KC Johnson has somewhat of a 'state of the team' article up at the Trib, detailing the many failures in what's now a 9-in-13 stretch of losses.
And to be sure it's not good. As KC says, having no Nikola Mirotic for this trip and no Mike Dunleavy all season has hurt, and their returns (Dunleavy soon-ish, Mirotic who knows) should alleviate some of the suckage. But he throws this in there too.
In the long term, the previous notion that Noah's season-ending shoulder surgery would make Dunleavy the team's only "trade-deadline acquisition" could change. Two rival executives aren't convinced the Bulls are done gauging the market for Gasol, whom the Bulls would like to re-sign this offseason but at their price.
I'm not going to pretend this is some awesome rumor, but I will use it to flail and speculate over the possibilities.
Of course, I wrote a book on Gasol trade ideas already. But I'll use this rumor to think about 2 others who should be on their way out, for if nothing else just to get some new blood (and prove that the Bulls phone plan has not been cancelled).
KC nails it with Tony Snell: "bouts of invisibility have done little other than fast-track Dunleavy's Hall of Fame candidacy"
It's over with Snell, he's deservedly lost his spot to E'Twaun Moore, and will see even less time with Dunleavy returning. While he'll be making under $2.4m next season, you can't see Snell as even useful depth anymore. Assuming the Bulls do something to get a starter in alongside Butler at the wing, Dunleavy and McDermott are signed for next year, you should be able to re-sign Moore cheaply, and Snell is obviously not capable of being a veteran role player type who'd be useful in sporadic minutes, as he simply makes too many mistakes.
So that's one to go. And then: what is Aaron Brooks doing here still? Here's my dumb ass on December 30th when Brooks had a season-high to beat the Pacers with Derrick Rose out: "maybe it's time to stop treating the backup PG spot like a horrible weakness". Whoops. Since that game, Brooks is shooting 29.7% on threes and sporting a 43% true shooting percentage, which is not good since he hurts the team with everything outside of shooting.
An extremely modest goal for the Bulls should be to get a young and cheap point guard to take backup PG minutes for the rest of the season. I'm assuming they'll never trade Kirk Hinrich, and though Brooks can also veto any deal, maybe it could be explained that he's losing his spot so he could welcome any situation with more playing time. I actually think Brooks could help a team and will ultimately bounce back production-wise, but the Bulls should use their situation to try out a younger PG and perhaps give them some clarity when thinking of their offseason needs.
But 'who?', you ask like some kind of owl? Listen, especially considering the bait is Snell and/or Brooks, the player isn't going to be good. The Bulls punted away Marquis Teague to Brooklyn 2 years ago and I would be fine with the receiving end of that deal now: getting a player who is probably a bust, but maybe isn't...
So just speculating thinking of low first-round picks who aren't getting playing time, but are young and under contract:
- Tyler Ennis, Bucks
- Shabazz Napier, Magic
- Delon Wright, Raptors
- Terry Rozier, Celtics
- Spencer Dinwiddie, Pistons
- Kendall Marshall, Sixers
- Tyus Jones, Timberwolves