The Nets and Bulls are discussing a trade that would send Larry Hughes to New Jersey, according to two published reports. The Bulls would receive Bobby Simmons in return, with little-used Maurice Ager included to make the salaries match.
Hughes has been disappointed about his lack of playing time in Chicago, especially since Kirk Hinrich returned from injury. It's not clear how much more time he could expect to see in New Jersey behind Devin Harris and Vince Carter (especially with Keyon Dooling playing well off the bench), but sometimes a move simply for the sake of a change of scenery is a good thing.
Al Iannozzone of the Bergen Record broke the news yesterday and Brian Hanley of the Chicago Tribune was able to confirm it with a league source. Both reports indicate the Bulls had the option of taking Sean Williams instead of Ager but passed. Williams showed flashes of potential as a rookie but has since taken permanent residence in New Jersey's dog house -- his head has grown while his play on the court has declined (his PER has fallen from 13.9 to a measly 3.4).
As for Hughes, he recently met with Vinny Del Negro and John Paxson to talk about his situation, and his agent has apparently been given permission to seek out potential trades. From the Tribune:
Hughes said his agent, Jeff Wechsler, has been trying to facilitate a move.
''He's working for me, having talks back and forth,'' Hughes said. ''I'm just waiting for something to pan out. This is kind of a waiting game. I'd like to be playing while I'm waiting, but it just isn't the way it is.''
If Hughes really wanted a move, he could probably grease the wheels by letting it be known he's open to a buyout this summer -- he's currently set to make $13.6 million next season. He's still talented enough to crack most rotations and more than a few starting lineups, but the biggest appeal of trading for him now is his contract, which expires the summer of 2010.