The Chicago Bulls have popped up in trade rumors as of late, including both Richard Hamilton and J.J. Redick, but according to ESPNChicago, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson doesn't expect the team to make a move. With Derrick Rose returning soon, the Bulls would be smart to ride their current roster into the playoffs.
Paxson spoke to ESPN Chicago 1000 regarding the team's next few weeks:
We're up against what's called a hard cap. In order for us to do something we're not in a position to take on any real salary so we're kind of limited in what we can do.
You're always on the lookout to do certain things, but I think our move hopefully will be bringing Derrick back into the fold.
Despite Paxson's statements, the Bulls have been rumored to be looking for a trade partner to take on Hamilton. Just recently, they were mentioned as a team to watch in regard to J.J. Redick's future outside of Orlando (via hoopsworld).
The Bulls don't need to make any moves before the approaching trade deadline, because within the next month, the team will be adding one of the best players in the game back into their rotation. Without Rose, the Bulls are currently playing solid basketball. They have a surprising 26-17 record, lead the Central Division by .5 games and have the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The most important aspect of the team's success this season as been their ability to come together and play well as a group. They certainly miss the flashy Rose who can control the offense and score at will, but their defense has hardly missed a beat.
Hamilton would be an attractive piece to move because of his contract. A trade would likely just be to free up cap space and the Bulls wouldn't receive much of anything in return. The risk there is that Rose may not be back by the time the Bulls would have to make the trade. Or Rose returns and isn't quite back to himself immediately.
Redick's addition doesn't make much sense, as the Bulls have gotten good play from Hamilton, Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler. The move just doesn't seem to add enough to make it worthwhile.
This Bulls team can compete with a healthy Rose. He provides them with enough to push them from an above-average team in the East to Finals contenders. The best thing for the Bulls to do at this point is continue to let Rose rehab and make a run when he's fully healthy.