibson is a strong post defender who uses his amazing hoops to block many shots.

    Gibson has 262 blocks (1.3 rejections per game) in his career.

    Besides monster defense, Gibson can be a force offensively. He has a career average of 7.9 points a game off the bench and exploded for 14 or more points in 30 games.

    Gibson is under contract for 2012-13 for $2.15 million and has a qualifying offer of $3.18 million for 2013-14.

    A power forward of Gibson's caliber could interest teams like the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats.

2. Charlotte Bobcats' First-Round Pick

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    Michael Jordan did the Chicago Bulls a big favor in a 2010 trade.

    The Charlotte Bobcats got disgruntled power forward Tyrus Thomas from the Bulls in exchange for Flip Murray, Acie Law and a future first-round draft pick.

    Murray and Law are not on the Bulls anymore, but Chicago still has that Bobcats' draft pick in its pocket. 

    The draft pick has lesser degrees of protection in 2012 (Top 14), 2013 (Top 12), 2014 (Top 10), 2015 (Top 8) and 2016 (unprotected).

    The Bobcats will be bad for while, so teams will be interested in possibly acquiring this asset from the Bulls in a trade.

    Who knows? This could become the top pick in the 2016 draft.

1. Omer Asik

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    The Chicago Bulls' top trading asset that they might be willing to part with is backup center Omer Asik. 

    The seven-foot, 255-pound Turkish baller is in his second NBA season and is a defensive specialist.

    Asik uses his large body to anchor the post and made it difficult for guards and small forwards to penetrate. He is a solid rebounder and can block shots.

    One weakness in the 25-year-old Asik's game is his offense, but he can score a couple buckets a game. If the assistant coaches work on increasing Asik's offense in the post, he will become a better scorer.

    Teams like the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies might be interested in Asik.

    Bob Bajek is a featured columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on and Twitter.