The vast majority of speculation surrounding the Chicago Bulls’ offseason has been centered on acquiring Carmelo Anthony and parting ways with Carlos Boozer. Basketball is a team game, though, and the Bulls have more than one hole to fill from both roster and salary perspectives. To that end, Chicago is reportedly pursuing a trade for Orlando Magic wing Arron Afflalo.
The news comes courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Of crucial note in Wojnarowski’s report is that it is unknown how the Bulls’ interest in Afflalo influences their courtship of Anthony, who many believe has a desire to play in Chicago.
The Chicago Bulls are pursuing a trade for Orlando Magic swingman Arron Afflalo, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Afflalo, 28, has two years left on his contract – including an Early Termination Option (ETO) provision next summer – and front office executives believe the Magic are prioritizing a trade for Afflalo over working to extend his contract.
It is unclear how the Bulls’ pursuit of Afflalo would impact the franchise’s free-agent interest in New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony…
Chicago owns the 16th and 19th overall picks in the draft, and assuredly one of those selections would be included in a possible package with the Magic…
The Bulls have shown a strong interest in moving one of their top picks in a deal and have been open to trading the 19th overall pick for a future first-round selection, league sources said. The Bulls are trying to be careful to preserve salary cap space for July free agency and are leery of two rookie-scale first-round picks on the roster, sources said.
The Bulls have little use for either of their first-round picks if they aren’t used in an Anthony sign-and-trade. Neither selection is likely to help Chicago much next season and the Bulls would need to create as much cap space as possible to sign Anthony. Plus, 2011 draft night acquisition and Real Madrid star Nikola Mirotic is likely to come stateside next season, already giving Chicago a rookie.
Afflalo, 28, is a very good player coming off a career year, and is a perfect representation of the league’s ‘3-and-D’ archetype. He’s been stretched thin as a playmaker in Orlando, though, and playing alongside Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose would allow him to play the ancillary role on offense to which he’s best suited. Talent-wise, he’s a great fit for the Bulls.
But what does this mean for Carmelo? Afflalo has two years and $15 million remaining on his contract, but is likely to opt-out after this season in search of another long-term deal. The Bulls, though, are already cash-strapped: They need to clear the salaries of Boozer, Taj Gibson, and one other player from the books just to accommodate Anthony. Adding he and Afflalo seems a long-shot at this point, but it’s certainly an idea worth exploring.
It’s much more simple for the Magic. Afflalo was Orlando’s best player last season, but his timeline simply doesn’t mesh with the Magic’s rebuilding process. Pairing the their two lottery picks with one of Chicago’s first-rounders would give the Magic even more young talent, and yield more opportunity and responsibility to Victor Oladipo and company, too.
Would Afflalo look good in a Bulls uniform?
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