Plenty of two-guards available on trade market


Plenty of two-guards available on trade market

With the latest injury suffered by Rip Hamilton Monday night, you have to wonder whether Bulls general manager Gar Forman will consider making a trade for some shooting guard insurance before the March 15 deadline. Problem is, the Bulls don't want to tap in to their big man depth with Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, and they don't want to add salary for upcoming years when they're likely to be above the luxury tax line.

So, the odds of a deal are small, unless the Bulls can find a team that's willing to trade their expiring deal for your expiring deal, something like Kyle Korver for Jamal Crawford or Nick Young. Now granted, the Bulls would probably have to throw in a first-round draft pick to make either of those trades happen and given their luxury tax concerns in upcoming years, it's unlikely they would want to give up picks that could add low salaried bench players.

I poured over NBA rosters to see which guards might be available in the trade market, and here's the list I came up with (as requested by my friend Matt Spiegel at The Score):

Stephen Jackson
Eric Bledsoe
Brandon Rush
Monta Ellis
Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Carlos Delfino
Anthony Parker
O.J. Mayo
Shannon Brown
Daniel Gibson
Rodney Stuckey
Raja Bell
Francisco Garcia
Michael Redd
James Anderson
Ray Allen
Quentin Richardson
Mikael Pietrus
John Salmons
Ben Gordon
Landry Fields
Xavier Henry
Toney Douglas
Nick Young
Wayne Ellington
Josh Howard
Kirk Hinrich
JJ Redick
Anthony Morrow
Courtney Lee
Rudy Fernandez
Tracy McGrady
Jerryd Bayless
Leandro Barbosa
Wesley Johnson
Jamal Crawford
Corey Maggete
Wesley Johnson

We can eliminate most of the names pretty quickly. The Bulls don't have the assets to make a run at Monta Ellis, Ray Allen, O.J. Mayo or Rodney Stuckey and they wouldn't be willing to take on the remaining years on the contracts of guys like Stephen Jackson, Ben Gordon, Anthony Morrow and Wesley Matthews.

So what's left is mostly a collection of overpaid veterans like Mike Dunleavy, J.J. Redick, Corey Maggette and John Salmons; guys near the end of their careers like Tracy McGrady, Anthony Parker, Michael Redd, Quentin Richardson, Josh Howard and Raja Bell; or players who haven't come close to reaching their college potential like Toney Douglas, Jerryd Bayless, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Rush, Shannon Brown, Francisco Garcia, James Anderson, Xavier Henry, Wayne Ellington and Wesley Johnson.

Who does that leave? The Bulls could make a run at Jamal Crawford, who isn't expected to exercise his player option for next season, or Kirk Hinrich, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Or, they could try to swing a deal for players with expiring deals like Leandro Barbosa, Rudy Fernandez or Nick Young.

Bottom line, don't expect the Bulls to make any moves before March 15. They're confident a healthy Rip Hamilton gives them their best chance to match up against the Heat come playoff time.

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: LaVine turns in an All Star performance as the Bulls beat the Clippers


Bulls Outsiders Podcast: LaVine turns in an All Star performance as the Bulls beat the Clippers

On this edition of the Bulls Outsiders podcast, See Red Fred joins Big Dave and Matt Peck. The guys talk about some big plays down the stretch by Zach LaVine and Denzel Valentine. Plus a great defensive job by Kris Dunn on Paul George. (1:30) See Red Fred states his case for more playing time for Denzel Valentine. (4:00) Plus what's going to happen when Otto Porter and Chandler Hutchison come back. (8:00) The guys share some concerns about Coby White in the short term. (10:30) See Red Fred tells you about 3 players who have exceeded expectations this year. (13:00) Plus the guys debate whether Zach LaVine should compete in the dunk contest or 3 point competition. (18:00) They discuss the impact that Kris Dunn has had on the defensive end of the floor. (20:30) Plus See Red Fred lays out his blueprint for the Bulls to make the playoffs. (23:30) Plus the guys make a wager regarding the rest of the season. (25:00)

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Outsiders


Bulls down Clippers, post 1st victory over winning team with strong finish

Bulls down Clippers, post 1st victory over winning team with strong finish

Just over two hours before tipoff, in his first public comments since Media Day, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson talked about how Jim Boylen’s teaching and coaching hasn’t always translated from the practice floor and film room to games.

Could the Bulls’ first victory this season over a winning team be a step?

And don’t mention that the Clippers played without Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams in the Bulls’ 109-106 victory, secured on Zach LaVine’s three-point play with 2 seconds to play.

“Well, we didn’t have (Otto Porter Jr.) or Hutch (Chandler Hutchison) or (Daniel) Gafford,” Boylen said. “So we can ‘Yeah, but’ it a little bit too.”

Bravado aside, there’s stuff on which the Bulls can build here.

LaVine posted his sixth 30-point game and ended a week filled with closing misses with a game-winner in which he powered through a Montrezl Harrell foul on a nice misdirection play involving Kris Dunn. Lauri Markkanen tied his season-high with 17 rebounds while posting his third double-double of the season. Denzel Valentine, playing all but two seconds of the fourth, hit a huge tying 3-pointer in the final minute and scored a season-high 16 points. Thad Young tied his season-high with 17 points.

And Dunn was everywhere, relishing the challenge of guarding Paul George down the stretch and winning a crucial battle for a 50-50 ball that led to Valentine’s tying shot.

“That was a huge moment,” Boylen said.

So was Valentine closing a game.

“I just thought we needed some more shooting on the floor,” Boylen said. “We’ve wrestled with defensive lineups, offensive lineups. We try to mingle them a little bit. I just thought we needed someone to make a big shot. And he did.”

Valentine has now scored in double figures off the bench in five of six games.

“I’m very confident in my abilities,” Valentine said. “I was just waiting for the ball to come my way. Zach is our best player. So the ball’s going to be in his hands. But shoot, I’m ready for it. I love those moments. I love to make those shots.”

Dunn, who finished a plus-22, defended George as he missed a good look for a tying 3-pointer. George scored 10 points in just over 7 minutes in the fourth but missed all three attempts following Valentine’s tying shot.

“I love it,” Dunn said of guarding great players. “I know my niche on this team is to guard. And I take pride in that. It feels good to go against a big-time player and be able to get stops towards the end.”

Markkanen actually received credit for the rebound that Dunn kept alive to lead to Valentine’s tying shot, which Dunn said Markkanen teased him about. Dunn finished with nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals.

But his two biggest plays didn’t even crash the box score. He won the 50-50 ball to lead to Valentine’s tying shot and then confused the Clippers’ defense by slipping a screen on LaVine’s game-winner.

“I knew Zach was going to get downhill,” Dunn said. “Because once I did it, I saw Paul George look at me.”

LaVine couldn’t believe how much space he had to operate.

“I’ll take it,” he said. “Once I saw the lane open up, I think there were like 5 seconds left. We were trying to get the last shot. But once the lane opened up, I tried to get a one-on-one. He’s a tough dude. I knew I could attack his body.”

LaVine missed game-winning attempts on an isolation 3-pointer against the Warriors and over a double-team against the Raptors. His three-point play offered a dose of redemption for a player who is never afraid to fail.

“You’re not going to be perfect. As much as people are going to show more of the bad than the good, I’ve had a lot of good times in the clutch as well,” LaVine said. “I try to make the right play for us to win. And I did that tonight.”

For one night, matters were more positive. The Bulls closed out a game against a good team and received multiple contributions while doing so.

Heck, Boylen even downplayed Paxson’s vote of confidence.

“We understand what we’re trying to do. We’re in step on what we’re asking our guys to do and play like and work like and care like,” the coach said. “I’m thankful for it. But I wouldn’t expect anything less.”