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Breaking Down a Potential Bulls-Suns Deal for Amare

The Chicago Bulls are a potential trade partner in an Amare Stoudemire deal. The most recent speculation was that the Bulls and Suns had spoken, and afterwards, the Bulls interest was said to have "wavered." Still, since there are a lot of feasible options, it's worth exploring.

Amare's Big Market

The Bulls meet Amare's criteria for signing an extension based on Chicago's big market. To play in the house where Jordan played, and along side Derrick Rose would no doubt motivate Amare to ink his name on a deal that would be more to his market value instead of his MAX delusion.

Trade Pieces:

The Bulls have some dead weight in expiring contracts the Suns could take off their hands. They also have some intriguing young talent.

Every rumored trade scenario thus far has included Tyrus Thomas (yawn).

Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose are untouchable at this point.

Here are some possible pieces in a deal:

  • Tyrus Thomas $4.8 million expiring
  • Luol Deng $61,675,000 remaining through the 2013/2014 season
  • Brad Miller expiring $12.5 million
  • John Salmons $6.7 million dollar player option
  • Kirk Hinrich $21 million through 2012
  • Jerome James expiring
  • Taj Gibson
  • James Johnson

The Bulls are probably not interested in giving up any young, cheap talent (Gibson, Johnson). A deal whereby the Suns pick up Thomas, the expiring of a Pargo, Jerome James, and or Brad Miller would work cap wise. But Thomas does little to make up for Amare's offensive production.

This, or a variation has most likely been offered, and is probably the reason for the Bulls wavering interest. However, substituting in Taj Gibson in Thomas' place gives the Suns some young talent to build on in the future.

Speaking of young talent, Luol Deng is a very, very interesting talent. I'd trade Stat for him in a heartbeat. Thing is, his contract is a monstrosity.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Luol Deng 45 38.3 7.0 15.0 46.5 0.4 1.0 43.5 3.3 4.2 77.0 2.1 5.2 7.3 2.1 1.9 1.0 1.0 1.8 17.7

Still, it's hard to argue that this kid isn't an awesome talent and a potential to build a team around. He's not a monster inside at 220 pounds, but he puts the effort in on the boards where Amare does only occasionally.

Offensively Deng can do nearly everything, not necessarily in a great way, but he has an arsenal to choose from to keep his defender off balance: his mid range is solid, he isn't adverse to taking the ball to the hole, and he can shoot off screens. Defensively, his length, quick hands, and footwork are all strong-not great, but a huge improvement over you-know-who.

I realize Deng may be an impossibility, but one can have a man crush and hope for the best, yes?

Tyrus Thomas isn't necessarily panning out as #4 pick wold be expected to. To make him a center piece in this deal is ridiculous. If he's a piece along with a pick and an expiring, then it would be worth considering. I found a nice quote about Thomas that sounds eerily similar to another guy we all know:

"He can jump out of the gym and block shots (1.9 per game), but often goes for the eye-popping defensive play rather than using his athleticism to defend for a full possession."

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Tyrus Thomas 22 23.4 3.2 7.2 44.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 3.2 63.4 1.5 4.7 6.2 1.1 1.8 1.3 1.9 2.4 8.5

Taj Gibson meets the criteria of young cheap talent, which is the Suns MO. Gibson won PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors last year.

Gibson's wingspan (7-feet, 4-inches), standing reach (9-1) and leaping ability (38.5-inch vertical jump) would be very well utilized on the defensively challenged Suns.

At USC he broke a school career-record with 253 blocked shots, which was the third-highest total in Pac-10 Conference history. Gibson ranks second on the school career-record list with 896 rebounds.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Taj Gibson 45 24.8 3.5 7.3 48.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.1 62.5 2.6 4.0 6.6 0.7 1.2 0.6 1.0 3.4 8.4

As a rookie, Gibson is putting up fairly good numbers, averaging a block a game and 6 rebounds per contest. I also like the 48.5% from the field, which from a rookie, is pretty good.

Another potential piece in a deal with the Bulls is James Johnson-another cheap youngster. Johnson was a college PF but projects as a future NBA SF, comparable in build to Ron Artest. Johnson's scouting report sounds a lot like Earl Clark's. His college numbers look similar, his size is similar, and his "tendency to fall asleep" during games sounds a bit like Clark. Johnson is more of a project than Gibson, but his athleticism is encouraging.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - James Johnson 37 9.5 1.0 2.6 37.9 0.2 0.5 31.6 0.7 0.8 86.2 0.5 1.1 1.6 0.4 0.8 0.3 0.4 1.8 2.8

Another thought could be to add Barbosa as a sweetener. We may be able to pull more than one useful chip along with an expiring. Adding both Thomas in the mix with Gibson and possibly including Heinrich would be a decent haul. Heinrich's pretty much a PG, which would create a log jam now, however I could see the suns shuffling lineups and working through it. Adding his defense and play making ability would be a positive. Of course Heinrich's contract is big and may prove to be a barrier in his inclusion.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Kirk Hinrich 38 31.9 3.8 9.9 38.1 1.3 3.8 35.7 1.1 1.5 70.2 0.4 3.1 3.5 4.6 1.8 1.1 0.3 2.9 10.0

Draft Picks

The Bulls have a first round pick in 2010, but most likely wouldn't package it in any deal as their 2nd goes to Portland.


There are manydifferent ways the Suns could go, depending on whether they wanted to add Barbosa to the mix:

Option 1: Salmons, Tyrus, James For Amare

Option 2: Hinrich and Salmons and Bulls 1st for Amare

Option 3: Hinrich, James, Salmons, Gibson for Amare and Leandro

Option 4: Deng, Salmons, James for Amare and Leandro

There are certainly plenty of other options, so if these are unappealing, feel free to share, cause sharing is caring.

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