With the NBA trade deadline looming on Feb. 8, we finally have another Bulls-related rumor. This was tossed in by The Ringer writer Kevin O’Connor regarding Rodney Hood.
Hood will hit restricted free agency this summer, and has generated interest from the Bulls and Pistons. It’s been readily reported that Utah has sent feelers for Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic. The Pistons have also looked into Mirotic, and it was recently reported that Chicago has interest in Jazz forward Derrick Favors.
The Jazz are above the salary cap threshold and would need to ship away more salary than just the 25-year-old Hood to match the $12.5 million the Bulls owe Mirotic this season. But including Favors would work.
Favors becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer, while Hood becomes a restricted free agent after this season. With Zach LaVine’s big pay day imminent, would the Bulls really want to worry about paying another of their own restricted free agents which they would need to do if they want to keep Hood in the fold after this season? Maybe if the price is right, but don’t expect the team to mortgage the future on a high volume, low efficiency scorer like Hood.
But the Utah Jazz also have a first round pick in 2018 which is currently valued at No. 11. From the Bulls perspective, Hood and/or Favors (add Joe Johnson to a speculative list as an expiring deal) are more means to getting another first round pick in this loaded draft than anything else in terms of their value in a trade.
In a separate rumor surfacing today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Detroit Pistons have made Avery Bradley available in trade talks. Bradley becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and his scoring statistics and even his renowned defense have declined since arriving to Detroit. Although Woj didn’t specifically say that the Bulls were interested in Bradley, we know the Pistons have previously expressed interest in Mirotic.
Once again, maybe taking on Bradley for half a season is worth it if it means that the Bulls get another first-round pick (Pistons currently have the 13th pick), and/or a young talent (although Stanley Johnson and Henry Ellenson are basically the cream of the crop in terms of young guys that the Pistons would be willing to part ways with). That pick could be better than 13 by the end of the season, as the Pistons have flailed since their hot start and are 2-11 in January.
The trade formula for the Bulls is consistent: absorb a bad expiring contract or two and surrender Mirotic, Robin Lopez, or Justin Holiday for picks or young players.