We’ve got ourselves a trade!
The Bulls have moved on from veteran swingman Justin Holiday, trading the 29-year-old wing to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for MarShon Brooks, Wayne Selden and two future second-round draft picks.
The second-round picks received in the deal will be Memphis’ own 2019 and 2020 selections, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. Both picks are unprotected per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report
This is actually a pretty good deal for the Bulls! Consider this: over his last 10 games, Holiday has averaged 9.2 points per game while only shooting 29.9 percent from the field and 27.1 percent from the 3-point line. To secure two second-round draft picks plus two maybe-serviceable bench pieces is quality return for a player of that caliber who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season in Holiday.
Brooks is nearly 30 (one of those long-time BaB bizarre favorites, a.k.a. the Chris Douglas-Roberts all-star team) and an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Selden is still only 24 and will enter restricted free agency this summer if the Bulls extend a $1.9m qualifying offer.
Because the Bulls had to take two players back for trade salary matching (and to keep Memphis under the luxury tax, which they are still doing by a few hundred thousand), it meant someone on the currently-full Bulls roster needs to be waived, and reports are it’s none other than former point guard of the future Cameron Payne.
Acquired in a deadline trade a couple seasons ago that sent Doug McDermott, Taj Gibson and a second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Payne era is over. If that was another example of the Bulls failure to value second round picks (it was bad for other reasons too), at least this one shows that they’re making trades more proper with rebuilding. The Bulls are now pick-positive going forward, as prior to this they had no 2009 pick (it went to create cap space for the Dwyane Wade early retirement gift) and now they have that plus now two in 2020.
Opting to waive Payne, who has his contracted guaranteed for the remainder of the season, instead of Ryan Arcidiacono and Shaquille Harrison, both of whom are playing on non-guaranteed deals, makes today’s transaction even sweeter. The Bulls could’ve easily taken the cheaper route, waiving one of their non-guaranteed contracts despite both outplaying Payne all season. Instead, they kept these guys while moving on from the sunk cost that Payne had been since the moment he became a Bull.
Back to the moving of Holiday. As he (crazily enough) had lead the Bulls in minutes per game this season, this trade should signal a greater investment in rookie forward Chandler Hutchison. Brooks and Selden can act as sound options off the bench should Hutchison struggle, but the rookie needs to be prioritised with Holiday now out the door. Along with receiving some form of compensation for Holiday, hopefully this deal was made with this intention, too. Holiday was still 3rd on the team in real plus-minus (it was much better before this slump), so moving from him to Hutchison - who has not distinguished himself much even as an older rookie - will likely hurt the team’s performance...another thing that isn’t altogether that bad.