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Bulls Trade Rumors

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 28, 2010 4:40PM

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With the NBA trade deadline looming in a couple weeks, the rumors are starting to build as teams look to bolster their roster for the playoffs or adjust their future salary cap commitments ahead of the best free agency class in a very long time (some would say ever). With the Bulls mired in a disappointing season -- although now back to .500 after winning four straight -- and expected to be strong suitors of the likes of LeBron James, Dawyne Wade and Chris Bosh this summer, they are likely to shop some of their higher priced talent to clear cap space.

One rumor gaining traction suggests the Bulls might send Kirk Hinrich to the L.A. Lakers in return for Adam Morrison and Jordan Farmar or Derek Fisher. The defending NBA champs get the perimeter defense they lack and the Bulls can amass additional cap room by taking on expiring contracts. Last week's trade of Aaron Gray for Devin Brown suggests they added depth at guard before moving one of their higher priced ones. John Salmons could also be on the move, although rumors as to his possible destination are more vague.

Could he be on his way to Phoenix? Once again, the latest round of Amare Stoudemire rumors mention the Bulls as a possible partner. A deal to bring the Suns power forward to Chicago was rumored as the deadline approached last year, but never materialized in spite of the Bulls active wheeling-and-dealing. Will it happen this year? The Trib's KC Johnson says slow down... and we tend to agree. What's the point of trading for an All-Star if he's had a history of injuries and hasn't signed a long-term extension? He can opt out of his contract after the season, and is likely to demand a maximum contract from whomever he plays for next season. The Bulls would either be overpaying for a short term rental or would have to commit to building around him because such a move would complicate the Bulls' pursuit of others. They'd be better off waiting to see if he opts out of his deal's final season and becomes a free agent -- and then pursue him if their other targets don't pan out.