Because I believe the trade of Hinrich frees up space to sign Joe Johnson (which, hell, might have been the Bulls' sole plans all along until the fans got too damned excited for James), I felt the following two links need to be re-posted and re-read. (inspired by research based on a comment from Grinder In Training)First, the ever awesome Kevin Pelton projects the next 3 years for the top 20 free agents. Chris Bosh will get you 33 wins above a replacement player. Joe Johnson, 7. Yeah, that's significant. David Lee, about 17. Oh, and it's still not too late to bring back Tyrus Thomas, who could get you 22 wins above replacement players.
Second, our own YaoPau projects a little further out. What is Joe Johnson going to look like years 3 - 5? Not good.
So Joe Johnson doesn't add all that much value over the next three seasons according to Kevin Pelton. That's despite what many of us intuitively think (they'll be instant contenders next year!!!). And in years 3 - 5, he's going to be a hindrance to the team, overpaid no matter his production, and because of his veteran status, likely playing over younger players with potential (say, James Anderson, who won't be on the team at all now).
I do believe the Hinrich move today was made so they could sign a second max free agent like Bosh or James while still having room to get Joe Johnson. I do think Arm Tellem and Reinsdorf have a handshake deal completed. I do not think the Bulls you advanced statistics so I don't think they realize quite how bad Joe Johnson is, especially compared to alternative choices. If the Bulls get LeBron James, it will be a great thing regardless of who else comes. If they add Joe Johnson to mix, though, temper your enthusiasm. It's a contender, but not at all the favorite it could be with other, better players.