The Chicago Tribune’s KC Johnson threw in a trade rumor at the end of his weekend Summer League coverage involving some familiar faces:
league sources said Dunn is available for the right price. In fact, the Bulls, sources said, have had discussions with the Grizzlies regarding a sign-and-trade for Justin Holiday.
It was first rumored last week that Dunn could be on the move as a way for the Bulls to further address needs on the wing and big-man rotation. As it stands now after signings were just made official, the Bulls are out of cap space and still have an informal agreement with Luke Kornet where the lingering details surround what cap mechanism to sign him with. If another player is acquired in a Dunn trade, that would leave the Room Exception (or at least part of it) for Kornet.
As I said then, the Bulls moving Dunn this summer would be an admission that he can’t really handle being demoted and having to compete for minutes in the backcourt. Because based on his actual production he is of some value with just a year and $5.3m left on his contract.
But I don’t know if KC is just carrying water for the Bulls here or what:
[Dunn] being someone who typically responds when challenged, the Bulls won’t just give him away.
This is strange phrasing without it being sourced, and that’s not even taking into consideration that all evidence suggests otherwise. Dunn, to this point, has only complained and given excuses when being challenged.
And I’m not quite sure that getting Justin Holiday, currently an unrestricted free agent, is what is considered “giving Dunn away” , and if the Bulls are holding out for more in return.
Holiday was ‘a shooter’ for the Bulls in 137 games over parts of the past three seasons, but it was more a designation of him shooting a lot versus being actually productive in those attempts. After being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies midseason last year, getting back a heist of a haul of two second-round picks (they used one on Daniel Gafford a couple weeks ago), Holiday’s game went completely in the toilet.
The Grizzlies were a dumpster fire last year so there's not a ton to take from this stat, but Memphis was 6.1 points per 100 better defensively with Justin Holiday OFF the floor. That's massive.— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) July 8, 2019
Holiday had an eFG of 47.4%, 92nd of 99 players to average 29+ minutes in that span.
It’s also curious that the Bulls have interest in bringing back Holiday in a ‘veteran leader’ role because Holiday was a driver of the mutiny attempt against Jim Boylen.
Maybe in an attempt to spin that fiasco as “actually good”, Boylen and the Bulls did praise Holiday after and even added him to the not-fake-at-all leadership committee. After he was dealt, Holiday was a point of nostalgia from Boylen frequently post-game.
All that said, Holiday is one of the few remaining free agents available at the position.
Memphis has an interesting rebuild roster where they actually spent money to gain assets when trading their stars (wha...) and now have a lot of guys still to flip, including their bird rights on Holiday in this potential sign-and-trade. They recently dealt CJ Miles for a guy to simply waive (ok, so the Grizzlies do cost-cutting too...), I may have preferred him to Holiday. They have been working the point guard market recently, working out a trade of their restricted free agent Delon Wright to the Mavericks and subsequently signing Timberwolves RFA Tyus Jones to an offer sheet. It’s possible that signing Jones - the Wolves have another day to match - precludes any interest in Dunn.