Thursday, February 19, 2009

High Noon Trade-Deadline Update

I don't exactly have breaking news in the real-time sense. This news is already broken. It appeared in a newspaper hours ago. But it was new news to me. So, maybe it is to you as well. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls might not be done dealing.

Sun-Times reporter John Jackson reports that "Guard Larry Hughes - whom the Bulls have been trying to trade for a month - didn't make the trip to Milwaukee," where the Bulls are playing tonight. Jackson mentions that Hughes is rumored to be headed to New York and then goes on to mention a deal "with the principles being Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich and Knicks power forward David Lee."

Using the ESPN Trade Machine, I've concocted a deal that includes all of these players. The Knicks send Lee, Malik Rose, Quentin Richardson (Chicago native and onetime star at DePaul) and Jerome James to the Windy City in exchange for Hinrich and Hughes. The 4-for-2 trade opens up two rosters spots for the Knicks (which potentially make up for the two spots belonging to Cutino Mobley and Stephon Marbury).

I'm not really sure what to make of this. Bringing back Hinrich (whose contract runs through the 2011-12 season) would likely necessitate moving Duhon or Nate in another deal to avoid a Bulls-like logjam at the point guard spot. Are we really committing to Hinrich as the point guard of the post-2010 Knicks? Is Duhon really going to lose his job to the same guy in two cities?

This deal wouldn't cut any payroll that wasn't already coming off the books by the end of next season. In fact, it would actually add Hinrich's salary to our cap number for 2010-11 and 2011-12. Everything else is more or less shifting deck chairs on the Titanic, I think. I guess, thinning out the roster would allow Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari more time to show what they're capable of out there. At this point, having Hughes at the 2 is probably an upgrade over Q at the 2/3 hybrid that he plays. But, I don't think these moves make the team substantially better in the short-term. The ESPN trade machine concurs, forecasting -3 wins for the Knicks if they made the deal I concocted.

Tick, tick, tick...

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