The NBA Trade Deadline is not as closely followed as say the trading deadline for Major League Baseball. Nonetheless, the trading deadline for the NBA is nearly a week away on February 21. The Bulls have historically been one of the NBA’s quieter teams at the NBA trade deadline. Statements made from John Paxson and Gar Forman this season have lead some to expect the Bulls to not be among the active teams at the trade deadline. Despite that notion, the Bulls have been a popular team of late in trade rumors. Recent speculation has connected the Bulls to Toronto Raptor Andrea Bargnani and Orlando Magic J.J. Redick.
The belief throughout the first half of the season was that the acquisition the Bulls would make at the trade deadline would not be a trade. Rather it would be the return of the youngest player to ever win the MVP award in Derrick Rose. The rehab and eventual return of Rose has the been the leading headline for the Bulls this season. The expectation was that Rose would return at some point after the All-Star break, perhaps on February 19. But comments Rose made to the USA Today in saying that he will not return until he is 110 percent and that he is not close to that level has made many reconsider when Rose will return. Now, the expectation is for Rose to return in March.
The trade deadline is a week from Thursday, and with Rose’s projected return being pushed back, that may entice the Bulls to pursue a trade for Bargnani or Redick. If the Bulls do make a trade before the trade deadline, chances are it will include one of these players.
Carlos Boozer: Boozer’s success this season has been well documented, but that likely will not change his future with the Bulls. While the team is not going to use their amnesty provision on Boozer this off-season, there is no question that front office is willing to deal the power forward. The latest trade rumor involving Boozer has the veteran being part of package with point guard Nate Robinson in a deal that would send the pair to the Toronto Raptors for Bargnani and John Lucas III. This deal makes sense for the Bulls as Bargnani would give the Bulls a legitimate outside shooting threat and likely would make a perfect combination with Rose.
Nate Robinson: Robinson has played well in place of Rose for the Bulls this season. The problem is that Rose is getting closer to returning to the starting lineup. When Rose returns, the playing time for Robinson will be uncertain. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau generally has avoided small lineups, meaning a rotation that sees Rose and Robinson on the court at the same time would appear to be unlikely. Meaning, Robinson may be an ideal throw-in player for the Bulls in a package deal.
Richard Hamilton: The biggest benefit the Bulls have in trading Hamilton is that would mean the team would avoid the luxury tax for this season. While the Bulls front office has stated this season that avoiding the luxury tax is not priority, it is something that the Bulls have historically been successful in avoiding. The Bulls have made inquiries into the availability of Redick–a player whom they signed to an offer sheet once before–and Hamilton would almost certainly be included in the trade.
With the entire NBA following coming together this weekend for the All-Star weekend festivities, trade rumors will be aplenty.