Would the Bulls trade Carlos Boozer for Rip Hamilton or Ben Gordon?

The Chicago Bulls need shooting guard help. The Pistons have extra shooting guards. Keith Langlois of Pistons.com posits on how the two teams would shape up as potential trading partners in his latest mailbag:

No question, the Bulls will need to target a shooting guard good enough to play starter’s minutes but particularly someone who can provide scoring – whether that’s a knock-down perimeter shooter or someone who can create off the dribble. It was widely reported that the Bulls were prepared to sign Rip Hamilton had he agreed to a buyout with Cleveland that would have allowed the reported Pistons-Cavs trade to go down at the trade deadline. It is already being speculated the Bulls will quietly but aggressively explore the trade market for Carlos Boozer this off-season. With Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, they have three players capable of manning the two inside spots. None is anywhere near the scorer Boozer has been. But Boozer is due about $60 million over the next four years – a whopping contract for a player who found himself mostly on the bench in the fourth quarters against Miami because he wasn’t offsetting subpar defense by providing consistent scoring, either in the paint or via his mid-range jumper. I think the Bulls would be naturally interested in Gordon, who enjoyed a high level of success there for five years. Their interest in Hamilton has been already evidenced. The Pistons could certainly use what Boozer at his best offers – but it would have to give them pause that an oft-injured player, about to turn 30, did not have the anticipated impact with the Bulls this season. It would be unusual, also, for teams in the same division with the history of the Pistons and Bulls to trade high-profile players.

A one-for-one Boozer-for-Hamilton trade works, but the Pistons would take on more salary both short and long term since Boozer makes more per year and is signed longer than Hamilton. A one-for-one Gordon-for-Boozer trade wouldn’t work salary-wise. But throw in Jason Maxiell? And you have the Pistons ridding two bad contracts for one bad contract, albeit to a player in Boozer who is sometimes useful and would fill a need as a sometimes capable offensive big man. The Pistons would take on more long-term salary in that deal, but it wouldn’t be as big a long-term hit as a Hamilton trade. If Chicago were willing to take both Gordon and Maxiell — a longshot to be sure, considering the Bulls could surely get better offers than that and no one knows if they are even that motivated to trade Boozer anyway — the Pistons would certainly be wise to consider. But I can’t say that I’d give a Hamilton for Boozer trade much consideration, considering Hamilton’s bad contract is only a year or so away from becoming an asset rather than an albatross. If Boozer’s production declines, a good bet considering his age and reputation for … uh … let’s just say relaxing a bit in non-contract years, his contract will become much more difficult to move down the road.

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Tags: Ben Gordon Jason Maxiell Richard Hamilton

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