Non-tanking trade target players for the Bulls

Instead of just proposing trades, I thought it'd be more interesting take an in-depth look at a few players I really like, who would logically be available, and who would make sense for the Bulls to pursue to actually improve and try to win in the long run.

First, the basic question for the Bulls is what can they afford going forward. If you figure Deng could be re-signed for about $10M, then next year group of Deng, Taj, Dunleavy and Teague costs us about $22.5M.

Another way to come at it is if you figure in Rose, Noah, Mirotic @ MLE, our pick, Bobcats pick, Butler, Snell, Murphy, and a couple of minimum salary guys, then we've got basically that $22.5M or so in "free space" to play with.

So are Deng, Taj, Dunleavy and Teague the best answer there, or can we do better?

It's not terrible, but when I look at my favorite statistical measure, RAPM, along with basic facts about the players, I think we can do better. For comparison, RAPMs last year for notable Bulls players were Boozer -1.1, Deng 1.4, Noah 4.6, Taj 2.5, Hinrich -0.2, Dunleavy 0.2, Butler 1.0.

Now, let's look at some younger players that might conceivably be available, there are:

1. Thad Young (40th overall), age 25, RAPM of 3.0. PF/SF shooting 41.2% on 2 attempts per game. Pretty good. Why would he be available? Well, because the Sixers want to get worse, and because they want to clear salary. But for the Bulls, this guy would be outstanding. He's younger than either Taj or Deng, more athletic, and his shooting is coming along, making him a more compatible player to keep with Rose. He'll be on the books next year and the year after for $9.4M and $10M, which is only slightly more than we'd pay Taj but slightly less than we'd likely pay Deng.

Really, I think Philly wanting to be rid of him is Philly being too clever in pursuit of a high pick. He's a really top notch player, and he's not so expensive that he's going to be hard for them to rebuild and while he's good enough, he's not quite good enough that he ruins their tanking ambitions. But reports have consistently said they want to trade him for an expiring and maybe a pick. A deal centered around Deng, seems like it would be a good start toward getting it done.

2. Danilo Galinari (27th overall), age 25, RAPM of 3.8. I'm least confident that he's available out of the three players I'm mentioning, but I think the Nuggets would at least consider an offer. Why? Well, he's out with an ACL injury, so that's a big concern. Second, the Nuggets have been pretty disastrously bad, losing 8 of their last 10, and looking like they're falling apart. Unfortunately, they're not a cheap team (Gallinari, Jordan, Lawson as a core big 3 doesn't look like it's going to get anywhere), they've spent a fair amount on marginal players on longer term deals (Hickson, Miller, Foye, Mozgov, Arthur, Randolph, and they are giving their pick to the Sixers (although they are GETTING the Knicks pick, which looks pretty good). Perhaps they'd like a deal where they get a useful player back and potentially get to move one of their mediocre contracts? I dunno. I'm less sure about him, like I said. If I were the Nuggets, I wouldn't trade him. But I don't really know what they're looking to do.

3. Gordon Hayward (67th overall), age 23, RAPM of 1.7. Call him Ben Gordon Hayward, because he wants to get paid and turned down an extension with his team last year. And really, if I were the Jazz, I'd point to this season as pretty solid evidence that Hayward is not a huge contract player. He's certainly not a guy the Jazz want to lock up to a $10M/yr deal. It'd lock them into mediocrity, given that they've already given too much money to Derrick Favors. So, their choices are either to see him leave for nothing or to sign him up to a contract when either 1) he doesn't want to be there or 2) it'll be more than they want to pay him. Their best bet will be to get a pick or player on a rookie deal for him and keep moving on.

Now, saying that he's not good enough to power the Jazz to success by himself doesn't mean he's not a valuable player. He's a good passer and a very good shooter. His stats reflect it. Basically he's got a SG game in an SF body, and that would compliment Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose very well. And, in a better situation with the Bulls, and with this crappy season past him, I'm optimistic that his salary demands would be less crazy. Put simply, a lot of guys would probably take a bit less to play in Chicago than in Utah. I think Gordon Hayward is one of those guys.

So... my goal would be to get Young and then one of Galinari/Hayward, with the preference being the former and the expectation being the latter.

Optimistically, how about these deals:

1A. Taj, Snell, 2014 pick for Gallinari.


1B. Teague, 2014 pick for Hayward.

2. Deng (or Bynum's cap friendly deal + Cleveland's pick, by way of sending Deng to the Cavs) for Young.

End Result (2014-2015 Bulls)

1- Rose

2- Butler, Snell

3- Gallinari or Hayward, Dunleavy

4- Young, Mirotic

5- Noah

+ Bobcats Pick?

This is the best sort of rebuilding I've been able to think of, because while it centers on getting younger players on reasonable deals, it also gets players who, statistically, are actual improvements on the guys we're trading away. And, they are guys who can freaking shoot and handle the ball.

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