Unbelieve-a-Bull: Why the Bulls Did Not Trade for O.J. Mayo

Sean O'DowdContributor IIIFebruary 27, 2011

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 05:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots a free throw shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fans, myself included, were upset that the Bulls did not make a competitive attempt to land O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee to improve the team's title chances this season and beyond at the trade deadline.

Why the Bulls did not acquire Courtney Lee is known; the Rockets wanted Omer Asik, and the Bulls did not want to trade their young, talented center. Asik later went out and had a very impressive game where he provided a needed spark off the bench. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bulls offered several first-round picks for Lee, but the Rockets insisted on Asik. 

The reason why the Bulls did not acquire Mayo is an old grudge, plain and simple. The Chicago Tribune and Sports Illustrated are reporting that the Bulls offered Ronnie Brewer, two first-round draft picks and a second-round pick for Mayo.

Trading Brewer makes sense because if the Bulls did, in fact, acquire Mayo, their backcourt would be full. Bogans would not be good enough to include in a trade, and the Bulls would refuse to trade their shooter in Kyle Korver, which meant Brewer was elected.

The Bulls offered three picks and an impact player for Mayo. The Grizzlies later approved a trade of Mayo to the Pacers which did not take place as it was completed after the deadline.

The Pacers offered one draft pick, and a non-factor big man, Josh McRoberts. Having a career year, McRoberts is averaging seven points a game, and a little more than five rebounds. You might remember him as the player Ronnie Brewer "posterized" earlier this year.

Basically, the Grizzlies turned down a great offer from the Bulls and accepted a much worse one from the Pacers, why?

The Chicago Tribune published a story online by K.C. Johnson where he wrote, "There's a longstanding theory Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, who has a home in the St. Charles area, doesn't like doing business with the Bulls for competitive reasons. Whether that factored into the Grizzlies turning down what appears to be a more substantial offer than that of the Pacers is unknown."

If this is true, the Bulls once again lost out. They did not acquire LeBron James and Dwyane Wade during free agency in part because they were intimidated by the statue in front of the United Center, and the Bulls did not land Mayo in trade because his owner resents the Bulls legacy.