NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers-Blazers-Bulls Deal Collapses, Minnesota in Play

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NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers-Blazers-Bulls Deal Collapses, Minnesota in Play
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

If the Los Angeles Lakers are going to make a play for Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, they will have to find another team to facilitate the deal for the versatile defender.

The Portland Trailblazers have decided against taking on the contract of guard Sasha Vujacic and reportedly have dropped negotiations.

Despite strong efforts by the Lakers front office to obtain Kirk Hinrich by sending out players Adam Morrison and Sasha Vujacic, the Lakers could not persuade neither the Bulls nor the Trailblazers to take on additional salary in Vujacic's contract, who will make $5.5 million throughout 2011.

The Bulls refused to receive any contracts that would jeopardize their summer cap space. Moreover, the general feeling communicated to Lakers management by the Portland Trailblazers was that they do not need the services of the Slovenian guard.

With trade negotiations between the Lakers and Bulls hitting a stalemate, the Lakers front office is likely to stand pat at this year's Feb. 18 trade deadline if they cannot find a third team to take on an unwanted contract. Lakers owner Jerry Buss is very reluctant to acquire a player that would place additional financial obligations to the luxury taxpaying, defending champion Lakers unless they can remove one of their long-term contracts in Walton or Vujacic.

With that being said, keep an eye out for the Minnesota Timberwolves. As reported by Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in play for Chicago Bulls athletic forward Tyrus Thomas.

However, with Portland out of the picture, one source indicates that the Lakers plan on reaching out to Minnesota to assist in a three-team deal.

Should Minnesota be willing to facilitate a trade, the parameters, as proposed by Lakers management, would be as followed: The Los Angeles Lakers would receive guard Kirk Hinrich, the Minnesota Timberwolves would receive forward Tyrus Thomas and guard Sasha Vujacic, and the Chicago Bulls would receive the expiring contracts of Adam Morrison, Brian Cardinal, and Sasha Pavlovic, as well as draft considerations.

For Minnesota, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has long coveted the lanky, athletic forward Thomas and feels the Bulls player would be a solid addition to the Timberwolves' core.

In addition, former Lakers assistant coach and current Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis has had prior experience with Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic, and would likely use the Slovenian guard as Corey Brewer's backup in Minnesota's triangle offense. Vujacic would also be called upon to help the younger guards further assimilate the triangle offense.

But most importantly, it is agreed that the Timberwolves could utilize the future expiring contract of Sasha Vujacic at next year's 2011 trade deadline to bring in more talent.

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