Chicago Bulls Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2012

Chicago Bulls Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News

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    With the offseason now officially underway, the Chicago Bulls will be trying to wash the disappointment out of their mouths after a crushing first-round defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers

    With Derrick Rose's injury, Luol Deng's name being floated in trade rumors and several players whose contracts are not guaranteed for next season, the team could either be almost exactly the same next year or in fact, completely different. 

    We'll analyze the latest trades, with the most important first, and get you up to speed on all the latest rumors regarding the Bulls

Tracy McGrady on the Bulls' Radar

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    The Chicago Bulls have gutted their original second unit and completely rebuilt it within a matter of weeks. For those who believe that the Bulls are done with their signings, however, you may just be surprised by who remains on their radar.

    According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, general manager Gar Forman is considering signing a seven time All-Star and two-time scoring champion. For those wondering who that man might be, it's none other than Tracy McGrady.

    After Nate Robinson signing, Bulls are either done or might add Tracy McGrady.

    — K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 31, 2012

    T-Mac is far from the player he once was. The long list of injuries have taken their toll and McGrady is no longer a threat for consistent 30-point outbursts. What he is a threat for, however, is putting up solid scoring numbers in small minutes and handling the load as a facilitating ball handler.

    Whether you're skeptical or not, this would be a helpful signing one way or another.

Nate Robinson to Chicago?

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    For those who remain uncomfortable with the Chicago Bulls' current situation at the point guard position, fear not. Help could be on the way from a three-time Slam Dunk champion.

    That's right, little Nate Robinson could be running the point for the Chicago Bulls. He's coming off of a season in which he averaged 11.2 points, 1.2 steals and a career high 4.5 assists in just 23.4 minutes per game.

    Sam Amick of has the report via his official Sulia account.

    ...the agent for Nate Robinson, Aaron Goodwin, says the veteran point guard will sign with Chicago today "barring unforeseen problems."

    Nate Robinson would add to a point guard position that already consists of Kirk Hinrich and rookie Marquis Teague. Then, of course, there is the injured 2011 MVP Derrick Rose.

    More on this story as details emerge.

Bulls in Talks with Carlos Delfino

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    On the heels of a magnificent performance against the United States in an exhibition game, Argentinian forward Carlos Delfino has begun to generate some buzz. Rightfully so, as Delfino has made a living behind the arc and always seems to make the smart play when it's needed.

    As for who is interested, Olé reports that the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns have emerged as potential suitors. Houston, however, is the only team who has made an offer thus far (via

    Unfortunately for the Rockets, Delfino does not appear interested in a rebuilding process. More on this story as details emerge.

    Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

Bulls Sign Backup Center

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    Update: Friday, July 27 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Nazr Mohammed officially signed with the Bulls today according to 

    The journeyman center didn't see alot of time with the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, averaging barely two points and two boards per game as the third pivot on the depth chart behind Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison.

    He'll get more minutes now as the primary backup to Joakim Noah. Mohammed is an accomplished defender who can still finish garbage buckets around the cup, though his offense is limited otherwise.

    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    Mohammed's deal with the Bulls is just one step away from becoming official, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

    Kenwood Academy product Nazr Mohammed will be signed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal to replace Asik, sources said.

    -End of update-

    The Chicago Bulls are one of many teams in need of some depth in the front court. With Omer Asik set to leave via free agency and the league driven by who can offer the most from top to bottom, they've gone out and done what every team should: sign a reserve.

    Unfortunately for Nets fans, that reserve happens to have been a top target of the Brooklyn franchise. Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago has the report.

    While the deal hasn't become official yet, the New York Post reported early Sunday that Mohammed has decided to sign with the Bulls over the Brooklyn Nets and both teams have been notified about the decision.

    Nazr Mohammed last played in Oklahoma City, where he averaged 11.0 minutes per game. He's always been a valuable body in the paint due to his size and has 66 postseason games under his belt.

    Mohammed will certainly help the Bulls moving forward.

Omer Asik Will Be a Rocket

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    Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Earlier this week, Bleacher Report relayed news that the Chicago Bulls would not re-sign center Omer Asik. Just days later, the Turkish big man has officially become a member of the Houston Rockets.

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tells exactly what type of presence he expects Asik to offer.

    “We are excited to add Omer to our roster,” said [Rockets GM Daryl] Morey. “Omer has proven to be a defensive force at every stop in his career – in the Turkish league, in FIBA’s World Championships and EuroBasket competitions, and of course for the past two years for the Chicago Bulls. We are excited to add his rim protection, his rebounding, and the defensive mentality Omer brings to each play.”

    The Asik in Chicago era has officially come to a close. The Asik and Linsanity era, however, has just begun.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

    Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes

    As anticipated by the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls have announced that they will not match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet for center Omer Asik. featured the official announcement, acknowledging that the Bulls would have liked to retain Asik's defensive capabilities, but not at the exorbitant three-year, $25 million deal.

    There aren't a lot of attractive bigs out there anymore. The Bulls will have to scramble with their cash to find a replacement who can anchor the defense and potentially spot major minutes for an injury-prone Joakim Noah.

    For the Rockets, they land their second major target of the offseason. While they certainly would have rather had Dwight Howard, Asik will be penciled in as the immediate starter. They've overpaid to get Asik and Jeremy Lin, two players with huge upside and question marks.

    Their young roster has a lot of moving parts, but they've done a decent job of blowing things up, rebuilding on the fly and staying in dogged pursuit of Howard.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Houston Rockets offseason tracker.

    Update 2: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    It appears all that is left in the Omer Asik saga is for the Bulls to officially decline the offer sheet from the Houston Rockets.

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the latest on Asik's future.

    The Bulls will decline Omer Asik's three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets because they will be hard capped at $74.3 million while paying the luxury tax for the first time in history.

    By using a portion of the $5 million midlevel exception for Hinrich and earmarking the biannual exception of $1.9 million to sign Marco Bellinelli, it's impossible for the Bulls to match even Asik's $5 million starting salary and stay below $74.3 million.

    -End of update-

    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    The Bulls "appear ready to pass" on the offer sheet for Omer Asik, meaning that the big man will likely be wearing a Rockets uniform for the 2012-13 campaign.


    More midnight madness coming for Rockets. Deadline for Bulls to match Asik offer sheet is 11:59 Eastern on Tue. Bulls appear ready to pass.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 22, 2012

    Update: Sunday, July 22 -- Maxwell Ogden

    On July 20, Bleacher Report covered the story of Omer Asik signing the Houston Rockets' offer sheet. Today, we've discovered that the offer sheet has been received by the Chicago Bulls.

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the news and what it means.

    Rockets have successfully received 10:59 PM TUES deadline for Asik decision. Doesn't sound like much of one anymore for Bulls.

    — K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 22, 2012

    Per Johnson's report, the Chicago Bulls don't seem to be in favor of re-signing Asik. While he's clearly a valuable asset, "overpriced" doesn't even begin to do this deal justice.

    -- Report via B/R's Houston Rockets Tracker

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Houston Rockets have expressed serious interest in restricted free agent center Omer Asik. They've offered him a hefty contract and all but promised him a serious role in their future plans as a result of this decision.

    As of July 20, they've officially guaranteed themselves a role in his destination. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the news.

    After meeting with Rockets officials in Las Vegas, including dinner with coach Kevin McHale, Omer Asik returned to Chicago and signed his three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet Friday.

    The Chicago Bulls will have until 10:59 p.m. on the third day after they received the offer sheet to match or decline the contract. More details will be reported as they emerge.

    -- Report via B/R's Houston Rockets Tracker


    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Having cleared enough cap space via a handful of releases, the Houston Rockets are expected to offer Omer Asik that long-awaited and massive contract.

    With Jeremy Lin aboard, and Dwight Howard presumably not, the Rockets will pursue their original free agency target:

    Per NBA sources: Rockets will sign Bulls RFA center Omer Asik to an offer sheet this afternoon. Chicago will have 3 days to match.

    — Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 20, 2012

    Asik's defensive strengths and offensive deficiencies are well-documented by this point, but he'd still fit in well with a young Houston roster that's all moving parts right now.

    On the other hand, the Bulls have moved Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson to presumably keep Asik as Joakim Noah's insurance policy. But is the price right?

    Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Per a report via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have waived two players from their roster. The unlucky duo are Jon Leuer and Jerome Jordan.

    Once the players clear waivers, Feigen reports that the Rockets will officially sign their top remaining target to an offer sheet. Much to the Bulls dismay.

    The Rockets have waived Jon Leuer and Jerome Jordan. When they clear waivers, Rockets will sign Omer Asik to offer sheet.

    — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 18, 2012

    The Bulls will then have three days to match the offer. More on this story as news comes forth.

    -- Report via B/R's Free Agent Tracker

    --End of Update--

    Omer Asik is a defensive superstar. If he had an offense that matched his defense he would be an All-Star. Of course, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas. 

    Asik's defense is stupendous though. While he was on the court last year the Bulls gave up just 89.7 points per 100 possessions. That's 8.1 points fewer than when he was on the bench. His defensive rating was by far the lowest of qualified players, a full two points lower than anyone else. 

    In the five games Asik started, their opponents scored just 84 points per game. 

    Asik has outstanding defensive instincts. He gets in the lane and alters shots. More importantly, he is skilled at keeping bigs from catching the ball in the lane in position to finish.

    That has teams interested in him in spite of his offensive deficiencies, which are pretty severe. Asik has a tendency to drop the ball down to his knees every time he catches it, whether from a pass or on a rebound. He's a horrible finisher. 

    Teams interested in the Bulls restricted free agent include the New Orleans Hornets, (links are to the source of the rumors,, and, respectively),  the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers

    However, the Bulls are committed to keeping him. According, Gar Forman said, 

    Omer is a restricted free agent this summer, which means we've got an opportunity to talk to him about a new contract on July 1. And obviously other teams will have the opportunity to talk to him also. We will be able to match any offer he'll receive on the open market place, but it's our goal to have conversations with him the very first day, and we see him as a key piece to our team moving forward. We think he has shown the potential to continue to improve, and it's our goal that Omer Asik will be a Chicago Bull in the foreseeable future

    - End of Update - 

    After Omer Asik agreed to sign a three-year, $24.2 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, it's uncertain if the Chicago Bulls will look to retain him, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

    Although Asik's defensive presence is very valuable and the Bulls have relied upon him for extended minutes when Joakim Noah has dealt with injuries, Asik's deal is set to pay him more than $14 in the third year of the contract.

    That might be a bitter pill for the Bulls to swallow.

    Should the Bulls decide to match the offer sheet on Asik, the club will eventually have to make a decision on Carlos Boozer's long-term future with the team.

Bulls Have Agreement with Marco Belinelli, Working on Deal for Malcolm Thomas

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    Update 4: Monday, July 23 -- Maxwell Ogden

    The Chicago Bulls have long needed a more reliable option at the 2. According to a report via, the Chicago Bulls have made their signing of sharpshooter Marco Belinelli official. 

    The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard Marco Belinelli (mark-o bell-ee-nell-ee). In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

    As reported below, Marco Belinelli will be signed using the Chicago Bulls' biannual exception.

    Update 3: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    After the Kirk Hinrich signing was announced by the team, we're beginning to get a clearer vision of how Chicago's roster is shaping up.

    La Gazzetta dello Sport (via the Chicago Tribune) has the details on Belinelli's new deal.

    By using a portion of the $5 million midlevel exception for Hinrich and earmarking the biannual exception of $1.9 million to sign Marco Bellinelli, it's impossible for the Bulls to match even Asik's $5 million starting salary and stay below $74.3 million.


    Update 2: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    Marco Belinelli will be wearing a Bulls uniform next season.


    Source confirms Marco Bellinelli's deal with the Bulls is done. Also: Bulls attempting to sign summer-leaguer Malcolm Thomas to 1-year deal.

    — Aggrey Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) July 23, 2012


    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    The Bulls are close to a new contract with unrestricted free agent Marco Belinelli, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

    Belinelli and the Bulls have been flirting with one another for some while, and his addition makes plenty of sense given the lack of depth behind veteran Rip Hamilton, who missed a lot of time last season due to different injuries.

    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Maxwell Ogden

    Due to where he's spent his career, many are unaware of how talented Marco Belinelli truly is. Gar Forman and the Chicago Bulls, however, seem to be well-aware of his abilities.

    According to Alex Kenndey of, Belinelli and the Bulls could seal the deal on their mutual appreciation.

    While Belinelli is generally known as a sharpshooter, his game ranges beyond a smooth J. He's sound in transition and a better team defender than given credit for. Should Chicago sign him, he could also be a starter.

    Update: Thursday, July 19 -- Joel C. Cordes

    In addition to Marco Belinelli, the Chicago Bulls are also interested in Delonte West and Randy Foye according to CSN Chicago.

    Belinelli adds the shooter's dimension lost when Kyle Korver was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. He can back up either wing spot, and would be a nice insurance policy behind Luol Deng. He might even be able to win major minutes as the starter ahead of Richard Hamilton. 

    The Bulls' bigger problem is that Derrick Rose is going to be out and Kirk Hinrich is the only proven player at the point. Thus, combo-guards like Delonte West and Randy Foye seem to make more sense.

    They can challenge and insure Hamilton, while also spotting major minutes at point guard until Rose's return.

    - End of Update - 

    It's been a while since we've had news about a player potentially joining the Magic who wasn't involved in a potential Dwight Howard trade scenario.

    According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Belinelli is drawing interest from a number of teams, including Orlando.

    Now that the Clippers have gone with Grant Hill, Marco is looking at other teams.  The Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks have interest.

    It wouldn't be surprising to see the Bulls make a push for Belinelli in an attempt to flesh out the second unit, and Pincus writes that Chicago "may be the best fit."

    -Some content in this report provided by Bleacher Report's Orlando Magic offseason tracker.

Kirk Hinrich Signed by Chicago Bulls, Coming Back to Windy City

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    Update: Monday, July 23 — Ethan Norof

    The signing of Kirk Hinrich by the Chicago Bulls has become official, according to

    “We are pleased to be able to bring Kirk back to Chicago. His ability to play both spots in the backcourt will help us immensely this season,” said Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “Kirk’s tenacity and passion for the game complement our style of play, and we look forward to seeing him back in a Bulls uniform.”

    Hinrich is expected to receive a two-year deal.

    -End of update-

    According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, Kirk Hinrich has come to a verbal agreement with the Chicago Bulls. Hinrich, who spent seven seasons with the Bulls from 2003 to 2010, is expected to sign a two-year deal worth upwards of $6 million.

    This move appears to be a last-ditch effort to add depth at the point guard position, where 2011 MVP Derrick Rose is expected to be out until January at the earliest. After a year in which Rose attempted and failed to come back on three separate occasions, patience may be the best thing for the Bulls to have.

    For those looking for a Twitter source, here's the article's predecessor.

    Kirk Hinrich has verbally agreed to sign with Bulls. Terms not yet finalized. Story up soon at

    — K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 8, 2012

    Certainly a big signing for the Bulls, who will no longer put the trust of their franchise entirely in a rookie's hands at the point. A rookie, for the record, who many scouts feel came out too early.

    Yes, we're talking about you Marquis Teague.

Vladimir Radmanovic Arrives

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    It's been over half a decade since he was a major rotation player, but Vladimir Radmanovic is still 6'10" and can still shoot the deep ball.

    CSN Chicago reports the Chicago Bulls have signed Radmanovic to a one-year deal, assumed to be the veteran's minimum. He's unlikely to play major minutes at this point, but does add a height and shooter's dimension at power forward that Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson don't.

    Expect Vlad to be a situational player unless injuries ahead of him open up major minutes.

Kyle Korver Is Gone

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    Update: Tuesday, July 17 — Ethan Norof

    The deal sending Korver to the Hawks for cash considerations is now official, according to Hawks PR man Arthur Triche.

    Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

    Korver is no longer an option for the Timberwolves. In fact, he's off the market after being traded to the Atlanta Hawks.

    Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson reported that Korver will be on his way to the Hawks, pending a physical. Korver's addition could be part of a sign-and-trade involving Kirk Hinrich, who has already agreed to re-join the Bulls.

    Update: Wednesday, July 11 -- Joel C. Cordes

    Despite providing another solid season off the bench for the Chicago Bulls, three-point specialist Kyle Korver does not appear to be in their plans going forward.

    A one-dimensional player only, Korver has not lived up to the huge numbers he produced in his final season with the Utah Jazz, and the Bulls are apparently tired of waiting.

    As they clear space to re-sign Omer Asik and keep their other options open, the Bulls are shopping Korver to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Minnesota needs outside shooting badly, whether or not they lure Nic Batum away from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Hawks recently drafted John Jenkins and signed Lou Williams, but they apparently feel the need for more behind-the-arc firepower.

    - Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Offseason Trade Rumors tracker.

Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson on the Way out

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    Update: Wednesday, July 11 -- Joel C. Cordes

    The Bulls will not bring back reserve point guard C.J. Watson, despite the fact that Derrick Rose may be out for most of 2013.

    The Chicago Bulls will not pick up C.J. Watson's option for next year, according to sources. Watson will become an unrestricted free agent.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 8, 2012

    Watson was solid, if unspectacular when Rose went down during the playoffs last year. He's had quite a few chances to grab the mantle during various Rose injuries, but apparently did not warrant enough confidence to be a full-time starter for awhile next season.

    Part of his release may be due in part to the Bulls' needing to match Omer Asik's huge contract offer from the Houston Rockets. This situation has prompted similar moves with Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver.

    - End of Update-

    According to Alex Kennedy of, Gar Forman and the Chicago Bulls have decided against picking up Ronnie Brewer's team option for 2013. This makes Brewer an unrestricted free agent and puts him on the open market. 

    The Chicago Bulls won't pick up Ronnie Brewer's option for next season, according to sources. He's now an unrestricted free agent.

    — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 10, 2012

    This could be detrimental to the Bulls' success, as they lose a key rotational option at the 2. Fortunately, second-year guard Jimmy Butler has shown more than enough in his short career to warrant hype and excitement.

Richard Hamilton Placed on the Trade Block

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    Update: Monday, July 16 — Ethan Norof

    Is Richard Hamilton already wearing out his welcome in Chicago?

    A successful trade of Hamilton could open the door to a potential Courtney Lee signing in the Windy City, but it's going to be tough to make that happen.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have made Hamilton available, but there have been no interested takers to date.

    Along these lines, league sources said the Bulls have shopped Richard Hamilton’s expiring $5 million deal, which carries a mere $1 million guarantee for 2013-14. Thus far, there have been no takers.

Bulls Interested in Donte Greene?

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    According to Donte Greene himself, there are two teams showing interest in his services: the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers.


    Just ran into Donte Greene here at Cox Pavilion.Asked if any teams are looking to sign him, he said the Sixers & Bulls showing interest.

    — Jonathan Santiago (@itsjonsantiago) July 18, 2012

    Greene is an unrestricted free agent after Sacramento's decision not to offer him a qualifying contract offer after the season.

E'Twaun Moore Likes Chicago

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    Update: Friday, July 20 -- Joel C. Cordes

    E'Twaun Moore was just traded by the Boston Celtics to the Houston Rockets as part of their Courtney Lee deal. However, he's already planning his next moves.

    With the Rockets likely to cut Moore, he's mentioned a possible opportunity with the Chicago Bulls according to

    As a young, athletic guard with upside, Moore could be an intriguing low-cost option for a Chicago team looking to pad their backcourt. Though he struggled with shooting consistency and playing time, the Bulls can take a low-risk look at a guy who doesn't have many other NBA options right now. 

Taj Gibson Contract on the Way?

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    The Bulls have done a lot of cutting this offseason, but Taj Gibson is one of the keepers according to CSN Chicago.

    Looking to re-sign Omer Asik and/or add some more guard help, the Bulls have traded Kyle Korver while letting Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson walk. However, they're looking to lock Taj Gibson up with a contract extension as soon as their roster is set.

    Gibson was the starter before Carlos Boozer's arrival, and with the perennially underachieving forward a prime amnesty candidate, Gibson's springy athleticism could win the lead gig again sooner than later.

Luol Deng Trade Rumors

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    It says a lot about Luol Deng and how far he has come in the last two years, that a contract that was considered an "albatross" just before Tom Thibodeau arrived, is now considered the most tradable contract the Bulls have. 

    It's for that reason that he is being shopped.

    Right now it's hard to deny the validity of the rumors. Not only have the Bulls not denied it, Deng himself believes it. According to Ian Whittell of Deng said, 

    "I believe there is always to some extent truth behind rumors, but as an athlete, if you get caught up in them, you are really wasting your time because it's not something you can control.

    Deng however, does not believe the conspiracy theories that these are repercussions for his playing in the Olympics rather than getting surgery on his wrist. When asked about it, Deng replied, 

    "I don't think so," he said. "Me and (coach Tom Thibodeau) have a very close relationship. I spoke to (GM) Gar (Forman), I spoke to (VP of basketball operations John) Paxson, and it's one of those things you don't want to bring up."

    As far as what the actual rumors are of where he might go, it's important to realize that there are no actual rumors. 

    There is speculation, which is distinguished from rumors. Speculation means a reputable basketball writer thinks it would work and is a good idea. A rumor means that there is an actual report of discussions being engaged. 

    For instance, there is speculation that the Bulls would be interested in trading Deng to the Golden State Warriors for their draft pick to take Harrison Barnes. Yet, according to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times, the Warriors haven't even started talking to the Bulls yet. 

    The take home here is that the Bulls are shopping Deng, but we really don't have a clue who they might be talking to or if there is any reasonable offer on the table. 

Luol Deng Trade Speculation

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    So you're thinking, "I get it Kelly, stop pontificating and tell me about the speculation." 

    Well there's a great rundown of the different ideas which have been bandied by Sam Smith of right here. 

    Here's a team-by-team breakdown of what would happen and whether it would work. 

    Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Cleveland speculation is that the Bulls would send Deng to the Cavaliers straight up for their No. 4 pick. Cleveland gets a veteran All-Star and the Bulls get a lot of cap relief to keep Omer Asik and a player who can contribute right away.

    While Smith says that Cleveland is committed to the "Oklahoma City" model, I think one thing gets lost in this: Kendrick Perkins came over via the trade route. 

    The Cavs have a ton of draft picks and they've done a good job building a young core. They need a veteran presence with Antawn Jamison leaving. It's also not like Luol Deng is Ray Allen. He's 27, not 37. I could actually see this trade working. 

    Sacramento Kings

    There are two speculations in regards to Deng to Sacramento. The first one has Deng and the No. 29 pick going for Tyreke Evans and the No. 5. That has some intrigue to it. 

    Evans is a player who can create his own shot. He'd be a restricted free agent and the Bulls could retain him a year from now. They could also use the fifth pick to grab Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    The question I have is whether Sacramento would go for it. After all, Evans was a former Rookie of the Year. However, there's also growing frustration with him from the team, so it's worth entertaining.

    If that could work, in two years the Bulls would have a team composed of Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (or Harrison Barnes), Nikola Mirotic and Joakim Noah with Taj Gibson and Omer Asik coming off the bench.

    That sounds promising, but there's also a bit of an "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" wisdom that makes me hesitant. Prospects are wonderful until they stop being prospects.

    The other trade rumor is that the Bulls would just send Deng straight up for the No. 5 pick and that's more or less the same as the Cleveland pick. It frees up money and makes the Bulls younger. It also makes them less experienced. 

    Golden State Warriors

    With the Warriors, the Bulls would send Deng and get back the No. 7 pick and would have to take back players along with that. That would mean someone like Richard Jefferson. Egads!

    The bottom line here is that the Warriors just don't have cap space so the Bulls wouldn't be able to do what they want to do, which is shed salary. 

    The Rest

    After that, there are a number of teams who have been brought up: Houston, Toronto and New Orleans. New Orleans and Toronto could absorb Deng's salary, but their pick isn't high enough to justify trading an All-Star. 

    Houston could send over the No. 14 pick and Kyle Lowry, but Lowry might command more money than the Bulls are going to want to spend on a backup point guard. Besides, Lowry wants to start.

    There's Courtnety Lee, but Lee isn't worth Deng.

    The bottom line here is that there are pretty much two teams that really make sense, a deal with Cleveland or Sacramento. If talks actually ensue with one of those teams, we'll revisit more of it later. 

Joakim Noah Trade Speculation

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    While the Luol Deng trade rumors have been getting the majority of the attention, there have been some discussion the Bulls could be shopping Joakim Noah as well. According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

    The Bulls want to give Omer Asik and Taj Gibson new deals, so they’re exploring ways to trade Luol Deng and/or Joakim Noah to teams that can send them a trade exception and a No. 1 pick. 

    Does that work? If the Bulls lost Joakim Noah it would be a tough blow, but softened somewhat by the amazing defense that Omer Asik plays. Offensively, Asik doesn't give you what Noah does though. 

    Noah might not be the greatest scorer in the league, but his offense is highly underrated in other areas. Last year he led the team in offensive rating. Among players who qualified for the minutes per game leader board, he finished seventh in the NBA

    He is a great offensive rebounder. He facilitates the ball well and had a triple-double earlier this year. He also handles the ball well with exceptional skill for a big man. The Bulls averaged four more points per 100 possessions while Noah was on the court. 

    Is that worth an unproven No. 4 or No. 5 pick? I don't think so. 

Bulls on Draft Day

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    The Chicago Bulls, should they not move up in the draft, would be sitting on the 29th pick. They have been looking mostly at combo guards, or maybe a small forward. Their primary concern is getting a player who can create his own shot. 

    While mock drafts don't necessarily mean everything, or anything for that matter, it is interesting that there has been a consistent opinion that the Bulls could pick John Jenkins

    Jenkins is an absolute lights-out shooter who shot .438 from three-point range in his NCAA career. He didn't do that barely taking any threes either. He averaged 7.1 attempts per game, which is flat out ridiculous. That accounts for almost 70 percent of his shots. 

    His career true shooting percentage is .648. His career effective field goal percentage was .607. 

    He also got a lot of those shots on catch-and-shoot plays. 

    He won't do anything more than what he's drafted to do, but he'll do what he's drafted to do well enough that it could create nightmares for opposing defenses. 

    If the Bulls don't get Jenkins, look for them to take another player who will play the 2 or 3. Names rumored have been Will Barton, Orlando Johnson, Draymond Green, Doron Lamb, Jeff Taylor and Tyshawn Taylor. That's too many players to break down here.

    My personal preference is Jenkins. I think that there's a tendency to think short-term in terms of Derrick Rose. I don't see Chicago making a pick that is going to be around for three to seven years based on an injury that might only keep Rose out three months. 

    The idea of Derrick Rose having the ball with Kyle Korver and Jenkins stretching out the court is ridiculous. Add in the pick-and pop-abilities of Carlos Boozer (in spite of all the criticism) and you have an expressway to the rim for Rose. 

    The overall impact of Jenkins on the Bulls is just too much to pass on. 

Carlos Boozer Amnesty "Rumors"

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    I am including this as an obligatory slide. Carlos Boozer will not be amnestied. There are no rumors that he will be amnestied. There are about two million Chicago bulls fans who would rejoice if he were amnestied, but he won't be. 

    I've written extensively about this already so I'm not going to repeat it here. I'm just putting this slide here to head off the multitude of "you forgot Carlos Boozer" comments. 

Bulls Searching for a Backup Point Guard, Help on the Wing

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    Derrick Rose (knee surgery) will not be ready for the start of the season, and the Bulls are very much in the market for a backup point guard.

    After K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that Kirk Hinrich was atop the Bulls' wish list, Derek Fisher is another name who has popped up on Chicago's radar, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times.

    With an uncertain future for guys like Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver in Chicago, the Bulls have also added unrestricted free agent Courtney Lee to their radar, per Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Two Names Added to Shortlist

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    According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls have added two names to their short list of potential free agent acquisitions. Both are immensely talented and each share the same trait that haunts Derrick Rose fans everywhere: a long history of leg injuries.

    Add two names to Bulls' free-agent possibles: Michael Redd and Jerryd Bayless, who just became a UFA after Toronto pulled qualifying offer.

    — K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 6, 2012

    Regardless of the fears, bringing in a player of Michael Redd or Jerryd Bayless' caliber would certainly bolster the lineup. Bayless has legitimate star potential while Redd still possesses a scorer's touch.

    The question, of course, is could they stay healthy? With a player like Richard Hamilton at the 2 and Derrick Rose remaining sidelined, the answer must be yes.

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