Chicago Bulls, Warriors Should Discuss Swapping Deng to Move into Lottery
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After the trade, Chicago would look to use the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on a shooting guard like Syracuse's Dion Waiters, Duke's Austin Rivers, UConn's Jeremy Lamb or Washington's Terrence Ross. Chicago would love to draft Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal, North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes or Kentucky small forward Michael Kid-Gilchrist if any of the players slip to the seventh pick, but that is unlikely.
Chicago would trade Deng to shed salary and get under the luxury tax threshold while drafting the elusive "shooting guard of the future" to pair with Derrick Rose. Unless Kid-Gilchrist or Barnes fall to the seventh pick, Dorrell Wright would step in and be Chicago's starting small forward. Wright would be a downgrade on Deng, but Chicago would only be committed to him next season and could elect not to re-sign him in 2013-14 if they have not seen enough to warrant a return.
Rip Hamilton would begin the season as the Bulls' starting shooting guard with hopes that the seventh pick takes over the starting role by the end of the season. Chicago would be forced to take back the bad contract of Andris Biedrins to move into the lottery, but he could serve as insurance if Chicago is unable to re-sign Omer Asik. Biedrins would also fill a need as the Bulls fifth big man if Asik is re-signed, and his outside game would add another dimension to the Chicago bigs that the team lacks.
Golden State would want Chicago to take back Richard Jefferson's bad contract rather than Biedrins, but Chicago would insist on Biedrins as he fills a bigger need for the team and because Chicago would rather have Dorrell Wright at the small forward spot.
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After the trade, Chicago should make every attempt to sign Jason Kidd to a two year deal with a team option for the third season. Kidd could operate as Rose's replacement next year and as a combo guard and Rose's mentor after Rose returns. If Chicago successfully lands Kidd, then it would not pick up the team option on C.J. Watson. If Kidd elects to go elsewhere, then the Bulls should pick up Watson's option to run the point next year.
Golden State turns the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft into All-Star small forward Luol Deng to pair with Steph Curry and Klay Thomson. Small forward is the Warrior's biggest need in the starting lineup and Deng presents a very reliable option. The Warriors have to trade Wright to make it happen but are able to dump Biedrins bad contract and bring back a late 2012 first round pick in the process.
The Warriors turn a lottery pick and a solid small forward into an All-Star small forward, a late first round pick and a salary dump.
Chicago After Trade:
Starters: Jason Kidd (PG), Richard Hamilton (SG)**, Dorrell Wright (SF)*, Carlos Boozer (PF) and Joakim Noah (C)
Bench: Derrick Rose (PG), Ronnie Brewer (SG)*, seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Kyle Korver (SF)*, Taj Gibson (PF)*, Omer Asik (C) and Andris Biedrins (C).
Golden State After Trade:
Starters: Steph Curry (PG), Klay Thompson (SG), Luol Deng (SF), David Lee (PF) and Andrew Bogut (C).
Bench: Richard Jefferson (SF), Brandon Rush (SG), Chris Wright (F) and Charles Jenkins (G).
* denotes last year of contract
** denotes team option for 2013-14
Chicago pulling off the aforementioned trade would be a great start to the 2012-13 offseason. However, if management could then turn around and move the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft for the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and dump Carlos Boozer's contract in the process, then the 2012-13 offseason would grade out as amazing.
Chicago Dream Scenario Follow-up Trade:
If the Charlotte Bobcats are looking to move back in the lottery from the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft then Chicago management should make a call and attempt to swap its newly acquired seventh pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
In a perfect world (which is plausible with how Michael Jordan is running basketball teams), Chicago sends Carlos Boozer (PF), Kyle Korver (SF), the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and Charlotte's future first round pick it previously traded to Chicago for Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats in exchange for Corey Maggette (SF), Tyrus Thomas (PF) and the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Through this trade, Chicago unloads the bad salary of Boozer for one of the only salaries in the NBA that might actually be worse than Boozer's (in terms of value for production) in Tyrus Thomas' atrocious deal. However, since both contracts have the same number of years remaining and Chicago will need to re-sign Taj Gibson (PF) after next season, the savings gained by swapping Boozer ($15M, $15.3M and $16.8) for Thomas ($8.0M, $8.7M, $9.3M) frees more salary space (annual savings of $7M, $6.6M and $7.5) for re-signing Gibson.
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The teams would swap small forwards in the final year of their contracts in Maggette ($10.9M) and Korver ($5.0M). Charlotte could immediately cut Korver, whose contract is only guaranteed up to $500K, or could keep him around for the final year of the deal. If Charlotte cuts Korver then it will cut around $4.5M from the team salary that it can use for attempting to sign high dollar free agents.
Chicago and Charlotte would then essentially be exchanging draft picks with Chicago sending the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft it received from Golden State and Charlotte's future first round pick it originally received for Tyrus Thomas to Charlotte in exchange for the second pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
By moving up six spots in the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, Chicago will have its pick of players in the draft not named Anthony Davis. Chicago could then hand pick the player it wants to team with Rose over the next half decade (a future without Carlos Boozer nonetheless).
By moving back six spots in the 2012 NBA Draft, Charlotte is able to stay in the lottery and reacquire its future first round pick. For the right to stay in the lottery and reacquire its future first rounder, the Bobcats are forced to take back the salary of Boozer (exchanging Thomas for Boozer will save the Bobcats $4M in 2012-13 if Charlotte waives Korver, will cost them $6.6M in 2013-14 and will cost them $7.5M in 2014-15). However, acquiring Boozer is not all bad because, although overpaid, he is a better veteran to build a young team around than Thomas.
Chicago After Trade if Drafting Small Forward:
Starters: Jason Kidd (PG), Richard Hamilton (SG)**, Harrison Barnes or Michael Kid-Gilchrest (SF), Taj Gibson (PF)* and Joakim Noah (C).
Bench: Derrick Rose (PG), Ronnie Brewer (SG)*, Corey Maggette (SF)*, Dorrell Wright (SF)*, Tyrus Thomas (PF), Omer Asik (C) and Andris Biedrins (C).
Chicago After Trade if Drafting Shooting Guard:
Starters: Jason Kidd (PG), Bradley Beal (SG), Corey Maggette (SF)*, Taj Gibson (PF)* and Joakim Noah (C).
Bench: Derrick Rose (PG), Ronnie Brewer (SG)*, Richard Hamilton (SG)**, Dorrell Wright (SF)*, Tyrus Thomas (PF), Omer Asik (C) and Andris Biedrins (C).
* denotes last year of contract
** denotes team option for 2013-14
Charlotte After Trade:
Who cares about Charlotte's lineup next year; the team is still two to three years from even having a chance to contend for the playoffs.
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