Bernstein: Bulls Trade Possible, Not Probable

By Dan Bernstein–

It should make you feel better to know that John Paxson and Gar Forman are watching the same games we are.

From his perch in his United Center suite, Pax notices that one position is something of a nightly puzzle for Tom Thibodeau to piece together. The 48 minutes at that spot are currently handled by a shooting guard who cannot shoot, a shooting guard who cannot guard, and a shooting guard who can sometimes guard and sometimes shoot.

Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and Keith Bogans, respectively, have done what has been asked of them. Each has added something to the winning mix so far.

Playoff ball is different, though, and we have now seen the multiple ways defenses have tried to slow Derrick Rose. With the frequent trapping Rose is seeing (the newfangled term is “blitzing” for hard double-coverage of the ball in screen-roll) it would be nice to have another guard on the floor who can create his own shot, defend adequately, get to the basket off the dribble, and at least demand attention from three-point range.

The NBA trade deadline is a week away. Phone calls are being made from the Berto Center, but the approach is measured and careful.

It is rare to have a locker room as galvanized behind a coach as that of the Bulls is behind Thibodeau, and Paxson is wary of messing with that. The most talented shooting guard available – by far – is Denver’s J.R. Smith, who was a Bull for a brief time a few years ago. Smith, though, is a class A, central casting, NBA knucklehead. I would be shocked if he returns.

Houston’s Courtney Lee would be a fit, but the most recent price would be Omer Asik, and centers who can defend are playoff commodities too valuable to give up. Anthony Parker of the Cavs is a possibility, and some still like the aging, expensive Rip Hamilton.

The best option, however, depending on what it would take to pry him away, is one steeped in irony.

We long criticized Paxson for overvaluing his initial group of first-round draft picks. He seemed to cling to a stubborn belief that the good-citizen-brigade of Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich (his beloved “core”) would become something more than just good players.

But when the Derrick Rose meteorite landed, everything changed. It was clear, again, what a potentially great player actually looked like. Gordon was moved to give Rose the ball. Then last summer’s free agent chaos changed the picture, and Hinrich was unloaded in an all-in move for cap space.

Now, Deng has become the ideal third guy everybody always thought he could be, and Hinrich — now a Washington Wizard — is just what the Bulls need. He can help at either guard spot, is a willing defender, can get his own shot, innately understands plays, and is a career 38% 3-point shooter. He would take to Thibodeau’s demanding, thorough approach without a peep, whether as a starter or heavy-minute reserve.

The problem may be the $8 million he is due next year, per the contract he received from…John Paxson.

Expectations are on the rise for a Bulls team that is proving hardier than many imagined. Joakim Noah is coming back soon, just in time to get reacclimated for the postseason.

We will soon get a better look at what Paxson thinks – whether it makes sense to shore up a mild weakness, and at what cost.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Bulls Trade Possible, Not Probable

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here.
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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Well, two days in a row Murph’s Upper-Lip nailed it…predicted a Boo blog for today.

    Good blog Bernsie.

    Da Boo are in the horse-race (if you pardon the expression) with the Celtics and Heat to be the one to face the Spurs in the NBA Finals. I hope that GarPax will do what is needed to get Da Boo to Championship level rather than near-miss.

    • Mark J

      Larry – Do you have a job? I have yet to read a sports articles from cbs chicago that you haven’t commented on. Actually you are almost always the first one to comment.

      • Murphs Upper-Lip

        Hey, Mark J, Rental Max has something for you…

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Sure do…..quite high level/professional too, so thanks for asking.
        The trick is that I get to the office at 5:30am, do my work, dish out a lot of assignments, and wait for people to get back to me. I have a fair amount of time on my hands until about 2-ish…which is why you don’t see many afternoon posts from me.
        And all best wishes and blessing to you Mark.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Oh and thanks to laptops, I do 90% of my writing in the evening and on weekends. No one cares when I get my work done, so long as I get it done, and I most assuredly do.

      • Mark J

        Understood, glad to hear you’re employed.

    • Dumb @ss cracker

      Dan, forgot to mention, ITS JAGBAG THURSDAY!!!

  • Jake from Da Burbs

    I believe the Bulls can’t re-acquire Hinrich till after the season. I think there is a moratorium on re-acquiring a player that was traded with in a 12 month span. So for this year, Bulls couldn’t trade back for Hinrich even if they wanted.

    I would still say that James Johnson should be given a shot. Dont get me wrong, Johnson is not the perfect solution, far from it. He has weaknesses in his overall game and he has concentration issues. But the one thing Johnson can do is score and he can create his own shot. That is something valuable because neither Bogans, Brewer or Korver can do that. Why not give Johnson 15 min a game to provide the scoring punch the Bulls need.

    From the outside, I think Courtney Lee and and Anthony Parker and maybe even Rudy Fernandez are still viable and available. The one guy I’d love for the Bulls to get is Demarr DeRozan from Toronto. He’s young and hasn’t fully blossomed but I believe he’s a star in the making and would be great for years to come with Rose, Boozer and Noah.

    • bigtime sucker

      johnson isn’t a 2, he can barely be effective at the 3, i think in a rent a player situation steven jackson can self motivate himself to do good things, and he is big. another name, especially on the offensive end,if we can match the financing, jamaal crawford. can handle, get shot off, isn’t terribly happy, and i am sure the owner of atlanta would love to get his salary off the books, expiring deal i think as well, he can’t defend, but anybody 6’5 can funnel a guy towards baseline and trap once the help arrives, he is a good enough athelete to do that.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        bts, shows you (me too!) how little I really understand about the nitty-gritty of hoops. I’m really a baseball/football guy…that’s what I played when I was a pony’s arse.

      • Jake from Da Burbs

        In today’s NBA, positions like SG and SF dont mean much. Johnson could play the “2 guard.” It wouldn’t be that big of a deal. The key though.. is Johnson can score and create his shot, and he has some good size on him. Again.. I’m just saying… give him a shot.

        Steven Jackson and Jamal Crawford would be tough to get because of trade compensation. Additionally, Jackson has another year on his deal and although Crawford is a FA at the end of the season ,his money would be tough to match up unless you gave up Brewer, Korver and others. Crawford isn’t the greatest “team guy” either. Might as well go get J.R. Smith… he’d be more available.

      • bigtime sucker

        actually arse, that was quite possibly the dumbest post i have ever wrote, the guy barely shoots above 40% from the field, he’s a shot jacker, a black hole, and he doesn’t get to the free throw line, he primarily plays above the ft line and hates contact, i appologize for even thinking it LOL

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        geez, bts you REALLY know your hoops…..I’m seriously impressed.

    • Pulseczar

      DeRozan would be interesting too, but I’m less optimistic about his potential than Jake mentions above.

      Part of the problem is- the only bargaining chips the Bulls really have is Asik and Gibson. There are no available SGs worth going after if you have to lose either or both of them.

      Unless someone wants Deng? Then you’d have a hole at SF. Gibson can’t play SF every night and Korver is no less a liability at SF than he is at SG.

      Gerald Wallace keeps getting mentioned as being available. It wouldn’t solve the SG problem at all but I’d love to see him in a Bulls uniform somehow. They’d really have a scoring shortcoming then. I could always dream. Deng for Wallace?

  • M. Leigh

    Bernstine really stepping out on a limb again with a maybe/mabe not statement. He’ll be right either way and listeners will hear about it.

    • Harry's Phlegm

      I just hope GarPax proceed very cautiously and not make a move just to, well, make a move. They seem to have a great locker room.

      I like this team a lot.

      Also, anybody notice Terry seems to be more assertive lately? Maybe he’s heard the comments about Dan dominating. I like when he challenges Bernstein.

      Jason Goff = Future Star. We need more of him.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        HP…his 30-ish y.o. daughter-in-law died suddenly around Thanksgiving, leaving Terry’s son and 3 young kids…and based on what TB has said, his wife (Grandma) has become the surrogate mother for the little ones.

      • Pulseczar

        I got a few disagreements when I opined that TB seemed to be mailing it in at times.

        I like Laurence and Goff with DB. I’d love to hear more of them. I’d even lose the mid morning show in favor of them. I know it’s been attempted with LH and Danimal, but I couldn’t be any less impartial to Mac n Speigs. meh. Aside from my 7:00am-7:30am drive to work, I’d actually tune in before 1:00pm.

      • Harry's Phlegm

        LHA what happened to Terry’s family I’m in the dark on that one? Thx.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Maybe Terry is just feeling better, less depressed/shocked in the aftermath of the family tragedy.
        I really like TB and it is easy to overlook his contribution to the “chemistry” of the show, as many people who criticize him seem to do.
        Uncle Terry totally cracks me up.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Yeah, but I wonder what Terry’s “guy” has to say about this???


    Tonight’s Bulls/Spurs’ game on the Bulls’ favorite national cable channel TNT should be quite a measuring stick to see where head coach Tom Thibodeau’s team REALLY is among the top teams in David Stern’s NBA and how far they are away from being mentioned in the same sentence with the Celtics, Heat & other teams in the NBA Championship discussion.

    As far as the NBA Trade Deadline is concerned, as much as the Bulls would like to upgrade their roster and get a better #2 guard than Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver, Ron Brewer & C.J. Watson, I’m not so sure they’ll be able to make a move without parting company with someone they might need come playoff time in Taj Gibson & Omer Asik. The Bulls won’t make a deal just to make a deal. If they trade, not upset the current chemistry on this roster and possibly force owner Jerry Reinsdorf to pay a luxury tax, that’s the move they’ll make. Sometimes the best moves are the ones that aren’t made.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I wish Noah could play and was totally up to speed for this game…would be a much better measuring stick.

      • bigtime sucker

        well you spoke volumes in a few words there, his ability to get up and down the court should open the floor up a bit and create easy shot opportunities. as much as we dog bogans, he has been hitting the 3 consistently lately, so if noah can get down there, drag a defender or 2 with him, have rose collapse the lane, bogans can hit that kickout 3,ESPECIALLY in transition. brewer can’t but Korver has definatly found his shot and can hit that as well, sometimes one aspect of a game can improve others without making a personell change!!!

  • Pulseczar

    JR Smith never played a game for the Bulls and was on the roster for less than a week over the summer. 2006? He was part of the Tyson Chandler trade. He is a headcase, but he’s so good when he wants to be. He needs a good coach and he’ll still make you facepalm every other game. Skiles would have gotten tired of him in a week and Smith would have eaten Vinnie alive. Has he matured?

    I hear how Richard Hamilton is so old all of the time, but isn’t Anthony Parker like 3 years older? Yeah, playoff minutes, blah blah… I think part of Hamilton’s “slowness” is lack of motivation on that team. He’s so good without the ball, even if he has lost a step. He still has a midrange game.

    • Harry's Phlegm

      Wow…ABShark, LarryHA and Pulse brought their “A” game today! Right on with everything they said!

      Good day fellas…work is taking me away for the rest of the day.

  • bigtime sucker

    people love parker cause he’s from naperville(as am i) and he’s candace’s brother, truth is, the guy’s a journeyman. JR smith didn’t do one darn thing to endear himself. and jake from burbs was 1000% correct on the trading for hinrich thing, can’t do it, not legal. this issue is all joe johnson’s fault, he had to be greedy. i don’t know other than stephen jackson, if there is a player who can do more than what korver and brewer already do. one can shoot, one can defend, neither is dynamic and neither are any of the trade options out there, i don’t even know if OJ mayo is dynamic enough

    • Pulseczar

      I don’t think you’re going to get a significant upgrade over any one of the 3-headed Korver/Bogans/Brewer SG beast without giving up a piece you aren’t comfortable losing. Read: Asik, Gibson.

      Jamal Crawford would be a taller Ben Gordon. No thanks. Courtney Lee doesn’t do much for me. JR Smith is as spectacular as he is enigmatic. Stephen Jackson? Goff hit that nail squarely on the head yesterday. I think Rick Hamilton still has something left in the tank.

      OJ Mayo would be intriguing but hardly cheap.

      If they’re going to pursue Anthony Parker, I’d rather keep what we have.


    If the Bulls make a move before the NBA Trade Deadline one week from today before their TNT primetime game vs. Benedict LeBron’s Heat at United Center, I’ll be very surprised. I’ll also be very surprised if Carmelo Anthony isn’t still playing basketball in Denver a week from now. I still have my doubts that the Knicks have what the Nuggets want in return for the unhappy forward and I wonder if Denver wants an arm and a leg for the soon-to-be free agent.

    • bigtime sucker

      i think this whole thing is a hidden statement of the ever so diminishing value of the draft. unless you get a wall or rose, you can’t restock your team with depth through the draft unless you have portland’s annual 3 picks in the top 15!!! there are only two rounds, well actually that’s just a technical term, there is really the top ten picks which is the most productive, 10-20 which are solid journeymen picks, 20-32 which are usually ok to meh and the 2nd round which are like, destined for d league guys. Taj gibson was definatly the exception to the rule, but the POINT IS, if denver looses anthony, and the nuggets don’t get value back, then they dismantle the whole d’mned thing, bye bye nene, billips, k-mart, everybody, and to reassemble the team would take 3 to 6 years to do that through the draft, which when your denver, unless you have a superstar, you ain’t attracting squat to your squad, so denver is definatly doing the right thing by holding onto their cards

      • bigtime sucker

        besides, if the nba adopts a franchise tag system, which is entirely possible, anthony isn’t going anywhere

  • Tweets that mention Bernstein: Bulls Trade Possible, Not Probable « CBS Chicago --

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  • Spoon

    I’d just like to say…

    I know nothing about basketball…


    • Larry Horse's water trough

      Me too.

      • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

        me as well

  • bigtime sucker

    WELL todays/ this weeks discussion/discussions have really been about the business of sports, which you can apply easily spoon


    By CBA rule, Hinrich cannot be traded to the Bulls this year. If you are going to be an elitist, KNOW THE DAMN RULES

  • Go Bulls

    Correct the Bulls cannot trade for Hinrich this year

  • Jon, Montgomery

    well, the slam dunk contest last year sucked to high heaven, i was very disappointed. it was lacking of stars and lacking of creative dunks really.

    so what gives me confidence the dunk contest this saturday may be the best we’ve ever seen? two words… Blake Griffin… if you’ve still yet to see this young man, you’ve been living in a cave and you need to go to youtube ASAP and watch what this kid can do.

    the players in the contest are Serge Ibaka, (who i don’t expect much from), JaVale McGee, (who is athletic, but i don’t think can get too creative with his big body), and DeMar DeRozan, (who is replacing brandon jennings, and DeMar has done some good dunks in past years of the contest). BUT, the man who seems to have already won the trophy before this AS weekend has even started, is Blake Griffin.

    he’s 6’10”, 251lbs, and he probably jumps higher than anybody else in the NBA right now. he’s second in the league with 46 double-doubles, he’s second in the league with 137 dunks, and he’s making the clippers relevant.

    this kid is a manchild, and it’s only his rookie season! (due to sitting out the entire season last year because of injury). and as an active NBA fan, Blake has become the most exciting player to watch in the league. (sorry d.rose fans)

    so, even if you don’t watch the NBA, i highly recommend that you watch the slam dunk contest this weekend. it won’t disappoint this time…

    • AT3374

      Only problem with dunk contest is that JUST about everything have been done , and it still stinks . Even bringing in that wheel did little to make it special . Until Kobe, Le Bron , DWade or other big time players get on board , it won’t really matter , though BGriff is sick though on those dunks ;)

      • bigtime sucker

        i still say find a way to create a contest based on the ole 3on2, 2on 1 drill, where you see people dunking ON EACH OTHER!!!! with ally oops for creative passing and possible outstanding defensive plays like blocked shots, that would be better than a dunk contest

      • Jon, Montgomery

        they definately need some star names.

  • AT3374

    OJ Mayo would be a nice addition to the team and would take even more pressure off od Derrick to score and do just about everything to have this team competitive . Glad we FINALLY have a real coach also that understands the game . Once Noah gets back , Bulls will settle into the #3 slot since the Magic haven’t proven they are worthy of that spot and a upgrade at the #2 would have them challenging Miami for #2 overall in the East . Go bulls

  • Pulseczar

    The dunk contest has sucked since the 90s, imo.

    Griffin is a beast but there’s just something…. unsatisfying about seeing a guy who only needs to jump like 3 inches to dunk. I felt the same way about Dwight Howard winning. Maybe have an under 6-8 category or something. I know it’s only a few inches and they have a hard enough time getting players interested in participating already. Gerald Wallace couldn’t have looked less interested last year. I dunno.

    All of that said- I loved watching Shawn Kemp’s dunks.

    Really, just because you’re good at dunking in-game doesn’t always translate to the showcase trick dunks that it takes to win the dunk contest.

    • AT3374

      Agreed 100% about dunk contest

      Also Payton to Kemp dunks were nasty , shame he got fat and had all those kids and quit trying , he was a baller back in the day and almost beat the Bulls by himself in the playoffs .

      • bigtime sucker

        see my post above, 3 on 2, 2 on 1 contest, payton and kemp would have dominated that

  • Jon, Montgomery

    even though bogans has been playing well as of late, i still think the bulls could use an upgrade at the SG position. rumored players have involved courtney lee, stephen jackson, andre iguodala, OJ mayo & others…

    but i really don’t expect the bulls to make any moves. this team has pretty good chemistry and they think they can get by with bogans. how far??? i think the current team can make it to the ECF. but the lack of scoring will ctach up to them eventually.


    Yahoo! Sports and SCORE Contributor Adrian Wojnarowski reports that contrary to what the Russian owner of the New Jersey Nets recently said about bowing out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, his team is supposedly back in the running for the unhappy Denver Nuggets’ forward. I thought Carmelo wanted nothing to do with the Nets…Here’s the link to the latest Wojnarowski story:;_ylt=AkJCtWTxUWfIHvXCxhQ10.45nYcB?slug=aw-anthonynets021611

  • Jon, Montgomery

    the nuggets are biting their fingernails. they’ve tried new york, they’ve said you’re asking too much. they’ve tried new jersey, they’ve said they don’t want to deal with you because of the publicity of it all. they’re trying the Lakers, but there’s no way the Lakers will trade Bynum.

    Denver is running out of options, they now risk losing Carmelo after the season for nothing in return, though Anthony has said he would consider the nuggets extension if they choose not to deal him by the deadline. but do I believe melo? not a chance, he’s not resigning with denver, if he walks after the season, he’s going to new york.

    the nuggets recently have tried to re-engage the nets in talks, (like i said they would), but new jersey isn’t going to deal for a rental, because melo won’t sign the extension with the nets. so i still say even though new jersey has the best package for the nuggets, there’s no chance Carmelo goes there.

    so, unless David stern decides to hand the los angeles lakers another cookie… it’s basically down to the Knicks… or nothing.

    what it looks like to me, is Carmelo is staying put in Denver, for the remainder of the season ONLY, then he’ll walk. because the nuggets asking price is just too high right now for the Knicks to accept a deal, so unless Denver comes down from what they’re asking, look for Anthony to stay in a nuggets uniform for the rest of this season, then sign with the new york knicks in free agency.

  • Murph

    you gotta (clap clap) see jack (clap clap) dot coooooommmmmmm!!!

    • pappy

      my guyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
      come to basta pasta where schmutzi and jiggets and i will be dining on 6 year old shoes topped with marconi giardinair

      • jiggetts

        mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm shoes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm giardinair mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm blocking

  • john

    read the cba Dan
    Hinrich cannot be traded to the Bulls until July

    • Jon, Montgomery

      100% correct

  • thebizkit

    Believe it or not, the Bulls can win the title this year!

    The Heat are not gelled yet, I dont think they will be until next year at the earliest. No way they find a way to beat the Magic or Celtics in a 7 game series.

    Boston is old and we have been able to beat them this year, if we add one more piece to our roster I think we solve them in the playoff’s.

    Orlando seems to struggle against good teams just like the Heat.

    The Spurs can’t keep this pace up all season long, tonights game should be a good one and a good test.

    The Lakers are no longer a dominant team, the cracks on that team are getting bigger and bigger, if Bynum goes down they are done.

    I think if the Bulls can pry away Nick Young from Washington we win the title but thats a long shot trade.

    Either way I don;t think we can win a title if our big trade deadline acquisition is Anthony Parker or Courtney Lee. Its time to take a risk and pull off a bold trade.

    • bigtime sucker

      you would have to give up a lot for nick young me thinks

  • Jon, Montgomery

    The REAL Baseball Prospectus Pecota Projections Have Arrived!

    NL EAST:

    1. PHI = 91-71
    2. ATL = 87-75
    3. FLA = 84-78
    4. NYM = 80-82
    5. WAS = 70-92


    1. STL = 87-75
    2. MIL = 85-77
    3. CIN = 81-81
    4. CHC = 80-82
    5. PIT = 71-91
    6. HOU = 68-94

    NL WEST:

    1. SF = 90-72
    2. LAD = 87-75
    3. COL = 83-79
    4. SD = 80-82
    5. ARZ = 74-88

    AL EAST:

    1. BOS = 93-69
    2. NYY = 92-70
    3. TB = 84-78
    4. BAL = 81-81
    5. TOR = 76-86


    1. MIN = 83-79
    2. DET = 83-79
    3. CHW = 82-80
    4. CLE = 74-88
    5. KC = 69-93

    AL WEST:

    1. TEX = 84-78
    2. OAK = 83-79
    3. LAA = 78-84
    4. SEA = 70-92

  • bigtime sucker

    i disagree with WSox prediction, cincinatti will be better than .500, cubs looks right, i think tampa dives down considerably, don’t agree with that, everything else looks about right


    That’s a lot of cabbage for 82 and 80 (and third place). I, really, wouldn’t project Detroit in second place.

    ‘hawk talk: good win last night, despite the poor first period. Look, we’ve seen that it doesn’t really matter how you play in the first, if you can’t finish. They finished.
    Maybe, Q ran a slack-ass practice (focusing on penalty shots) to see if these guys could dig themselves out of a hole. They had been tripping on mines in the third.
    Trusting Corey Crawford earns Bowman style points.

  • well that wasn't nice

    Terry Boers is Ron Santo. Ron Santo is dead. Terry Boers is not dead. Terry Boers is not Ron Santo. Thank you.

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