The Bulls are in an excellent position to make a move right now. Despite being near the cap themselves, the Bulls still have opportunities to make trades and deals before and after the draft if they are willing to be aggressive and take on money.
The Bulls have $4 million in un-guaranteed contracts for next season (Bogans, Lucas, Pargo) and another $12.5 million in contracts that are set to expire after next season (Brewer, Korver, Watson). The Bulls have 3 young, defensive big men with promise (Asik, Taj, Noah), 2 of whom are on very low paying deals. Because of this, the Bulls have enormous flexibility in making deals if they are willing to be aggressive. I don't believe the Bulls can afford to stand pat - but will they?
Here are 3 deals I think the Bulls could make to capitalize on their contracts and young pieces. -
Noah is the guy. He's young, he's bright, he is the emotional center of the team. Asik will never be more than a back-up here. Miller is a big body who can bang and score. Lee provides a young 2 guard who can shoot, defend and play Thibs' system. With the #14 pick you can find a Asik replacement (Nikola Vucevic) a back up for Deng (Jordan Hamilton) or hope a 2 guard of the future falls to you (Burks, Thompson)
2. OJ Mayo for Bogans, Pargo, Lucas and the #28 and #30 picks.
Basically you are trading 2 late round lottery picks for a former #4 picks. The Grizz do this deal because if they are going to resign Gasol to somewhere near $12 to $13 million a year, they are going to need draft picks signed to cheap long term deals. At this point, the best trade for them, may be one that has limited future salary commitments.
3. Taj, Watson, Lucas and Pargo, #28 and #30 picks for Garcia, Jason Thompson and the #7 pick.
Do the Sacto Kings really need another young guy? When I look at this draft, I don't see a guy better for them than Taj Gibson. Cousins and Evans are already going to take the shots. You need some athletic guys, good citizens, who are willing to play defense. That is where Watson and Taj come in. And by trading Garcia, the Kings wouldthemselves to be in a good spot post CBA, with only Beno Udrih signed to a large contract (over $5 million).
For the Bulls, Garcia is a solid upgrade over Bogans. He can shoot the 3, handle the ball and defend. Jason Thompson is a solid big man who can play center and back up Boozer. But the real prize is the #7 pick. In a time when the CBA could be hanging over the Bulls head, locking up a Alec Burks as the possible 2 guard of the future would be huge. I'd like to see them target Burks in this draft - I think he has the skillset needed to really pair with Rose. Or if Kemba Walker were to fall you'd have your back up point guard for the next 4 years.
Add your deals below. The point is the Bulls can take on salary to move up in the draft, to add a vet or to sure up the 2 guard position.