With the trade rumors swirling, we're sure to hear some big names linked to the Chicago Bulls.
The fact of the matter is that the Bulls could use a secondary star as I don't think their current group is capable of beating Miami and certainly not the OKC Thunder.
Until Derrick Rose comes back, the Bulls need another star that can create his own shot, and so I've compiled a list of five potential and realistic secondary stars the Bulls could acquire via trade.
So here we go.
I know Kevin Martin's name doesn't sound as sexy as it did a few years back, but Martin is still just 29 and in the prime of his career.
In my opinion, he's one of the most underrated players at his position. He's been a routine 20-plus point scorer for a good five seasons now and will be able to keep it up for the next few years.
He's due a little more than $23 million over the next two seasons and can be had for probably Luol Deng and a couple of draft picks. The trade would make sense salary-wise, plus the Bulls could even ask the Rockets for another quality player like a Goran Dragic for Deng, who made his first All-Star team last year.
Deng's value is as high as it's going to get. It's time to cash it in.
Al Jefferson is another guy whose name doesn't get people in NBA circles excited.
He's a relatively quiet guy playing in a small market, which is why people don't appreciate Jefferson enough. But he's one of the better low-post players in the league and he's just 27 years old.
Jefferson is also finishing up his deal, and he's got two years and $29 million left on his contract. The Bulls could try and trade Joakim Noah for Jefferson, but they could ask for more from Utah as well. Perhaps Alec Burks, who's an up-and-coming combo guard that could fit well with the Bulls.
Noah may be a better rebounder than Jefferson, but Jefferson is a far superior low-post scorer, pretty solid shot-blocker and an adequate rebounder.
His scoring, though, is what sets him apart; he averaged an impressive 19.2 points per game last season. It would be such a luxury for the Bulls to have a player to dump it to in the middle who can get you a bucket.
Eric Gordon was rumored to be on his way out of New Orleans when reports started surfacing that he wouldn't agree to an extension.
However, the Hornets lucked out and got the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, which means that they get the draft rights to Anthony Davis. Many expect the Hornets to re-sign Gordon, but I still have a feeling that Gordon may test himself out on the open market regardless.
He's going to be a restricted free agent this offseason and will be one of the most coveted. And rightfully so, as Gordon is an extremely talented shooting guard who can score with the best of them. Plus, he's only 23 years old with all the potential in the world.
If Gordon does in fact want to leave New Orleans, then the Hornets may have no choice but to sign and trade him to another team. The Bulls could provide him an enticing offer of being a star player alongside another star in Derrick Rose.
The Bulls could trade Luol Deng and receive Gordon and salary cap fillers. This could be a good match.
At one point Rudy Gay was called one of the brightest stars in the league.
Now, critics have written him off as an overpaid glorified one-dimensional scorer. However, Gay is much more than that. First of all, he's only 25 years old with plenty of potential. Next, Gay is an electric, athletic scorer. He's a long swingman that can rebound well and get out into the open court.
If there's one thing that the Bulls don't have, it's athletes. And Rudy Gay is just what the doctor ordered for the Bulls.
He would provide some much needed scoring from the perimeter and on fast breaks. Plus, he's reportedly on the trading block for Memphis as they're trying to create cap room to sign their free agents. I see a clear one-for-one deal here with Luol Deng. Both play the same position, so Memphis won't be without a starting small forward.
Gay is a much better scorer than Deng, and contrary to popular belief, he can create his own shot, which is what the Bulls need.
I wrote an article about why the Bulls should trade for Tyreke Evans, and I stick by it.
The Sacramento Kings have been adamant about their position on not offering Evans a contract extension after his disappointing play the past two seasons. But that was only because Evans set the bar so high his rookie year when he averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.
Evans is a budding star who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Kings used Evans in positions he's not comfortable playing, such as point guard and small forward. He is a natural shooting guard who can play point in spurts.
He would be amazing alongside Rose and can even hold the fort down until Rose comes back.
I would love a Luol Deng for Tyreke Evans trade that would involve the Bulls getting the Kings No. 5 draft pick, but if not, it's fine. I'm even fine with the Bulls trading Noah for Evans. The fact of the matter is that Evans can create his own shot, and at just 22 years old, he has all the potential in the world. He's worth it.
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