Friday, February 19, 2010

Trade Deadline Day Deals

By Sean Mackey

Chicago finally ended it's 4 year long relationship with Tyrus Thomas on Thursday trading him to the Charlotte Bobcats for Flip Murray, Acie Law & a future 1st round draft pick. This deal was more or less to get the negative vibe out of the locker room for two expiring contracts and a bonus pick a few years down the line. Also, the John Salmons to the Bucks deal was finalized. The Bulls take back Hakim Warrick (spelled his name wrong yesterday) & Joe Alexander. The Bucks also have the right to switch picks with the Bulls in this years draft. My hopes of trading up to pick up a decent guard or forward in the 2010 draft seem kind of slim now.

Essentially, Chicago had to get rid of John Salmons to ensure he wouldn't opt in this summer, making it impossible to give a high caliber free agent a max deal. The Tyrus Thomas trade was made just to get something out him rather then just let him walk this summer. If you look at it clearly, all we got for Salmons & Tyrus was a future draft pick and 3 months rental of Hakim Warrick. Derrick Rose is going to have to pick up scoring even more if the Bulls care to make it to the playoffs and actually put up a fight in the first round. Tyrus Thomas' defense off the bench will be missed. Although he was brilliant at times, he never could do anything consistently and had spats with VDN on a regular basis.

The Bulls made the right moves to ensure they can still play well this season and possibly impressing a free agent to come this summer. A solid core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich & Taj Gibson should help their cause.I honestly think only Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire & possibly Chris Bosh will leave their current teams. Any of those guys would help Chicago but the addition of Chris Bosh would make the Bulls a contender.

The Knicks made a major move yesterday that allows them to sign 2 max free agents next summer. They also get to rent the ghost of former all-star Tracy McGrady for the rest of the year. If all of the free agents decide not to go there, NY's whole last 5 years of losing will have been a complete waste and will cement them as a permanent laughing stock of the NBA. Why two players would want to join forces with Chris Duhon & Galinari is beyond me. They have nothing to offer other than New York being considered a "big market" for basketball. The Knicks are also screwed in the draft for several years to come. John Wall could very well end up in Utah next season because of a deal they did from a few years back. It's LeBron or bust.

The Bulls play the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 8:00 p.m. on CSN Chicago and NBA League Pass. I'm not sure how many (if any at all) of the new guys will be suited up for tonight's game. Should be interesting none the less.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salmons traded to Bucks for Kurt Thomas/Francisco Elson or Joe Alexander/Hakeem Warrick

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls made their first big move of the trade deadline late Wednesday evening by trading swingman John Salmons to the Milwaukee Bucks for either Kurt Thomas & Francisco Elson or Joe Alexander & Hakeem Warrick. Which ever deal the Bulls are dealt with, they'll be picking up expiring contracts and getting rid of a guy who had a player option that could have ruined the chances of signing a big name free agent this summer.

John Salmons was a great addition to the Bulls last season and was easily the biggest steal of the trade deadline last year. His ability to create his own shot and hit down a rather consistant 3 pointer was very helpful in the already famous 7 game series with Boston.

The Milwaukee deal also put all Tracy McGrady rumors to rest last night as Salmons was said to be one of the center pieces of a New York/Sacramento/Chicago three way deal. Tracy McGrady was later dealt along with Carl Landry & Joey Dorsey to the Kings for their star shooting guard Kevin Martin along with Kenny Thomas, Hilton Armstrong & Sergio Rodriguez. Landing Kevin Martin is HUGE for Houston. They got an all-star caliber player for a guy who wasn't even playing. Playing the waiting game paid off for the Rockets and they got a much better deal than what the Knicks or Bulls were offering.

The Cavs also made a decent 3 way trade earlier yesterday for forward Antwan Jamison. The trade sent Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a 2010 first-round draft pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic, who was selected in the second round of last year's draft to the Wizards for Jamison. The Clippers shipped off Al Thornton to the Wizards along with Sebastian Telfair to the Cavs and received Drew Gooden. Drew Gooden is expected to receive a buyout along with Ilgauskas who will most likely return to Cleveland.

In lesser calliber deals, recent dunk champion, Nate Robinson was shipped off from the Knicks to Boston for Eddie House. The deal gives the Boston Celtics a solid but undersized back up guard. In a rather uninspired deal, the Knicks traded Darko Milicic to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Brian Cardinal.

The trade deadline is at 3:00 p.m. today. Everyone's eyes will be on a possible Amare Stoudemire to Miami trade. It was said last night that Amare met with the team owner and is most likely to stay with the Suns the rest of the season but anything can happen if Miami decides to finally throw Michael Beasley in a deal. Look for the Bulls in a last ditch effort to try to trade Tyrus Thomas & Jannero Pargo (who has requested a trade) to the Knicks for Al Harrington. The Bulls lost a solid bench scorer in Salmons and his double digit points will be missed unless another scorer is brought in.

Also, completely overshadowed by the trade deadline last night was the Bulls/Knicks game. The Bulls won 115-109 after coming back from a 15 point deficit. The Knicks were given a chance to tie in the last 20 seconds of the game but came up empty 3 times in a row from downtown instead of going for the easy 2 and fouling. Rose finished the game with 27 points and 6 assists. Taj Gibson had 14 points & 16 rebounds and Deng quietly had a solid game with 23 points and 7 rebounds. Al Harrington had 27 points for New York.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bulls Destroy Knicks/Rumors Are Getting Crazy!

By Sean Mackey

In their first game back from All-Star break, the Bulls proceeded to annihilate the Knicks 118-85 Tuesday night. Derrick Rose played with some true all-star swagger scoring 29 points on 14-18 shooting, dishing out 6 assists and pulling down 4 rebounds. All this was done while sitting out the entire 4th quarter due to a ridiculous 30 point lead. Hinrich had a solid 14 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds. Joakim Noah once again sat out with a plantar fasciitis related injury. With this win the Bulls improve to 26-26. The Bulls play the Knicks again tonight at 8:00 p.m. on CSN Chicago and NBA League Pass.

Although, it was great to see the Bulls finally tear apart a team at will, the whole game was overshadowed by league wide trade rumors. The Bulls have been said to be very active this year. They've been rumored to be in talks for Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudemire, Al Jefferson, Al Harrington and most recently, Chris Bosh.

Tyrus Thomas is most likely to be dealt by Thursday's trade deadline at 3:00 p.m. I rumor via Yahoo Sports has indicated that the Spurs are the most interested in Thomas. A combination of probably Roger Mason (who has requested a trade) and another expiring contract or draft pick would probably be the most likely package. Other proposals have had him being shipped off to the Houston Rockets along with Brad Miller, John Salmons and/or Kirk Hinrich for former All-Star Tracy McGrady. There's also the popular scenario of Tyrus going to the Knicks for Al Harrington.

Supposedly, just yesterday the Bulls were said to have offered Luol Deng & Tyrus Thomas to the Timberwolves for Al Jefferson but the offer was immediately refused. That's one trade I would have LOVED to have seen happen. Noah, Jefferson, J. Johnson, Hinrich & Rose, a lineup that could have probably lured Dwayne Wade back home.

However, last night the most interesting of all Bulls related trade rumors came from Tech 9 at Rumor Press. The proposed deal would have Joakim Noah & Luol Deng being shipped off for All-Star forward Chris Bosh. Although, ideally it would be best for Noah & Bosh to play together, if this is what the Bulls have to do to secure Bosh, they need to do it. Chicago may be able to draft a solid center such as Cole Alrich to compliment Bosh later on. The Bulls also still may be able to just clear some more cap space and sign Bosh this summer. It all depends whether or not Gar/Pax think they have a chance of luring Bosh to Chicago this offseason.

By 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, we'll be able to get a glance at what direction the Bulls are taking going into the summer of 2010 free agency lottery. Very exciting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rose injured, Bulls get crushed, Tyrus is as good as gone

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were defeated at home last night 107-87 by the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. Luol Deng lead the team with 23 points and 7 rebounds. Derrick Rose was injured and had to exit the game after being hacked hard going up for layup by Dwight Howard. However, Rose made the shot and sank the free throw before leaving the game with a bruised hip from the foul. X-rays have been negative but but a fracture is still possible yet unlikely according to team specialists. Rose is scheduled to appear on NBA All-Star Saturday Night to defend his Skills Challenge title along with the actual NBA All-Star game on Sunday night. It is unknown whether or not Rose will be able to participate in the festivities.

It seems trade rumors are floating around everywhere on the web regarding Tyrus Thomas inevitable departure from Chicago. The Denver Nuggets seemed to have made the first offer for Free Money 2 days ago with a proposed deal that would ship Renaldo "he's a sleepa'" Balkman, Joey Graham & former Bull Malik Allen. Since yesterday, Yahoo Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Bulls have received several other offers including one from Charlotte that would send Acie Law, Flip Murray & a first round draft pick (which Doug Thonus of Bulls Confidential has called out as impossible since Minnesota owns the pick) and an offer from Portland that would send Steve Blake or Travis Outlaw plus two 2nd round draft picks.

The Bulls organization has made it clear that they're looking for expiring contracts and a 2010 or future first round draft pick. What Chicago gets for Thomas will probably be unknown until the day of the trade deadline but one thing is for certain, by this time next week, Tyrus Thomas will probably no longer be a Chicago Bull.