The Chicago Bulls are right where they should be, amidst the top contenders in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings. This year’s trade deadline on Feb. 21 might not even be a factor for the Bulls as they have come together and battled through adversity every step of the way this season.
They’ve succeeded despite not having star point guard Derrick Rose for the entire 2012-13 NBA season. Well, to this point at least.
Rose is due to be back soon after spending the season recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during the 2011-12 NBA playoffs.
With Rose back, the Bulls will instantly become one of the deepest teams in the conference thanks to having to fill the void left by his absence all season long. The minutes his backups received are invaluable and will help the team continue to get better as the season progresses.
Come playoff time they will have some of the best lineup flexibility in the league, too.
New injuries have reared their ugly head, though, as Carlos Boozer (hamstring) and Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) may be out for some time.
With two big men on the shelf the Bulls could be looking to bolster its frontcourt and add depth for the team’s playoff push.
Who, if anyone, will the Bulls be targeting before this year’s deadline? Who is expendable to them, if anyone?
We’ll take a look at all of the current rumors and happenings of the Bulls’ trade front in the following slideshow.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 15, at 12:50 p.m. ET by Alex Kay
The Raptors have reportedly left an offer on the table for the Bulls to swap Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas III for Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, league sources indicated that Raps general manager Bryan Colangelo has informed the Bulls brass that the deal is "available whenever they want it."
With the Feb. 21 trade deadline rapidly approaching, Chicago slumping offensively and Derrick Rose's status up in the air, it wouldn't be shocking to see GM Gar Forman pull the trigger on a blockbuster over All-Star Weekend.
---End of update---
Though Andrea Bargnani just returned to the Toronto Raptors' lineup on Wednesday after nearly two weeks on the injury list, his name never left the trade rumor mill. The Raptors have seemingly soured on their former No. 1 overall pick and seem ready and willing to trade him if an attractive offer comes forth.
If reports are to be believed, Toronto may have found a suitor in the Windy City. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Bulls and Raptors have had exploratory talks centering around Bargnani and Carlos Boozer:
Just going online: ESPN sources say Bulls & Raptors have had exploratory talks on potential trade featuring Carlos Boozer & Andrea Bargnani
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 7, 2013
While one could surmise this was just wishful thinking on Toronto's part, that's not actually the case. According to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, it was the Bulls who initiated talks, though the deal is unlikely at this juncture:
Told Bulls initiated. And unlikely. RT @espnsteinline: Sources say Bulls, Raptors have had talks on trade featuring Boozer, Bargnani.
— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 7, 2013
That may be a good thing for Chicago. For all of the complaining about Boozer's hefty contract, Bargnani's is just as bad. Boozer has also come on strong of late. He averaged 19.5 points and 10.1 rebounds in the month of January, taking over the Bulls' primary scoring option as they stayed in the playoff hunt.
And excuse me for speaking out of turn, but Bargnani would probably be lost in Tom Thibodeau's complex defensive system. This is a trade that is better off not being executed for both sides.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 11:15 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Chicago are interested in making a move for J.J. Redick before the close of the 2013 trade deadline.
Despite intentions to keep free-agent guard J.J. Redick this summer, it's unlikely the Orlando Magic will be his highest bidder come July 1.
The Magic are willing to re-sign Redick to a deal near the mid-level exception of $5 million per year, but sources say Redick's agent, Arn Tellem, will likely start the bidding at four years, $40 million for Redick on the free-agent market.
Redick won't get that kind of a deal, but teams with interest in the guard tell Yahoo! Sports they could be willing to pay him in the range of $7 million annually. Redick has great value for contending teams who understand how far he grew under former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. His ability to make shots comes at a premium in the NBA.
Indiana, Milwaukee, Chicago and Minnesota have expressed interest in trading for Redick, but teams have been reluctant to give up a first-round pick and a good young player for a player who could turn into a rental for the rest of the season.
---End of update---
Orlando Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick could be headed to Chicago if the Bulls can make the right offer.
Hoops World's Alex Kennedy suggested the Bulls are linked to Redick and could definitely make a play for him after extending a three-year, $19 million offer sheet to him in 2010.
The Magic are dismal this season and Redick will be a free agent in the offseason. He's likely to command a big salary and probably won't be retained by his current team as a result. That's if he would even choose to stay in Orlando.
The 40 percent three-point shooter has developed into more than just a long-distance shooter. He's also improved his game to allow him to penetrate and create his own shots. That's something the Bulls could definitely use in their backcourt.
Adding a player like Redick to an already successful bench would be nothing short of coup for the Bulls at the trade deadline. Chicago is a stout defensive team that would only benefit from adding a shooter of Redick's caliber to the mix.
Timofey Movgoz isn’t the most desirable fix for the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, he might be the best available big man as the team explores options leading up to the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline.
Solid play from the Bulls’ current group of big men has helped them weather the storm while Derrick Rose has watched from the sidelines all season. The team has come together admirably in his absence and should be commended for their success.
Without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who are both out with injuries, things might get a little rocky for the third-place Bulls. That has prompted talks about potential big men the Bulls may pursue before the deadline. This is where Movgoz comes in.
Mike McGraw, a AP sports writer (via DailyHerald.com), said the rumored deal between Chicago and Denver that would send Movgoz to the Bulls and return Richard Hamilton to the Nuggets may be the team’s best option.
Movgoz averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season but he hasn’t been able to crack the Nuggets lineup for much of the year. Nuggets coach George Karl explained his situation.
"I know he can play in this league," Karl said, according to McGraw. "I know he's a 20-minute player. I just don't have 20 minutes to give him."
The only thing holding up a deal might be Hamilton’s salary and guaranteed money next season. He’s guaranteed at least $1 million in 2013-14, even if cut.
Sometimes not making trade deadline moves is the best policy for NBA teams. Sure, the Chicago Bulls have injuries piling up, but they will heal with time.
With Derrick Rose coming back soon, the Bulls might be better off holding tight and look to make their run in the second half of the season. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah should also get back onto the court then, too.
That’s exactly what it looks like the Bulls will do.
John Paxson, team executive vice president of basketball operations, said he doubts the Bulls will make a significant move at the trade deadline.
Rose’s return, he said, will be the team’s big move this season.
"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,” Paxson said, according to ESPN Chicago.
That statement was, of course, prior to the depletion of the team’s frontcourt. But his sentiment still remains true in that the Bulls are not in a good financial position to engage in any trades unless they are able to shed money in the process.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that though the Bulls have been actively shopping Hamilton, they do have conditions that make make the aging veteran harder to move.
While Chicago's trying hard to move Rip Hamilton to lower payroll, Bulls aren't inclined to include draft pick to sweeten deal, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 21, 2013