So, it’s quite apparent to any Bulls’ fan who has been around this team for, at the very least, the past 5 seasons, Chicago’s front office is not a group that likes to do mid-season shakeups via trade. Unless of course said trade is for financial reasons. Like the Luol Deng trade last season for example.
Chicago is one mid-size move away from legitimately becoming the favorites again in the East. That move would add depth to the wing position to either back up Jimmy and Mike, or start over Dunleavy, depending on his skill set. With names like Goran Dragic, Aaron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler, Jamal Crawford, and Reggie Jackson being thrown on the trading block, Bulls fans are reading those names and becoming their very own GM. From ridiculous trade scenarios on social media being thrown out, to screenshots of their ESPN Trade Machine success, this fan base for the most part, wants nothing more than to see this front office make a move.
This Bulls trade deadline will come and go with the same outcome as just about all of the rest of them, very quietly.
With the trade window soon to close, and Chicago to be on the outside looking in once again, lets take a look into three of the most attractive candidates for the Bulls to sign if in fact they do receive a buyout.
It won’t be the first time Prince would be sporting a Bulls jersey. In his 12th season, Prince is well past his prime but can still provide the depth at the wing Chicago needs. A SF who is known for his defensive minded play is an easy fit for this Bulls team. Tayshaun is averaging 7.6ppg and 3.2 rpg for the Boston Celtics this season while playing 22mpg. Although he may not be the most attractive name on the list of potential candidates for Chicago, his veteran leadership and Championship background to go along with his 62% shooting from behind the arc since being in Boston (48% on the year), could provide a significant lift to the thin depth at the SF position.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have recently acquired Neal via trade from the Hornets. However, Neal is already demanding a buyout in order to play for a contender. Flip Saunders is denying the fact that a buyout will occur and wants Neal to remain with the Wolves for the rest of the season. If in fact a buyout is reached, Chicago could benefit from having this 6’4″ shooting guard on their roster. The Bulls have struggled with scoring at times this season, and an offensive minded player, like Neal, paired with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler could become lethal vs opposing teams. He has a run and gun type mindset very much like Nate Robinson does. Providing a spark to this Bulls offense off the bench would make this a positive pick up for Chicago. Neal is averaging 9.6ppg this season.
Quite possibly the most intriguing name out there right now for Bulls fans. It is being reported that if the Wolves cannot trade Martin before the trade deadline, that they will in fact work on a buyout with the veteran shooting guard. Martin missed some time this season due to a wrist injury, but the injury hasn’t slowed him down. Averaging 22ppg while shooting 41% from behind the arc, while averaging 32 minutes of action per game. Martin is the type of pick up that could easily put this Bulls team over the top. With his ability to score at will, handle the ball, and spread the defense with his outside shooting, Kevin Martin most likely would slide right into the starting lineup for the Bulls over Mike Dunleavy. That is of course if a buyout happens. Flip once again, could have other plans.
Of course there will be the rumors, the talk, and the hype surrounding this trade deadline as well as the buyouts in the weeks to come. Chicago believes its best bet is to stay the course and hope an attractive buyout happens in which they can benefit from. Buyouts must happen before March 1st in order for that player to be eligible to play on a playoff roster. So put the X on your calendar and gear up for yet another exciting, but not so exciting deadline.