Part of it may be the fact that the Bulls haven't been playing for a while and we're allowed to stew in our own misery, but this offseason is getting kind of depressing. With the Bulls up against the luxury tax, and rumored to be cutting most of the bench mob for no return, and their MVP being out for most of the year and somewhat limited for likely all of it, even 'treading water' may not be enough.
With this being a supposedly deep draft, and rookie contracts providing some of the best value that can be had in the league, the ideas have been put out there that maybe the Bulls use this 'chance' to do a more drastic change of their roster and salary structure. The Bulls meeting with Harrison Barnes, a likely top-10 pick, only fuels that speculation.
And here's some of that speculation. Keep in mind this isn't a real rumor, just ideas based on the rumors that the Bulls will be tax-dodging this season.
First up is Bradford Doolittle, who wrote this for ESPN insider but is more known for his work at Basketball Prospectus. The trade is pretty simple: Joakim Noah to the Kings for Tyreke Evans, with a swap of the 5th and 29th pick.
When healthy, Noah is an All-Star type of player, while Evans has regressed during his NBA career, so the Bulls could hold out for the pick swap. The money the Bulls save from dealing Noah would help them keep Asik, a restricted free agent this summer, as well as, who can become one next year.
Evans could run the point whilerecovers from knee surgery, then play alongside him when he comes back. The Bulls desperately need a second shot-creator, and Evans could be that guy. Evans has underachieved defensively in the NBA, but would cure him of that. He has the physical traits of someone that should be an elite defensive guard.
Evans will be a restricted free agent next year, so Chicago would get a season to evaluate him as an extension candidate, which they could pull off by amnestying. He's the kind of high-ceiling player that's going to be difficult for Chicago to obtain going forward, so if, as rumored, he's on the market, it's time to pounce.
Doolittle also mentions that the top-5 pick could be used for either a Noah replacement or a 'Deng successor'. Deng isn't included in that trade idea, but Chad Ford has one that does:
Only way I could really see [the Bulls getting into the top-10] happening is if thesettled for there. A deal of Deng and No. 29 for Calderon and No. 8 might work for both sides.
Both are similar-sounding deals: the Bulls trade one of their 'core' for PG help, salary relief, and a top draft pick to get some high-upside, low-cost talent on the roster going forward. Deng gets the lower haul in return because he's the less attractive asset, especially with the Olympics and surgery looming. I had thought Deng was practically untradeable on draft night due to that uncertainty, but NBA teams have received players with known injuries before.
Of course, with either a Deng or Noah deal the Bulls are officially destroying the team that won back-to-back presidents cups (if the NBA had those). Other circumstances may have caused that anyway though, so once I got over the anger and depression involved with the Bulls self-imposing some of those circumstances, I could see the benefit to doing this kind of move.