What was supposed to be a deal for exciting Suns All-Star Amare Stoudemire turned into something entirely non-exciting, as the Bulls traded Gooden and forward Andres Nocioni for Kings center Brad Miller. Miller has played once before with the Bulls after being traded from Charlotte in 2000. He is a serviceable-to-good center with excellent passing skills; his presence means Aaron Gray literally has no reason to play anymore. Today, an era dies. (Update:ESPN.com reports that Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons are heading to the Trail Blazers and the Kings, respectively.)
David Aldridge's NBA.com report hints that the Bulls might try to use Miller as leverage in a trade either before tomorrow's deadline, or in 2010. By keeping Thomas and Noah, and adding Miller's contract, which expires in 2010, the Bulls now have three attractive pieces they can use for a trade this time next year. Who knows what unsigned 2010 superstar will be avaiable in trade?
It could be worse: the Bulls could have made no trade at all. Instead, they get a net win in Miller, they keep their young stars, and they reload for another 12 or so months of slow rebuilding. If Amare Stoudemire wasn't available, this was about the best Bulls fans could hope for. Exciting? No. Smart? Close enough.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.