Let me preface this post by referencing this rumor from Yahoo. For those too lazy to click the link, that rumored trade would send the Cav's Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring $11.5 million to the Hornets for David West straight up. The Hornets would then most likely buy Ilgauskas out and waive him in order to get under the luxury tax for the year. Seeing this rumor made me think of a potential 3 team trade that would be beneficial for all 3 teams.
Hornets Receive: Brad Miller, Bulls 2010 2nd Round pick
Why this trade works for the Bulls:
We lose a valuable expiring contract in Brad Miller, but we get the object of our desires: Chris Bosh! We also end up having to take on one of Toronto's bad contracts in Marcus Banks, but we also get an intiguing young prospect in Darren Collison who would be the perfect back up to Rose (and would allow us to trade Hinrich). Losing Tyrus is almost a given at this point, so why not trade him in order to acquire our potential top free agent target. We also get Salmons' money off the books, potentially allowing us to go after a second FA, like Joe Johnson, over the summer.
Why this trade works for the Hornets:
The Hornets have been trying to shed salary all season, and if they're interested in Ilgauskas then why not offer them Miller, who is worth more in terms of salary coming off the books. They also get the Bulls 2nd round pick this year as compensation for losing Collison. As we saw from the Jazz trading Eric Maynor earlier this year, in order to perform a salary dump trade you have to be willing to give up a young prospect. Surely getting $13+ million off the books for this year and beyond is worth it to the Hornets, especially since Collison won't be starting in New Orleans for the forseeable future.
Why this trade works for the Raptors:
Sure the Raptors seem to be unwilling to trade Bosh at this point, but they have to be legitimately worried that they'll lose him this summer for nothing, which is exactly what I believe will happen if they wait and don't do anything. So instead of waiting for that to happen, they can be proactive and get a nice little return for him to boot. First off, they get David West, a consistent power forward who can step right into the starting role vacated by Bosh and perform very well for the next couple of years. His salary is $9.1 million this season, and it decreases to $8.3 million next year and then he has a $7.5 million player option for 2011-2012. On top of that, they get an intriguing power forward prospect in Tyrus Thomas, a bench player who brings the kind of defensive presence and athleticism that they don't currently have on their roster. They'll have him for the rest of the year as a sort of tryout and then they can either renounce his rights, offer him the QO, or resign him to a multiyear deal (or sign and trade, etc.). They also swap Marcus Banks (a useless player) for John Salmons (a useful player). This part of the trade is close to, but not quite, salary neutral (Salmons makes a little more, but like I said he's a decent player and Banks is basically useless).
So to recap, the Bulls are trading Brad Miller, Tyrus Thomas, John Salmons and a 2nd round pick for Chris Bosh, Darren Collison and Marcus Banks (if need be the 2nd round pick could be switched from the Hornets to the Raptors, I wasn't entirely sure which team should get it). Making another trade (like the supposed Hinrich for Blake/Outlaw trade) could get the Bulls close enough to pursue someone like Joe Johnson this upcoming summer (I'm not 100% how the money works out so anyone with more knowledge on the subject please enlighten me). Also, I would love to see the Bulls draft a 3-point shooting SG with their 1st round pick in this years draft. With that I think we would be set and when all is said and done, the Bulls 2010-2011 opening day roster could potentially look like this:
Johnson/2010 1st rounder/Collison
Noah/Gray (or hopefully Asik)
This looks like a young, exciting team than can potentially be considered title contenders for years to come(assuming the org is willing to pony up for Rose/Noah extensions down the road). Drop a comment and let me know what you guys think!