Kings, Bulls Still Working On Trade?

Bulls reportedly offered guard Hughes month ago

The Bulls are the sort of team that needs to make a trade. Why? First of all, the traditional reason you make a trade -- to leverage assets you don't need for those you do. In the Bulls' case, it's guards: They don't need Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Larry Hughes, Ben Gordon, Lindsey Hunter, and Thabo Sefolosha, especially when it can be argued that the worst player in that group is also the one with the most convenient contract for trade purposes: Larry Hughes.

What's more, the Bulls need to trade to establish a direction. The Ben Wallace signing, and the subsequent trade for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden, has left the Bulls in a weird middle ground, full of the promise of youth but stuck with a couple of veterans that bring little to the picture. Trading one or both for a young player would change that.

According to the Sacramento Bee, that's exactly what the Bulls have been trying to do:

The two teams, according to league sources, had trade talks earlier this season that have been tabled for now. The Bulls need frontcourt help, but they appear to have more interest in second-year center Spencer Hawes than in veteran Brad Miller or even forward Kenny Thomas.

That could change, but the question on the Bulls' side is whether they will part ways with forward Drew Gooden (who has an expiring contract) and/or a young player such as Joakim Noah or Tyrus Thomas. According to the sources, Chicago offered guard Larry Hughes in the previous discussions. The 11-year veteran has a contract nearly identical to Miller's, with approximately $25 million owed to him before it ends after next season.

Trading Miller for Hughes would be an immediate improvement, and would fill that need the Bulls have had for so long -- a halfway decent frontcourt scorer. Coupled with Joakim Noah, Drew Gooden, and Tryus Thomas, Miller could be a great way to for the Bulls to use their leverage and make something happen.

If they're trading with "franchise direction" in mind, though, Hawes is the real gem. At only 20 years old, he would be a franchise building block to set alongside rookie point guard Derrick Rose, the sort of player the Bulls could both rebuild around without having to wait too long to win. (Hawes also has a totally killer Myspace, too, bro.) A quick look at Hawes' per-36 numbers at Basketball Reference reveals a player ready to contribute now, at least in rebounding, with a developing offensive game in tow.

In any case, the trade talks have been tabled for a month, according to the Bee, so there's a decent shot none of this will happen. But if it does, it's hard to see how the Bulls could lose in a trade for either Miller or Hawes. Now to the small matter of actually pulling it off.

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