With the Thursday trade deadline fast approaching, teams are pulling the trigger fast and hard.
It feels like the MLB deadline with gigantic names moving teams and conferences. Melo’s in New York and Deron Williams is in Jersey. Derrick Favors and Devin Harris are in Utah, Wilson Chandler swapped teams and even the Bulls got in on the action sending James Johnson to Toronto for a draft pick. Remember that draft pick for later.
Although the Bulls were fine as of Saturday but with all the powers that have amassed in the East, Chicago may have to step back and make a few adjustments in order to stay in the running and remain competitive. Here are 5 realistic possibilities that the Bulls could pull the trigger on.
5. Fransico Garcia – F/Sacramento Kings
Garcia is not a popular name to float around but the Bulls aren’t looking for a superstar name that will come with superstar ego baggage. Garcia is a true shooting guard that can either play in place of Bogans and/or sub for Deng in certain situations. But Bogans is a guard and Garcia and a position change isn’t what the Bulls want. But he is killer from three point range which may be something that whets the Bulls appetite.
4. Andre Iguodala – SG-SF/Philadelphia Sixers
This is also unlikely but he would fit so well for Chicago in a lot of ways. He’s a strong defensive presense that would compliment Joakim Noah well. He has been criticized for not being a dominant scorer for the Sixers but in Chicago he’d be a third or fourth scoring option for the Bulls thus alleviating pressure. Plus he’d replace Bogans in the lineup. Downside is Chicago would have to pay a bit of a price for the guard. But if Iguodala can repeat his performance for team USA this summer, imagine the matchup headaches he’d give opposing teams in the playoffs.
3. J.J. Redick – SG/Orlando Magic
This is more likely than the previous two options but still maybe a bit of a long shot. It’s clear the Bulls want Redick and it’s very clear Orlando doesn’t want them to have him. They matched a pretty generous offer the Bulls made Redick this offseason to keep him and may have saved Chicago from overpaying. The Magic may see an opportunity to have their cake and eat it too. They can dangle Redick in front of the Bulls and say jump. How high the Bulls will is matter of opinion. Redick would provide a buffer between defenders and Rose. He would also improve the starting lineup. Orlando is looking for financial stability but may not be willing to part with Redick.
2. O.J. Mayo – G/Memphis Grizzlies
This is one of two very real possibilities for the Bulls. Mayo is one of those names that isn’t huge but isn’t terrible. It’s a believable name that could come to Chicago. He would also com dirt cheap. Trading C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans would probably do the trick. Afterall Mayo would be replacing the two in terms of playing time and would fill a yapping hole at guard. Mayo may be having an offseason but even with his pitiful stats he is still a better option than either Watson or definitely Bogans. Plus Mayo’s down year discounts his price. Mayo is young and well qualified enough to lead the second squad. It would finally be a bang, bang starting lineup in terms of names. Rose, Boozer, Deng, Noah and Mayo. The bench would benefit and Ronnie Brewer is always there to fill in when need. Trading for Mayo would be great but his $4.5 million contract is the only issue. It’s not fat but it’s large enough to have to force the Bulls to maybe get rid of someone else to make room. Mayo’s great but not if you have to sacrifice and overpay.
1. Courtney Lee – G-F/Houston Rockets
This would be both the most realistic and most desired option for Chicago. Lee has been part of contending teams and was a nice part of the Magic’s playoff run. But his limelight has dimmed as he has had frustrating stints with the Nets and now Rockets. He’s the most economic pick for Chicago as he provides the same level of talent Mayo would but at a cheaper price in terms of his $1.4 million contract. The asking price may be a little less to as Houston is looking to clear some backslide room for Terrance Williams. Lee can play defense and run the floor with Rose while giving the Bulls the ability to stretch the floor a little bit with his shooting. Lee needing to be dumped by Houston may mean that the draft pick Chicago register from Toronto may be used here as either a deal sweetener or as part of a package a picks to get Lee. Either way if he was added Lee would provide the solid guard the Bulls are looking for to compliment Rose and cement the roster as a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.