Being John Paxson



By David K.

In my initial mock lottery after the ping pong balls were revealed I said that Kansas State power forward Michael Beasley should be the first overall pick based on the Bulls current roster and desperate need for a low post scorer.  I also predicted that regardless of whether Chicago drafts Beasley or Memphis point guard Derrick Rose, a major trade will directly coincide with the Bulls’ pick.  The more I think about possible scenarios, the more I am leaning towards Chicago taking Derrick Rose and trying to deal Kirk Hinrich in exchange for an offensive minded big man. 

So allow me to play the role of Bulls general manager John Paxson and propose some trades that would be beneficial for Chicago to explore, and that would also help all teams involved.  The Bulls are in a position of power as they have plenty of valuable young pieces that should bring them some immediate help in return.  Here we go, and as always, feel free to comment on the proposals down below.  (2008-09 salaries in parentheses)

Trade 1

Bulls Get:
PF Dirk Nowitzki ($18.1 million)

Mavs Get:
PG Kirk Hinrich ($10 million)
F Tyrus Thomas ($3.8 million)
F Luol Deng ($4.5 million)

Hear me out before you say I’m crazy for even mentioning this trade.  Dallas is clearly in a tough spot.  They have a lot of terrible contracts, (Erick Dampier 3years, almost $33 million left…Jason Terry 4 years, around $41 million left) which means no cap flexibility for the next two seasons.  They dealt their first round picks in 2008 and 2010 to the Nets in the Jason Kidd trade, so they won’t be getting younger any time soon.  Nowitzki has not been able to carry this team and get them over the hump in the post-season, so why not trade an MVP for three young players and begin a re-tooling process?  Kidd only has one year left on his deal and has certainly lost a step, meaning a young point guard like Hinrich will be needed soon enough.  Deng and Thomas would provide some much needed youth and athleticism in Dallas.  This would be a no-brainer for the Bulls.  They would finally get that offensive minded big man who could stretch defenses and be “the guy” at the end of games.  Chicago could then seek out a veteran point guard in free agency with their mid-level exception and add another swing player.

Chicago’s line-up:

C Noah/Gray
PF Nowitzki/Gooden
SF Nocioni/Sefolosha
SG Gordon/Hughes
PG Rose

chicago-bulls-logo-poster-c10207193.jpg paxson1.jpg

Trade 2

Bulls Get:
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas ($10.8 million)
PF Charlie Villanueva ($3.4 million)
Cavs 1st Round Pick (#19)

Cavs Get:
SG Michael Redd ($15.8 million)

Bucks Get:
SG Ben Gordon ($4.6 million)
PF Drew Gooden ($7.1 million)
F Tyrus Thomas ($3.8 million)
G Damon Jones ($4.5 million)

It would be very strange to see these three division foes get together for a monster trade, but this deal would make sense for all teams involved.  Cleveland would finally get a true compliment for LeBron James in Redd; who has proven that he cannot carry a franchise on his own.  The Bucks dump Redd’s monster salary and get back a pair of young players in Gordon (who they would have to re-sign to a long-term extension) and Thomas, as well as two expiring contracts in James and Gooden (who for the time being could provide a much needed defensive presence in the Bucks front court.)  With Gooden, Jones, and Desmond Mason all coming off the books after next season, Milwaukee would clear $16.9 million in cap space.  As for Chicago, they get a pair of big guys who are very capable on the offensive end in Ilgauskas and Villanueva.  The Bulls could add another player with the 19th pick.  This scenario is interesting because it keeps Hinrich in Chicago and pairs him up with a bigger, more athletic Rose, allowing Hinrich to play the two-guard spot.

Chicago’s line-up:
C Ilgauskas/Gray
PF Noah/Villanueva
SF Deng/Nocioni/19th pick???
SG Hinrich/Hughes/Sefolosha
PG Rose

Since Dave is creating all sorts of new Bulls lineups with his trade proposals, I decided to bring out clips of the Bulls’ world famous lineup introduction. God I love YouTube. Notice how the technical facility declines as we go back in time, even though the team itself is much better the further back in time you go! 

Trade 3

Bulls Get:
PF Jermaine O’Neal ($21.4 million)
PG Travis Diener ($1.6 million)
Conditional lottery protected first round pick

Pacers Get:
G Kirk Hinrich ($10 million)
F Tyrus Thomas ($3.8 million)
PF Drew Gooden ($7.1 million)

This trade would take grapefruit size balls for Paxson to make.  O’Neal was limited to 42 games last season due to injury which caused him to put up his worst numbers since his first season in Indiana.  Maybe a change of scenery would be just what the doctor ordered for O’Neal.  If healthy, he would be the front court offensive player that Chicago desperately desires.  If not, paying someone 21-plus million dollars and giving up three valuable pieces for an injury-prone player likely puts Paxson in the unemployment line.  The Pacers jump at this deal because Hinrich is a better option than Jamaal Tinsley at the point while Gooden and Thomas would give them some depth up-front.  Again, this would be THE definition of rolling the dice for Paxson. 

Chicago’s line-up:
C Noah/Gray
PF O’Neal/Nocioni
SF Deng/Sefolosha
SG Gordon/Hughes
PG Rose/Diener

Trade 4

Bulls Get:
C Jason Collins ($6.2 million)
PG Kyle Lowry ($1.2 million)
Warriors 1st round pick (#14)

Grizzlies Get:
F Al Harrington ($9.2 million)

Warriors Get:
G Kirk Hinrich ($10 million)
Grizzlies 1st round pick from Lakers (#28)

Why this trade works:
The Warriors could be in big need for a point guard with Monta Ellis an unrestricted free agent and Baron Davis possibly opting out of the final year of his contract.  The Grizzlies could use a power forward that fits an up-tempo style of offense which would make Harrington a great fit, and they could then focus on getting O.J. Mayo with their fifth overall pick.  The Bulls acquire a point guard in Lowry to back-up Rose, while Collins is in the final year of his contract and could be a valuable trade piece later in the season along with Drew Gooden and his expiring deal.  Chicago could then use the 14th pick to draft a power forward with offensive skills like Darrell Arthur from Kansas or Florida’s Marreese Speights, or even hope a guy like Kevin Love from UCLA slips down that low (though that is highly unlikely.)

Chicago’s line-up:
C Noah/Collins/Gray
PF Gooden/Thomas/Arthur or Speights
SF Deng/Nocioni
SG Gordon/Hughes/Sefolosha
PG Rose/Lowry

Trade 5

Bulls Get:
C Brad Miller ($11.4 million)
G Quincy Douby ($1.4 million)
Sacramento’s 1st round pick (#12)

Kings Get:
G Kirk Hinrich ($10 million)
F Tyrus Thomas ($3.8 million)

Why this trade works:
Brad Miller still has some gas left in his tank and he would give the Bulls a much needed post player who can score with his back to the basket as well as knock down the mid-range jumper.  Chicago could use Sacramento’s pick to draft one of the aforementioned power forwards to add some more offensive punch down low.  The Kings don’t have a true point guard under contract for next season so Hinrich could step into that role immediately.  Thomas gives Sacramento a much needed athletic player in their front court.

Chicago’s line-up:
C Miller/Gray
PF Noah/Gooden/Arthur or Speights
SF Deng/Nocioni
SG Gordon/Hughes/Sefolosha
PG Rose/Douby

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  1. paulmbanks says

    Please deal Tyrus! I cant wait to see him leave town. trade #1 is my fav. although it is a bit far-fetched! what an awesome starting lineup we’d have then! I don’t really care for that 3 way intradivisional deal too much. Trade 4 would give the Bulls a nice starting five too.

  2. paulmbanks says

    did I mention that this article is n.e.r.d. NERD! I love it. wouldn’t have it any other way!

  3. David K. says

    that’s why my description on the “about the site” portion of TSB is dead on… NBA Draft and off-season nerd… if only people could hear Weise’s and my conversations… true nerdom at it’s finest

  4. Jason Moe says

    I really like trade one, but I think Cuban would never give up Dirk. You also could say “You never know what Cuban will do next.” Also, trade three is pretty darn good, I am a big O’Neal fan, even though he has been hurt. I think a change of teams might help him out. Thomas and Captain Kurt could be long gone, and I would not care one bit.

  5. Greg Vandeventer says

    Trade one would be awesome the others are ok too but truthfully Cuban would never trade Dirk!

  6. Andy Weise says

    I think 2 and 3 are the most realistic… Hinrich’s days are numbered because of Rose so they need to make a deal for him asap. J O’Neal needs a change of scenery at some point here and the Bulls could be a great spot. I think Bird would take Hinrich (it would allow him to finally bench or get rid of Tinsley) Gooden and Thomas would be nice pieces to cover for O’Neal’s 42 games!

    If the Cavs do anything this summer, it has to be getting Michael Redd. They need this guy, there aren’t many compliments for LeBron and he would be one of the few. If the Bulls can somehow sneak into that deal — and find someway to get rid of Hinrich too.. that would be good.

  7. Sarah Spain says

    Great article! I’m not very knowledgeable about the contracts/money side of things, so it was really interesting to read about the many different ways we can try to get rid of the dead weight that is Hinrich. Hate to say it ’cause I know he’s inconsistent and has attitude problems, but…I love Tyrus Thomas. One of the few guys on the team (besides Gordon) that makes the kind of spectacular plays you have to rewind and watch over and over again. Of course once we draft Rose, we’ll get those every night. (Glad you finally came around to my way of thinking). : )

  8. David K. says

    I’m glad you enjoyed my nerdom Sarah… and I’m gonna teeter between Rose and Beasley up until the draft so get used to it…

    I just thought about something with trade 3… didn’t Skiles and Thomas not get along in Chicago or didn’t Skiles dog Thomas about his Allen Iverson-like practice habits???? that could be a problem with trade 3…

  9. Paul M. Banks says

    This is even better than the guy who back during the Halloween Kobe to the Bulls trade rumor season wrote on the wall of a Facebook group “my uncle who is really close to Pax said Skiles hates Ty Thomas and sometime after the All-Star break, he will be dealt with Hinrich and Deng for Kobe. its official, you heard it here first”

    ok guy. what a solid source he turned out to be

  10. paulmbanks says

    OK. give the popularity of this piece, I think I’ve found a hot topic for my next NBC5 post….

  11. Cano's Cards says

    I heard Joakim Noah is pushing Paxson to trade Hinrich for a nice bag of sticky-icky and a water bong…

  12. paulmbanks says

    Hinrich looks like he’s high most of the time……..

  13. Jason Moe says

    Doug Collins the Bulls Head coach?? What is this 1989???

  14. paulmbanks says

    yeah no kidding….soon Orlando Woolridge and Brad Sellers will be suitin up.

    Moe and Dave, how much JUICE do you think Pax has in this town? Like if he rolled into John Barley Corn…can you imagine the stares Paxson would get from the random Lincoln Park Trixies in the house?

  15. Matt Saracen QB #1 says

    I read this site everyday and this is the most comments I’ve ever seen for an article

  16. The Statue of Harold Baines says

    yeah this is a lot of talk here

  17. I am not very fantastic with English but I come up this really leisurely to translate.

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