Chicago Bulls: 4 Players Who Will Be Trade Bait in 2013
The Chicago Bulls are a team in transition and many of the franchise's players will be trade bait for the right offer in 2013.
Bulls superstar Derrick Rose remains untouchable, despite his brutal injury and long recovery. However, Chicago's other stars and role players could be the subject of trade rumors all season. Even the team's stars could be moved to acquire the right mega-star to pair with Rose.
Here is a list of the four Bulls players most likely to be trade bait during the 2012-2013 NBA regular season.
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Bulls fans love Captain Kirk. He was the team's leader during the franchise's slow recovery from the Jordan era, led the Bulls' unexpected 2006 playoff run and taught Derrick Rose the ins and outs of the point guard position.
This season, Hinrich returns as an older, more injury-prone combo guard who will play hard, defend and appease fans in a season likely to fall short of expectations. However, he is on a team-friendly contract and, if the Bulls fall out of contention, they won't hesitate to deal him at the deadline for the right package of future assets.
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Boozer is an efficient player who excels in the Bulls' pick and pop, up-tempo offense. However, he is very overpaid, one of the worst defensive players in the league, demonstrates poor body language on the court and collapses in the playoffs.
The Bulls would love to deal him away as they try to give Taj Gibson an opportunity to start and prepare for the long-awaited arrival of European star Nikola Mirotic.
The trouble is, will anyone take Boozer? Chicago may find takers at the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline. Sure, he is overpaid at $15 million per year, but few power forwards offer a 19+ Player Efficiency Rating, good work on the boards and a winning pedigree.
If a team like the Brooklyn Nets, who will want to perform well in the playoffs and look to upgrade from Kris Humphries, gets interested, Chicago will pull the trigger.
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Deng is a team leader and one of the most loved Bulls in recent years. He plays hard, tough defense, slashes to the basket and creates opportunities for his teammates.
With that said, Deng irked the organization by deciding to risk his health in the Olympics, despite a wrist injury that required either immediate surgery at the end of the season or prolonged rest.
Deng knew that the organization desperately needed him healthy for 2012-2013 but decided to risk himself anyways, which may have created a chilly, new relationship.
Make no mistake: Chicago will not dump Deng. But he is not untouchable either; the team has sent signals that they will listen to strong offers. If, for example, the Philadelphia 76ers were to offer Andre Igoudala, Nikola Vucevic and a first round pick, the Bulls would probably seal the deal.
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The Bulls love Noah for his toughness, athleticism, grit and defense. The only way they will move him is for multiple young, stud assets to push the franchise into permanent contention. What would that offer look like and what if it comes along?
Last year, the Noah-for-Howard rumors floated around everywhere but those have since died and Chicago is no longer seen as a serious player for Howard. Instead, Chicago might trade Noah to the Sacramento Kings, if they grow exasperated with the immaturity of their players and deal Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins for a chance to start Noah alongside new draftee Thomas Robinson. Similarly, if Toronto were to offer Jonas Valenciunas and Terrence Ross, the Bulls would pull the trigger.
So, don't expect Noah to be moved but he will certainly be long-shot trade bait in 2013.