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NBA Rumor: Crawford could go back to Knicks for $5 million, Bulls 'will enter talks' for Howard, Kurt Thomas to Blazers

A lot of fluttering rumors this weekend and another one of the Bulls' targets likely not being landed. The New York Post is reporting the Knicks are in three-way talks with the Hawks and Warriors to acquire Jamal Crawford in a sign-and-trade.

What's interesting is the offer. The Knicks reportedly only offered Crawford $2.5 million and that Crawford is only looking for about $5 million this season.

The constantly reported obstacle to the Bulls acquiring Crawford has been that Crawford would likely cost more than the $5 million mid-level expemption, which is all the Bulls can offer the unrestricted free agent. That acquiring Crawford would then require a sign-and-trade where Crawford makes more money for more years and the Bulls would lose depth from their roster.

Just about any trade for Crawford would be so marginal at best that Crawford was pretty much not worth an effort. An NBA executive attempting to acquire Richard Hamilton said "it's a lock" that he signs with the Bulls.

Every Bulls target is set to make more this season than the Bulls could offer, regardless of luxury tax apprehension. With Jason Richardson re-signing with the Magic, Vince Carter going to the Mavericks, Grant Hill re-signing with the Suns, Caron Butler signing with the Clippers, Crawford's price raises a question for (likely futile) debate: Jamal or Rip? Neither is a mix of defense, high-percentage shooting, and isolation option.

Other notes:

  • The Bulls "will enter trade talks" with the Magic to acquire Dwight Howard, K.C. Johnson reports. He's requested a trade from Orlando twice this week, admitted doing so, and has received permission from Orlando to negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Lakers, Nets, and Mavericks. The Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Mavs, receiving an $8.9 million trade exemption. The Lakers are bargaining with exemptions, while the Mavs seem to be attempting to add to what they hope with best court the Magic. The Bulls simply can't court the Magic into taking a deal before Jan. 15, when Joakim Noah can be included in a package.
  • Rasual Butler signed with the Raptors on Saturday.
  • Jeff Green re-signed with the Celtics to a one-year, $9 million deal.
  • Luc Mbah a Moute re-signed with the Bucks to a four-year $19 million deal, matching the Nuggets' offer.
  • Kurt Thomas will not be a Bull next season, as he's signed a deal with the Blazers.

Every official signing is being tracked on the Free Agent Scorecard.