The first real “deadline” deal in the NBA went down today, with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns combining to send Thomas Robinson to Houston and reunite the Morris twins — Marcus and Markieff — in Phoenix.
Now, you may well be saying to yourself, “Why do I care? And isn’t this a Chicago Bulls blog?” To which I say, “Touché.” However, there is a Bulls angle here. And it starts with Richard “Rip” Hamilton.
Of the three teams involved, two of them stood as potential candidates for a Rip Hamilton salary dump. Both the Rockets and Suns had enough cap space to absorb Rip’s deal without sending anything back. However, after taking on Marcus Morris and his approximately $2 million cap figure, that is no longer the case for Phoenix. Also, they have to dump someone to take on Morris, and would therefore have to dump another player to take on Rip.
The Rockets, however, would still be an option, at least financially. But Houston seems to be A) building for the future and B) set on the wing anyway. The Bulls would likely have to give up an asset of some sort to facilitate a deal, so any Rip trade pretty much comes down to exactly how much Jerry Reinsdorf feels like avoiding the luxury tax.
Of course, if someone is willing to take on Carlos Boozer and his gargantuan contract, then forget we said anything.