Blackhawks

A potential Deng, Noah trade could free up cap space for Bulls

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A potential Deng, Noah trade could free up cap space for Bulls

It comes as no surprise that, due to their lack of financial flexibility and the punitive luxury-tax penalties of the new CBA, the Bulls are considering trading one of their bigger contracts as the Thursday's NBA Draft approaches. Not even to Luol Deng, the player most rumored to potentially be on the move, as he acknowledged in a recent interview from Houston, where his Great Britain national team is preparing for the upcoming Olympics in London.
While Golden State is the team reports have recently focused on as a possible trade partner for Chicago, acquiring the All-Star has also reportedly piqued the interest of other teams selecting in the lottery Thursday, such as Toronto and Sacramento. Meanwhile, there have been rumblings that Bulls center Joakim Noah could also be available for the right price.
According to a league source, the going rate for Deng is a lottery pick, as well as dealing away a veteran with a contract, preferably expiring after the 2012-13 season, to make salaries match. It should be noted, however, that the same group interested in Deng has also inquired about the availability of small-forward counterparts such as Memphis' Rudy Gay, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Indiana's Danny Granger.
The logic of a potential Bulls' trade, whether Deng or Noah leaves Chicago is clear: Omer Asik is a restricted free agent this summer and the organization plans on matching any opposing team's offer for the coveted defensive-oriented center. Boston, Cleveland and Houston are among those reportedly interested in his services. And fellow backup big man Taj Gibson enters free agency in a year, and the front office would also like to keep him in a Bulls uniform moving forward. In order for those things to happen, not to mention create some flexibility to acquire additional talent, the most obvious solution is to jettison one of the team's eight-figure contracts.
Derrick Rose remains untouchable and Carlos Boozer simply isn't an option for many teams around the league, leaving Deng and Noah as the two likeliest suspects. If a draft-day (or sooner) trade were to occur, there's no guarantee that natural replacements for either aforementioned player, such as North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes or Connecticut center Andre Drummond, would still be on the board, though there would be no shortage of high-quality shooting-guard prospects available, such as Duke's Austin Rivers or Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb, depending on the pick the Bulls potentially acquired.
Due to Rose missing at least the beginning of the campaign with his ongoing rehabilitation from ACL surgery, next season is already one with lowered expectations. But while the promise of a rookie's long-term potential and the ability to be a player in what's regarded as a strong 2013 free-agent class is appealing, the fact of the matter is, as Bulls general manager Gar Forman recently said, the team would have to take a "step back" in the near future for a chance to make major improvements down the line.
With the Finals matchup of Miami and Oklahoma City still a fresh memory, losing either a big piece of the interior size advantage they have over most opponents in Noah, or one of the league's elite small forwards in Deng--in an NBA where the Heat's LeBron James and the Thunder's Kevin Durant are considered the two best players and happen to play for the two best teams--is a significantly risky proposition, but one that the Bulls' brain trust could see as paying off down the road.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

The Daily Line Podcast: How will Khalil Mack's injury affect the Bears-Pats spread?

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NBC Sports Chicago

The Daily Line Podcast: How will Khalil Mack's injury affect the Bears-Pats spread?

On this week’s Daily Line podcast, VSIN’s Sam Panayotovich joins Ryan McGuffey and Paul Aspan to take us inside the scene in Vegas as last week’s Bears-Dolphins line jumped from Bears -3.5 to Bears -7 on the news that Brock Osweiler would replace Ryan Tannehill (3:00). We look ahead to the Patriots (-2.5) at the Bears, discuss what kind of impact Khalil Mack’s injury could have on this week’s spread (6:30) and Sam gives us his best bets of the week (7:30). Joe Ostrowski of the Early Odds podcast also joins the show to discuss the how to get the best of the number (14:00) and whether home underdogs will stay hot. Plus, the guys make their picks for week 7 (18:00) and a quick thought on the Bulls over under. (32:00)

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