All things considered, it's probably just yet another negotiating ploy by Gordon to get the Bulls to do something. Something besides Paxson throwing his hands up in the air and saying (figuratively of course...from what I've seen they're saying nothing) "what can I do? it's the tax!". Mike McGraw couldn't get a confirmation, and according to Henry Abbott's peeps the report is false.
Kelly Dwyer showed his confusion (through confusing prose) over both Gordon's value and this stalemate with the Bulls. Unlike some, he understands that Gordon's definitely valuable, his faults are overplayed, he's consistently played the good soldier while "being taken in and out of the starting lineup for arbitrary reasons by coaches who were grasping and struggling with superstition" (love that line, KD), and that the Bulls will be abhorrent on offense without him.
But that the Bulls shouldn't budge.
Even if it means Gordon going to Russia?
He could take that Russian offer, watch as the Bulls trade away Andres Nocioni or dump Kirk Hinrich after Hinrich spends one more year as Chicago's point guard with a teenaged Derrick Rose on the sidelines, and come back to a Bulls team willing to come just as close to the luxury tax as they were this summer (that is to say, just under it) while paying Gordon what he thinks he deserves. Would Chicago fans put up with that? The smart ones would. The pull-up-your-bootstraps ones? Yeah, they wouldn't go for it.
I feel offended that Kelly would group me in the loathed meatball population, because I absolutely wouldn't go for this. (and benching Derrick Rose -who will be 20 by opening night, by the way- for a season? gross)
The NBullsA blog also thinks this isn't a bad idea, but notes the obvious: "Only one problem. No way in hell Ben would come back to the Bulls after they let/forced him to go play in Europe."
That's certainly my biggest problem with it, and why, perhaps what could be presented as a logical case, letting Gordon go to Europe is even worse than him taking the Qualifying Offer. After participaing in whatever back-slapping the team could give themselves for not giving in to Ben's demands, they'd become a joke of a franchise, and on their way to a crummy season.
The QO would certainly also be a bad option. But at least there's a chance he'd have a great year and re-sign. The chemistry problems? Gordon's certainly proven he won't rock the boat even when seeing a diminished role. But why even assume a diminished role? The guard 'glut' only exists in names. Larry Hughes doesn't deserve a minute of playing time. Thabo's development time is not high priority given his chances of actually developing. Hinrich has Derrick Rose's job, and between him and Nocioni there should be moves made to clear the long-term salary off the books regardless.
The Qualifying Offer is still a bad, bad result to these negotiations, but out of resignation I'm starting to talk myself into it. No player has had a good year (or even re-signed) after taking the QO. But none of those players were as good as Gordon, or on a team that needed him as much.
Overall, the fact that it's at this point, and the last two Bulls observers I quoted above agree, just plain sucks.
But while I do wish Gordon would lessen his demands, I'm starting to empathize with his tactics: thrashing to get any attention while wondering why the Bulls aren't doing anything. I've said in the past that any type of money-saving and/or roster consolidating deal would likely do wonders. Others agree. Send Hughes away for corpses with contracts. Pay a team to take Cedric Simmons off the books. Make the necessary Nocioni deal now. Free up some cash, free up some playing time.
Anything could work for this organization except letting Gordon go overseas, and then telling us fans (even the dopey ones) that they sure would've have liked some notification...a chance to match the offer...if only they had the time.