The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors are reportedly discussing a potentially monumental trade that would swap big men Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani.
ESPN's Marc Stein has the news:
Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine
Just going online: ESPN sources say Bulls & Raptors have had exploratory talks on potential trade featuring Carlos Boozer & Andrea Bargnani2/7/2013, 10:55:29 PM
Let's take a closer look at this intriguing development.
What it Means
On the surface, you wonder why the Bulls would want to trade for Bargnani, who is just coming back from a near two-month injury hiatus and is in the midst of arguably the worst season of his career.
There would be two reasons.
First of all, money. The former No. 1 pick is set to make just over $21 million over the next two years, while Boozer has nearly $10 million more than that over the same span.
Secondly, Chicago is 18th in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage and 29th in total makes. Bargnani, despite his struggles this year, is a unique seven-footer who can stretch defenses and knock down the outside shot.
As for the Raptors, Bargnani and both Jonas Valanciunas have been injured and inconsistent, while budding star Ed Davis recently left in the Rudy Gay deal. Adding Boozer, albeit a more expensive option, would give them a legitimate, talented low-post presence alongside Amir Johnson.
It's important to remember that we are just in the "exploratory talks" stage of this trade.
With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, rumors are beginning to swirl about potential blockbuster swaps, and this is the latest.
Bargnani isn't exactly the defensive stalwart that Tom Thibodeau's style centers around, and more small pieces would still have to be added to make the deal work.
Don't go buying your Carlos Boozer Raptors jersey just yet.