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Chicago Bulls trade talk: Can deteriorating situations for the Lakers and Magic provide an opportunity?

I did it! I found a picture of them together!  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
I did it! I found a picture of them together! (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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Wanted to provide a forum for rampant speculation and trade-machinin' in the wake of some recent events around the league.

On Monday afternoon, the Orlando Magic shook up their entire situation with the firing of coach Stan Van Gundy and the mutual parting with GM Otis Smith. If they were intent on firing SVG, and the well was likely too poisoned not to, it made sense to take Smith out with him. It also means that maybe their new GM could make a better deal of Dwight Howard, or one building around him, than Smith would've. Orlando Pinstriped Post has two recent reports indicating that Howard still wants out. The Magic had previously indicated that if Howard didn't sign an extension beyond the 2012-13 season, he would be moved.

Unfortunately, the Bulls don't seem to be on Howard's list of places he'd want to be traded to (and, I assume, sign that extension). That doesn't seem to have changed since last year. Though that was a time when I figured the Bulls should still risk the move and hope Howard liked being on a 'super-team' with Rose, winning more and stuff, and the Bulls personable dynamic front office would...ok, maybe it was a far-fetched plan.

But now, it's a plan that is probably even be less likely. With Rose out for much of the season, and not fully 'back' when even when he returns, it may not be as much of a guaranteed championship-caliber situation that would mask his reluctance to stay with the Bulls. And one of the Bulls main trade pieces, Luol Deng, has a wrist surgery looming that probably puts off any deal as big as a Dwight Howard one. Not that Deng can't be traded (a team can waive the physical), but there's likely too much uncertainty there for a team to take him on.

And meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Lakers were just eliminated from the playoffs Monday night, which will undoubtedly get rumors going on anyone not named Kobe Bryant. I haven't seen any reports that Pau Gasol trades will be explored, but found this interesting fan perspective from Silver Screen and Roll:

Hoo boy. For the second straight year Pau Gasol's performance was... lamentable. With two years left on his deal at $19 million apiece, he won't be easy to move - certainly not with his perceived value in freefall. Pau looks like a guy who, for whatever reason, is tired of being a Laker and possibly tired of playing professional basketball. You'll hear plenty of trade rumors involving him in the months ahead. Behind Pau on the depth chart you've got unrestricted free agent Jordan Hill and the disappointing Josh McRoberts.

If you can find a way to figure the Lakers would be interested in any kind of Boozer-Gasol swap, you have more of an imagination than I. While 'lamentable' is the type of performance Boozer can provide just as well, Gasol is still a far better all-around player, and on a shorter contract. He also makes $4m more in 2012-13 salary than Boozer, and really both the Lakers and Bulls are looking to save money in that season. I'm figuring that any Gasol deal would be instead for mid-level rotation players and depth, of which the Lakers have very little.

Although, you could figure that maybe if the Lakers received Dwight Howard in a 3-way deal, that'd be the only way they'd be alright with also taking Carlos Boozer...well, figure it out, everyone.