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Bulls/Wolves talking trade (to facilitate Amare deal or not)

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Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!  (ht: RealGM board)

The Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves have been exchanging trade proposals that include a possible three-way deal with the Suns that would send Stoudemire to the Bulls, a Western Conference executive said Tuesday night.

So far, nothing that the Bulls and Wolves have brainstormed has brought the Suns closer to moving Stoudemire. Nevertheless, one proposed deal would send Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas to Phoenix, along with the expiring contracts of Chicago’s Drew Gooden and Minnesota’s Jason Collins. Minnesota would receive the player it covets – Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich – and Bulls guard Thabo Sefolosha.

That three-way scenario remains improbable, but there are several possibilities between Chicago and Minnesota that are alive. The Bulls want expiring contracts and draft picks to dump Hinrich and forward Andres Nocioni. Chicago has shopped them separately to several teams, but sources say Minnesota has no interest in Nocioni.

However, sources say the Wolves and Bulls are discussing Hinrich and Sefolosha for Collins and Brian Cardinal. The Wolves are intrigued with Hinrich’s ability to play the point and off-guard and see him as a good complement to Randy Foye. Collins and Cardinal have shorter-term contracts that bring Chicago payroll relief.

The Bulls have also had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding center Chris Kaman, one Western Conference executive said.

(emphasis mine)

Whether it's to better facilitate an Amare deal or not, good to know the Bulls realize dumping some long-term bench money (someone alert the Chicago media that Nocioni is not valued!) is a priority regardless of whether it lands a bigger fish right away.

While getting only salary relief (neither Cardinal or Collins can really play, even for this frontcourt-starved team) for Hinrich and Thabo is a bit of a bummer, the proposed deal for Collins/Cardinal would save the Bulls (by my late-night calculation, anyway) $5.5m off next year's payroll (actually adds $500k this season), to sign Gordon and simultaneously take the Wolves out of the running to bid on Gordon.