If the Bulls decide to select Memphis point guard Derrick Rose with the top pick in the draft thi...
If the Bulls decide to select Memphis point guard Derrick Rose with the top pick in the draft this month, they might seek to fill their need for a low-post scorer by acquiring Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal.
The Pacers would prefer not to deal O'Neal within the Central Division, but they might not have much choice. O'Neal has two years and $44 million left on his contract and a recent history of injuries, so few teams would be in position -- or willing -- to make a play for the 12-year veteran.
The Bulls, though, are one of those teams. They have the players -- and, more important, the big-money contracts -- to get a deal done. A proposal built around forward Tyrus Thomas ($3.75 million), one of the Bulls' excess guards -- Larry Hughes ($12.8 million), Kirk Hinrich ($10 million) or Ben Gordon (restricted free agent) -- and a future draft pick meets the salary-cap requirements and might be the best offer the Pacers get.
Although O'Neal is a former All-Star, his value won't be very high because of his contract and because he averaged just 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds last season. The team that trades for O'Neal will be gambling that he can regain his health, which is far from a certainty.