So we've had quite some time now to digest this rumored Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani swap, and it appears that most of the reaction is negative. I know Twitter gave one big collective LOL when the news broke yesterday, and many commenters on this here site are not in favor of the move. Who would have thought that many of us would be rushing to the defense of good old Mr. Boozer?
That's not to say there aren't people in favor of making the deal, outside of Jerry Reinsdorf of course because it would save him money. Bargnani COULD be an intriguing fit with Derrick Rose, and perhaps Tom Thibodeau would sprinkle that magic Thibs-dust on him and he would somehow become a passable defender. Bargnani has shown some scoring ability in the past, is still somewhat young at 27 and a trade would theoretically open up more time for Taj Gibson, who the Bulls play better with anyway.
But the one big problem, outside of the fact that Bargnani has sucked for the past three years, is that damn $11.5 million ETO year in 2014-15. The Bulls can't amnesty Bargnani if they trade for him, and barring some major resurgence (possible, I guess), I see little chance he opts out of that $11.5 million final year. If that were the case and he were not moved, the Bulls would likely have about $53 million in committed salary that year, not counting a possibly re-signed Luol Deng. So we would kiss ANY hopes of a good free agent goodbye, even if the hopes are slim to begin with. I hate the "2014 Plan" as much as the next guy, but I'd rather roll with that then roll with Bargs.
Anyway, here's some updates/reaction from around the web:
- Boozer's response to the trade talks via the Chicago Sun Times: "Interesting."
- Something that was not noted in our original trade post was the fact that the deal could possibly be expanded to include a Nate Robinson for John Lucas III swap. Thibs supposedly loves JL3, but that would make absolutely no sense considering Nate is clearly the better player and has been playing really well for over a month now. I guess when you can downgrade two positions on the court in a deal, you clearly have to do it.
- Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer, as he often does, took the hammer to Jerry Reinsdorf. Dwyer says the amnesty of Boozer would be a worst-case scenario for the Bulls' front office, and any trade would just be to save face from the embarrassment of waiving Boozer and getting nothing in return. The Bulls need their talking points, even if they're just lies to cover up the financial motivations of the organization.
- Master of trades Sam Smith doesn't like this deal either, saying it's a bad idea for the Bulls for the reasons stated above and not good for the Raptors because of Boozer's own bloated contract. Then of course come the jokes about Boozer now becoming the most popular Bull and Marco Belinelli wanting an Italian friend on the team.
- Nick Friedell trolled everybody by throwing his trademark "over the top" line out in the lede of his piece on the trade, and then goes into all the familiar talking points with this deal (although he never really gives his own opinion on the proposed trade). One little nugget I found interesting was the fact that Friedell thought Bargnani would start, which seems odd considering Gibson is in place. Perhaps maybe he'd be Bogans'd.
- Aggrey Sam said he personally would be surprised if a deal comes to fruition, and although he acknowledges Bargnani's talent, questions the fit with the Bulls. Aggrey also goes a bit more into the Nate/JL3 aspect of the deal, highlighting how much the staff loved Lucas.
- Bulls Confidential's Doug Thonus was very clear about his thoughts of the rumor, with the title of his piece being "Don't trade Boozer for Bargnani." Thonus' main point centered around the fact that Bargnani's one supposed strength, which is shooting, isn't really a strength at all. Bargnani has shot just 32.4 percent from three over the last three seasons.
- From the other perspective, Bleacher Report's Kelly Scaletta says the Bulls should absolutely do the deal, because Bargnani would add a different dimension to the offense. I guess that could be true, but as noted, Bargnani hasn't exactly been lighting it up as a shooter in recent years. There's also a strange argument made about how this trade would allow the Bulls to use the full MLE next offseason without having to worry about the hard cap (wrong), and there's no mention about the ETO and how this likely torpedoes free agency in 2014. He also argues that not having to amnesty Boozer is a good thing, although in my view, it's only a good thing for Reinsdorf's wallet.
- In terms of Raptors reaction, not much from Raptors HQ, although they liked the idea of dumping Bargnani. Joseph Casciaro over at RaptorBlog on The Score said "sign me up" for the deal. Eric Koreen of The National Post said he doesn't see many advantages for either team.
If there are any other good reactions, please do share.
UPDATE: New piece up at Raptors HQ from Adam Francis, which basically says Boozer would be a nice short-term addition, but would keep the Raptors further entrenched in mediocrity for the long-term. Ultimately, Francis hopes Bryan Colangelo "hangs up the phone."