Hughes and $3M cash to the Thunder for Earl Watson, Damien Wilkins, Johan Petro.
This deal should have appeal for both teams. For the Bulls, it trims $1.5M off this year's cap and just under $1M off next year's cap. If we let Petro (an RFA this summer) walk, we'd save another $2.85M off next year's. The Thunder are so far under the cap it won't really matter for them.
In terms of actual finances, the Thunder might find this attractive. They've got $24M committed for this year and next to those three guys. $21M if they let Petro Walk. Hughes will cost them $26M minus the cash, so $23M.
So the basic jist is that they're getting Hughes for $2M in additional expense, or they're getting $1M to take on Hughes (if you imagine they plan on keeping Petro). Either way, that seems workable. $2M in outlay for an actual NBA shooting guard seems reasonable when they just dropped $15M on Nenad Krstic.
On the court, it's obvious help for the Thunder. The guys the Thunder are trading absolutely suck (in terms of PER and pretty much every other mode of measuring production) and they need a SG in the worst way. Hughes is producing slightly above average as a SG. It's a good fit. They actually get NBA quality players at most every position, some stability, and maybe things look up for them down the stretch.
For us, the good fit is getting rid of Hughes, getting some luxury tax breathing room, and getting some cap flexibility. I guess we can say that Watson is a true "backup PG" if we end up trading Kirk. He's acceptable there, but nothing more these days. Damien Wilkins, I guess, fills backup minutes at the 3 if Deng's injury is worse than we think. He also sucks. Johan Petro... pretty yucky, but tall. Worth a look for a half a year.
Put simply, the players we're getting aren't the reason we do this trade. It's all about giving us more flexibility and better chemistry.