ESPN is reporting that two of the three players the Bulls are after will NOT leave their respective team and be traded to the Bulls.
The first is Anthony Parker of the Cavaliers. He was never a player the team was particularly high on because of his old age, as he is almost 36.
However, Parker is a deadline long-range marksman and would have fit well with the team. Since his contract expires at the end of the season, he would have been a "rental" player for just one season, similar to what the Bulls did with Flip Murray.
The other player, much to the dismay of many fans, is OJ Mayo. He would have been the perfect backcourt player with Derrick Rose for the next five years. A young player with a high ceiling, he has already averaged 17 PPG and with the coaching of Tom Thibodeau could have been in the 20 PPG range.
ESPN is reporting that the Grizzlies believe they can make a late run and compete for a championship this year and therefore are not looking to trade anyone. In fact, they are trying to land frontcourt players for additional depth, including all-world bust Hasheem Thabeet.
So, where does this leave the Bulls?
Possible outcome No. 1: The Bulls could still acquire Courtney Lee, but with each passing moment that seems less likely. If he was going to be traded, it would have happened by now.
What should the Bulls do at the trade deadline?
The Rockets clearly want more assets than the Bulls are willing to give up. The Rockets wanted Omer Asik, and the Bulls nixed that idea.
In response, the Bulls are rumored to have offered a first-round draft pick, which again the Rockets clearly have denied. As a result, the Rockets want at least two first-round picks, or a pick and a player.
It seems as if the Bulls might not go for this trade.
Possible outcome No. 2: The Bulls do not make any trade at the deadline. The team remains the same and gets knocked out of the playoffs in the first or second round.
If the playoffs started today, the Bulls would play the ridiculously talented Knicks. The Knicks are four games behind the team in front of them, Atlanta, and might not be able to make up that ground.
If they don't, the Knicks play the Bulls, and the Bulls go home in the first round. If the team does make it past Round 1, without a shooting guard, the team does not have the offensive firepower to make a playoff run.
While some could say free agency is an option where the team could add a difference maker at shooting guard, this is not the case.
The CBA is over at the end of the season and the new salary cap is expected to be much lower.
As a result, the huge deals to Noah, Boozer and Deng will take up an even bigger percentage of the cap. If by some miracle, the Bulls have enough money to offer a respectable contract to a free agent, they won't have enough money to re-sign Derrick Rose.
As Bulls writer Sam Smith would say, "Interested?"
As a result, what the Bulls do in the next four hours will show the fans what their thinking is. If they make a trade, outstanding. Fans learn the team is committed to winning, but knows the current roster won't win an NBA championship.
If they do not make a trade, it means the management believes this roster can win it all, even though the fans know it is not.
Hopefully, for the sake of Bulls fans across Chicago and the country, the Bulls land Courtney Lee today.