They have made about the same amount of movement in free agency that Louie Anderson makes during the Boston Marathon, but the Chicago Bulls may be working as one of three teams involved in a trade that would send Nicolas Batum to the Timberwolves.
The Wolves have been hot after Batum for a while now and they are prepared to sign his offer sheet. But the Blazers want to work out a sign and trade deal so they can get something back for their man. A third team has been reportedly involved and that team is sounding like the Bulls.
According to a source (let’s seE how Someone in Particular likes beiNg anonymous), a third team would provide a small forward for the Wolves to package with picks to get Batum out of Portland. Earlier last night, Pippen Ain’t Easy reported that Kyle Korver was being dangled to the Wolves and Hawks and this morning the Tribune said that the Wolves are the most likely team to trade for Korver.
At the time is made little sense that the Wolves would help out the Bulls and trade for Korver to merely buy him out and get the Bulls off the hook for the $500,000 they’d owe him.
Should Korver be involved in this deal, Chicago would be getting much needed salary relief and would be off the hook for the aforementioned buyout total on Korver.
Minnesota may still send some contracts elsewhere so they can fit Batum into the payroll. This could mean that Wes Johnson or Luke Rinour may be Chicago bound. But after how adamantly against brining in new salaries via trade the Bulls were at the draft, accepting Ridnour’s almost $9 million over the next two years seems like a stretch.
Even Johnson’s $4 million may be a bit much, but it’d be less than what Chicago is set to give Korver in 2013. Johnson also has a club option after next season for just over $5 million. Since the Wolves need Korver to make this deal, they may be able to get Johnson out of it.
K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune has stated that Ridnour has been on the Bulls radar for sometime but he really doesn’t fit the finical plan as stated above. The question would be would Minnesota be willing to deal Johnson in order to get Batum when they’d be dealing and two future firsts and Korver already.
No source would confirm who the third team in the deal is but everyone who reads the story and has been following the Korver developments all day can see the Bulls fit the description.
Stay tuned to Pippen Ain’t Easy for the latest developments.