Didn't see that anyone noted this article. A sportswriter from the Chicago Sun Times speculated on a JO for Bulls package deal:
'Either I can play or I can't'
Pierce's inspiring return from Game 1 injury doesn't mean he isn't hurt
June 8, 2008
BY JOHN JACKSON Sun-Times Columnist
On the market
If the Bulls decide to select Memphis point guard Derrick Rose with the top pick in the draft this month, they might seek to fill their need for a low-post scorer by acquiring Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal.
The Pacers would prefer not to deal O'Neal within the Central Division, but they might not have much choice. O'Neal has two years and $44 million left on his contract and a recent history of injuries, so few teams would be in position -- or willing -- to make a play for the 12-year veteran.
The Bulls, though, are one of those teams. They have the players -- and, more important, the big-money contracts -- to get a deal done. A proposal built around forward Tyrus Thomas ($3.75 million), one of the Bulls' excess guards -- Larry Hughes ($12.8 million), Kirk Hinrich ($10 million) or Ben Gordon (restricted free agent) -- and a future draft pick meets the salary-cap requirements and might be the best offer the Pacers get.
Although O'Neal is a former All-Star, his value won't be very high because of his contract and because he averaged just 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds last season. The team that trades for O'Neal will be gambling that he can regain his health, which is far from a certainty.
Here's the link:
And yes, I would do a Bulls-JO deal. The writer speculates on a JO for Hinrich/Thomas and pick deal. I could envision a deal similar to this (works under CBA):
JO & Diogu & 2nd rd pick for Hinrich, Hughes and Thomas
JO's salary next year: 21.35 million, Diogu is set to earn 2.9 million. Total: 24.25 million
Hinrich will earn 10 million, Hughes 12.825 and Thomas will earn 3.75 million. Total: 26.575 million
Why for Indy? Indy finally rids itself of JO and gets back a solid point, a young player in Thomas and a decent starter or 6th man in Hughes. Pacers could use their #11 pick for a big like Jordan or Speights?
Why for Chicago? Bulls dump some longer contracts in Hinrich and Hughes and add a big man and clears room for Rose.
New Pacer lineup:
Hinrich, Diener, fa
Hughes, Daniels, fa
Granger, Williams, Graham
Dunleavy, Thomas, Richard Hendrix 2nd rd pick
Murphy, Foster, #11 pick