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):
Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
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.