What the Bulls’ trade means

Yesterday, we discussed the nuts and bolts of the Hinrich-to-Washington trade, but ESPNChicago speculates more about what superstars the Bulls will be able to sign.

But that hardly matters as moving Hinrich and his $9 million contract, and dumping their draft pick, would fatten the Bulls’ free-agent budget from $20 million to $30 million, nearly enough to pay two max-salary free agents.

In Chicago, this news is met with unabashed glee because now we get LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Too bad because it’s a no-lose for the Bulls. And yes, that’s even if, horrors, James stays in Cleveland or goes somewhere other than Chicago. Even if he takes Bosh with him.

After Bosh, and assuming Dwyane Wade stays put, Joe Johnson is reportedly frothing to come to the Bulls, so much so, according to the Tribune, that he would be willing to sign early. At off guard, Johnson would form a dream backcourt with Derrick Rose. Carlos Boozer would complete that picture nicely. The Bulls don’t appear especially interested in Amare Stoudemire. But the next-tier David Lee, a restricted free agent and a 20-12 guy, is out there. Ray Allen is too, even at nearly 35.

Things are set up nicely for Chicago, who are set at point guard (Derrick Rose) and center (Joakim Noah), which are two positions where this free agency class is most certainly lacking. Moreover, they are still on their rookie contracts which means that the Bulls can sign LeBron/Bosh or Johnson/Boozer and then pay Rose and Noah in a few years.

Unless the Bulls completely strike out in free agency, they’ll have a core group of talented players that should be together for the next five years.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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