Deal: Steve Blake, Chicago's 2010 second round pick back (that the Blazers own after Ömer Asik trade), maybe an additional first round pick, $2-3 million cash to compensate for the salary. No other players.
Cap calculation: $10 million salary Kirk – $4.25 million salary Blake = $5.75 million difference which the Blazers can absorb with cap space of ca. $7 million if Channing Frye doesn’t get the QO and assuming the cap stays around where it is now and doesn’t crash down. Or $9.5 million salary Kirk – $4 million salary Blake = $5.5 million if they want to do it later in the offseason after the moratorium ends. Don't know what the teams would prefer. It now fails on the ESPN trade machine, but if will work when it needs to be done.
Of note: Chicago thereby creates a traded player exception in the height of the difference in salary since they are giving up the player with the bigger salary (i.e. in the intention of the CBA the better player so they should be enabled to get a replacement) that they can use later (1 year) going forward and do another deal with a team that wants to get rid of a contract at the deadline. Which is very likely going into the free agent summer of 2010.
Why: Getting LESS back in salary is actually better for Chicago. I expect Bulls fans to laugh at that deal saying it’s not enough value in talent. And I might agree. But if you think further about it and the Bulls are willing to move Hinrich mainly for luxury tax and "we want to re-sign Ben Gordon" reasons exactly that will go down. In talent Blake is an adequate cheaper replacement for Hinrich who the Bulls can use as the backup and as an off-guard next to Rose which wouldn’t work e.g. with Jerryd Bayless' or Sergio Rodriguez’s shooting problems. Not getting any positional replacement back (read: any expiring or non-guaranteed contract) would make the point guard depth very shallow. And the exception becomes bigger. I'm not sure Kirk will be traded, but if the Bulls want to move him this makes more sense for the organization than including an additional player you don't need.
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