A trade for Arron Afflalo has been thrown out there on the internet and here on BaB for quite some time now. It is now clear to me that this is one the best (and most realistic) opportunities to enhance the team this summer outside of snagging Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, or any other superstar for that matter. Lately, the Magic have been rumored to be shopping Afflalo, or perhaps it is Afflalo wanting to be out. Regardless, Afflalo seems like a prime possibility of a player that can help us reach an elite level next season, while not handicapping the future cap situation for the Bulls.
How can he help? Well, Afflalo scored 18.2 points per game this past season, and while that number is inflated from being the only consistent scoring threat on the Magic, the 46% FG and almost 43% from three point range provide evidence that Afflalo can still put up solid numbers no matter what team he is on. Furthermore, Afflalo was touted as a solid if not great defender early in his career. People have pointed to his demise defensively over the past couple seasons and I'm not sure where that information is gathered or how accurate it is; anyway, I'm going to assume that he is above average defender who played in Orlando with a bad defense that did not have elite shot blockers or front court defenders. The Bulls have two such rim protectors in Taj and Noah, and thus the questions over Afflalo's defense need not be asked (not to mention we have Thibs Dust ™ readily available!). He definitely won't be a weakness on that end and he will definitely score the basket from 3 point range and the post up, and both are useful when trying to space the floor for D Rose or getting the ball out of his hands.
The question is not if we should make an offer for Afflalo, but rather what that offer should be. In my mind, the best scenario is one involving Boozer, so that the Bulls can use both exceptions. Don't be cheap GarPaxDorf! I haven't forgotten those words of yours back in January. So here's a couple trade thoughts of mine:
(note: all trades worked on ESPN NBA Trade Machine so hopefully that is accurate)
Trade Scenario #1
Chicago gets Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, 2014 2nd round pick
This one is one I like a lot, because it ensures that we get a solid backup PG just in case DJ leaves and guys like Shaun Livingston and Patty Mills are too expensive for the BAE. However, it would require some manipulation on behalf of the Bulls. They will need Orlando to opt in to Nelson's non-guaranteed, 8 million dollar contract for next season.
Why the Bulls do it: We get Afflalo, and Nelson instantly becomes a solid backup PG and spot starter for when Rose is resting/out. Nelson's contract is expiring after 2014-15, as is Afflalo's, although the Afflalo has a player option for the next season as well. Also, the two picks we are giving up are both not originally Chicago's own, thus we maintain all our own picks. The Sacramento pick from the Deng trade is literally re-invested into Afflalo and Nelson. Also, the 2nd round pick can be matched with our own to move up in the 2nd round, OR it can be used as it is as another shot at a longterm prospect in what is hailed as a deep draft. Snell may not be necessary to give up but I'm trying to be very realistic. Last but certainly not least, Boozer is gone and there shall be much rejoicing! We get the MLE to give to Mirotic and the BAE to use on some more scoring/shooting off the bench. Then there still is the #19 pick.
Why Orlando does it: They get more than enough for a player who wants to be out in Afflalo, essentially Tony Snell (if absolutely necessary) and the #16 pick for the 28 year old SG. With #16 in addition to #12, the Magic can trade the two picks to move up in the lottery, where they already have a pick at #4. Or they can stand pat and get two building blocks at those spots. Also, they get a solid veteran presence and decent front court scorer in Boozer, as they lack in that aspect at the moment, while opening up cap room for the next couple summers, as the Magic likely isn't attracting any good FA this summer. The SAC pick is a sweetener that pushes this offer from the Bulls past the offers from other contending teams
Bulls 2014-15 roster:
Rose, Nelson, Kirk (min.)
Afflalo, BAE (Carter, Morrow, etc.), Snell?
Butler, Dunleavy, Snell?
Taj, MLE- Mirotic
Noah, Greg Smith
The #19 pick (likely a big) and minimum contracts finish out the roster.
Trade Scenario #2
Chicago gets Arron Afflalo, Jason Maxiell
Orlando gets Carlos Boozer, #16 pick, SAC pick
Why Chicago does it: Afflalo, and a veteran in Maxiell who would be the Bulls' fifth big, and the Bulls could probably do worse then Maxiell as a 5th big man, who will be in the last year of his contract. Again, BAE and MLE preserved. BAE would go to DJ or another backup PG, and the MLE would again go to Mirotic. Keep Snell.
Why Orlando does it: they get the #16 pick and the SAC pick for Afflalo, Boozer for one year becomes a clear upgrade to Maxiell as a front court veteran presence. An overpaid upgrade, an expiring upgrade nonetheless.
Bulls lineup for 2014-15:
Rose, BAE- DJ/FA, Kirk (not in love with Kirk. Just putting him down for the scenarios as a 5th guard.)
Taj, Mirotic, Maxiell
Noah, Smith, Maxiell
Add the #19 pick and minimum FAs
Trade Scenario #3
Bulls get Afflalo, #12 pick
Magic get Taj Gibson, #16 pick.
Why the Bulls do it... Whoa you're freaking out because Taj is traded in this one? Well so am I, but that's why I didn't list this scenario as the first or else people might have closed their browser and deleted their history just to clear their mind of this evil! Anyway, the Bulls do this because they are desperate at this point to acquire a decent wing scorer, and this is the last resort. Here is some potential good out of this trade: Bulls get the #12 pick, and likely will have at least one of James Young or Zach Lavine to pick from. Two high potential players who the front office might not be interested but each of these two guys have sky high potential. Boozer is amnestied in this situation, opening up over $11 million in cap space. Furthermore, the Bulls can lure Nikola Mirotic overseas by promising more playing time without Taj, and a more flexible contract than the MLE. Finally, with Mirotic definitely here, Pau Gasol's interest in the Bulls would be ramped, and he could help to replace Taj in the Bull's front court. The $11+ million under the salary cap would be split between Pau and Mirotic. And I thin the Bulls would have the Room Exception worth about $2 million to go into the tax (AS YOU PROMISED PAXSON!!!). That would indubitably be used on a point guard.
Why the Magic do it: It's done before the league can even hand them the papers to sign off on. They get a solid big who can defend the rim with the best of them and has an improving offensive game, all at a reasonable price of 7.5- 8 million the next three years. That's 3 years of productivity and roster stability for a young Magic team. A move from #12 down to #16 is not a steep asking price considering the fact that the Magic own the #4 pick in the NBA Draft.
Bulls lineup for 2014-15:
Afflalo, Snell, Young/Lavine
Noah, Smith, Gasol.
Again, the #19 pick and min. contracts...
So those are 3 simple, realistic ways I think we could get Afflalo.
Tell me what you think, or give me your hate. Anything is welcome here after all.