Breaking down the Chicago/Sacramento trade

According to ESPN sources the Bulls and Kings have agreed to a multi-player trade. There aren’t any so-called “big” names in the deal but there are a number of starter-level players involved.

The Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings have reached tentative agreement on a trade sending Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons to the Kings for Brad Miller and John Salmons, front-office sources said on Wednesday.

The Kings would then turn around and ship Ruffin to the Portland Trail Blazers for forward Ike Diogu and cash considerations, sources told ESPN’s Chris Broussard.

One source told that the Bulls players were pulled off the team bus Wednesday afternoon and were told they had been traded.

The trade centers around Nocioni, Gooden (or at least his expiring contract), Miller and Salmons. The Bulls’ big “get” here is probably Brad Miller, who is still a pretty good center. Salmons is a dynamic wing who is playing very well this season, but it will be interesting to see how the Bulls plan to use him. He is not nearly the same player coming off the bench.

For the Kings, they will get immediate salary cap relief as Miller’s $12.3 million will come off the books for next season. Nocioni’s contract runs another three years at the tune of $20 million, so they must see him as an upgrade to Salmons. Nocioni is capable of starting, but has spent most of his time in Chicago coming off the bench in large part because he plays the same position as Luol Deng.

Is there a winner here? Not really. The Bulls got the better end talent-wise, but the Kings got a nice mix of talent and salary cap relief. It looks like a win-win for both sides.

The big news here is that without Gooden’s expiring deal, the Bulls are probably out of the running for Amare Stoudemire’s services. But as the week has worn on it is looking less and less like the Suns are going to move him before the trade deadline.

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Marion for Brad Miller?

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the Miami Heat have offered Shawn Marion for Brad Miller.

The Heat, numerous league sources said, has had recent talks with the Kings and offered Marion for center Brad Miller and Kenny Thomas. But Miami also wants the Kings to take Marcus Banks, the little-used, sixth-year point guard who has this season and next remaining on his contract for a combined total of $5.1 million.

This rumor supports the theory that the Heat no longer see Carlos Boozer as a good long-term fit due to their opinion that Michael Beasley’s natural position is power forward. Miami needs a point guard and a center, and the 32 year-old Miller (PER: 16.29), still has some gas left in the tank. He is averaging 13.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in January, and is still one of the best-passing big men in the game, so he would be able to set up Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley for open shots.

Both Miller and Thomas have salaries that run through the 2009-10 season so this would not affect the team’s plans for the summer of 2010.

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