Eric Gordon has been brought up minimally in offseason posts, mostly prefaced with some version of "oft-injured" or "unattainable." While he is injured a lot he certainly is not unattainable. Our position with Omer really gives us a lot of flexibility to acquire a high-tier player like Eric Gordon. Below are two different trades that could easily net the Bulls Eric Gordon. Since Gordon is a free agent, both of these deals hinge on the hopes that Gordon actually wants to play for the Bulls. He is from Indiana and went to IU so he might want to play close to home. Also the Bulls are one of the biggest markets in the league* which might be appealing to him. And they are good, hopefully that still matters somewhat to NBA players.
Trade 1: Bulls trade Asik + whatever combination of watson/korver/brewer it takes to match salaries for Eric Gordon. This would be a double sign and trade. If New Orleans wants a draft pick too that's fine, maybe the Charlotte one I'm undecided on just how valuable that pick is. Bulls do this because Eric Gordon is awesome and he is one of the top shooting guards in the league, exactly what the Bulls are looking for! The Hornets do this because they suck and, even though they can match any offer for Gordon, might realize that he does not want to play for them and their small market. They would get Asik for 5 years for however much they want to pay him (MLE/MLE/whatever/whatever/whatever) and the Bulls would get Eric Gordon for anywhere from 10-14 million a year for 5 years. If the Hornets value whoever they get out of watson/korver/brewer they can keep them, but if they don't value them then they can cut them as all three of their contracts are mostly not guaranteed.
Trade 2: Same as trade 1 except we also throw in a Boozer for Okafor swap. Okafor makes an average of 14 mil over the next two seasons (13.5/14.5). The 14.5 year is early termination for Okafor but no way he turns down that money considering it is the most he will make in a year by far for the rest of his career (he is not that great). Not sure why the Hornets would do it but it is still an option. Maybe New Orleans sees Boozer as having some value as he did put up a 19.8 PER this past year. Okafor could play backup center to Noah and could even play with Noah on the floor. He is still decently good defensively and put up a 15.1 PER this year, just slightly above average.
If New Orleans think Rip has any value I would say throw him in these trades as a possibility too but I doubt he has much, if any, value to a rebuilding/not good team like the Hornets.
Obviously none of these trades are "fair" in the normal sense of a trade. But Gordon is a restricted free agent and if he really doesn't want to play for the Hornets he could just sign their qualifying offer and become unrestricted next year and leave for nothing. Asik has some value around the league as one of the best defensive centers in the game. If New Orleans believes they can develop him into somewhat of an offensive weapon (not likely in my mind) they might think this is a lot better than the prospect of losing Gordon for nothing.
Trade 1 Rotation:
Rose/free agent or draft pick
Noah/free agent or draft pick
Trade 2 Rotation:
Rose/free agent or draft pick
Taj/free agent or draft pick
We would also still have one of watson/korver/brewer as it probably would not take all three to match salaries. The Bulls would also still have the MLE to use in free agency to pick up somebody else along with their draft pick.
Both of these lineups, to me, are better than what we had in either of the two years prior. We get a true second option in Gordon, prove to Rose that we are dedicated to winning by trading for a legit scorer, and cross our fingers that Gordon doesn't have any significant injuries.
Please leave any comments/suggestions/agreements/disagreements
*even though they act like they're Sacramento the way they deal with spending money
Sources: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm (checked to see if the Bulls can do a sign-and-trade, they can)
www.shamsports.com (everything salary-related)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Gordon (he's from Indiana!)
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics?&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fhollinger%2fstatistics (PER rankings, not actually insider even though it's in the address)