The trade deadline hit at 2:00 P.M CST Thursday. Bulls stood pat.
Here are the moves (and one significant non-move) and how (if at all) they affect the Bulls or the landscape of the league.
- Dwight Howard officially waived his Early Termination Option for the final year of his contract (2012-13), guaranteeing he won't enter free agency until at least 2013. No Dwight to Chicago for now. Rumors are a-buzzing that Orlando's ownership told Howard that if he wants the coach and/or general manager fired, he can have that. Whether or not that's definite, don't be surprised if Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith spontaneously decide they want to spend more time with their families. This is good, if the Bulls can't get him: The Magic don't get to build around Andrew Bynum, Deron Williams has more reason to change conferences now, and Orlando's status quo remains unable to seriously contend for a title.
- Monta Ellis to the Bucks with Epke Udoh and the injured Kwame Brown; Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Warriors (link) -- A good move for both teams that went down Wednesday. Milwaukee got the best offensive player they could get to add to a team that just can't get buckets; The Dubs added much-needed size in two strong defensive players that can score without the need to dominate the ball so much to be productive. Pretty sure every player involved is happy to leave the teams that traded them. This was a full addition for Milwaukee, as Bogut can't stay healthy and Scott Skiles indefinitely benched Jackson. There's no reason to believe Ellis will be on Skiles' good side, they added a ton of potential scoring without losing anyone who regularly plays. The Bucks can get more wins this way and could be one of those tough 5-game first round knockouts for the Bulls or Heat. 'cause Monta drops 35 with Brandon Jennings in a game, but let's be honest here: the Bucks need a better coach for that roster to maximize its potential.
- Speaking of Jackson, he was shipped to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson on Thursday (link) -- The Dubs wasted no time to unload Jackson. Kinda' surprised by this. San Antonio just added a lot of defense, lost some shooting, but the pluses should outweigh the minuses. It's becoming less a potential shock that the Spurs win the West, though.
- Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers; Raptors get second-round draft pick (link) -- Indy added another not-bad scorer who isn't all that great. The Pacers are incredibly deep, but there still isn't someone there who disrupts opponents' gameplan. What they can do a tad better with Barbosa is get buckets here and there in the halfcourt, so they'll continue to look good, even when they lose. Threat to the Bulls? Not really, but they can wear down potential Bulls opponents a bit more. Their threat to the Bulls remains the same: their bigs throwing Derrick Rose around. They're simply a bit more blowout avoidant, but Chris Kaman isn't a Pacer, Tyler Hansbrough still sucks, and Barbosa's become more of a ballstopping bad-shooty guy as he gets older. Indy's still about $6.7 million under the cap.
- Nene to the Wizards; JaVale McGee to the Nuggets (link) -- With all due respect to Masai Ujiri, I don't get this at all. The thought is likely that Nene's hit his ceiling and McGee has 'tremendous upside'. McGee isn't bad; he's just kinda' dumb. No one really gets better, but Nene's closer to hating life and the Nuggets just got even more fun to watch.
- Nick Young to the Clippers; Brian Cook and a pick to the Wizards (link) -- Irrelevant to the Bulls; completely relevant to the landscape of the West. Young dribbles too much and now he's with a point guard who'll always find him when it's actually right, as opposed to young to jackin' up trash when he "feels it".
- Sam Young to the 76ers; draft rights to Ricky Sanchez exchanged to the Grizzlies (link) -- Young's kinda' just a guy. Pretty good perimeter defender added to the mix in Philly, but may find the same problem as he's had this season in Memphis: getting in the rotation at all. This doesn't improve Philly's inability to get to the free throw line when buckets are more difficult to manufacture in the playoffs. They simply added to an already strong perimeter defense, but didn't get any bigger by adding another 6'6" forward. Sanchez is a 24-year-old playing in Argentina. Total salary dump by Memphis.
- Gerald Wallace to the Nets; Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and top-three protected 2012 pick to the Trail Blazers (link) -- I'm a huge Wallace fan and would love to see him on a good team, but better that he goes to a bad team than one with potential to threaten the Bulls. This is pretty irrelevant in terms of the league climate. Okur couldn't get on the floor, so maybe he can play now, but Portland needs to look forward.
- The Blazers' move makes more sense when you see they immediately dumped Marcus Camby to the Rockets (link). They unloaded age for youth, getting the underwhelming, freakishly-tall Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn, and a 2012 first round pick from the Rockets. Very good move on both ends. Portland's wanted picks and improvement at the point, while Houston needed a big to threaten anyone in the West.
- Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga to the Lakers; Luke Walton and a 2012 first round draft pick to the Cavaliers (link) -- A few thoughts: (1) good job by L.A. to plug a hole at the point with a good shooter for a meaningless draft pick, given their status quo and vision; (2) total dump by Cleveland and they want draft picks and cap space right now, which could be a fringe annoyance to the Bulls over the next 3-4 years, but nothing threatening to this point; (3) Luke Walton was still on a roster? As for (2), Sessions was expected to opt out of his deal after this season and the emergence of Kyrie Irving pretty much makes him useless.
- Sessions will replace Derek Fisher, who was shipped to the Rockets with another first round pick for Jordan Hill (link). Great move by L.A. They've been half-Lakers, half-joke this year. This makes them more Lakers. And Houston gets a pick to make up for the one they shipped away to get Camby
- Portland fired Nate McMillan (link) -- I don't get it. But if the Knicks decide to stop being stupid.... I'm just sayin'.