Many NBA trade rumors are focusing on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls this week, and there is at least one rumored scenario making the rounds in which they could make a deal with each other. Cavs superstar small forward LeBron James has been outspoken about his team’s need for a backup point guard, and CBS Sports reported that Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is on Cleveland’s short list of potential acquisitions.
Fox Sports takes things a step further, as they discuss Rondo and Bulls power forward Taj Gibson being a pair of players who would be an excellent fit with the Cavaliers. Rajon Rondo is not a good shooter, but he is an accomplished ball distributor, and he would be surrounded by shooters if he joined the Cavs’ bench unit. Gibson would provide Cleveland with improved interior defense, as well as offensive post play that they do not currently have coming off their bench.
There has been some talk that Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert may be interested in playing for the Chicago Bulls. Hoops Rumors indicates that Shumpert grew up rooting for the Bulls (he is from nearby Oak Park, Illinois) and he has always wanted to play for the team. Short of having the opportunity to compete for an NBA Championship, Chicago would likely be Shumpert’s preferred destination if he is dealt by the Cavs.
Current NBA trade rumors are circulating that there could be something in the works between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. According to the buzz online, Rajon Rondo and Taj Gibson would be sent to the Cavaliers, while the Bulls would receive Iman Shumpert, power forward Channing Frye and center Chris Andersen. This deal would be a legal transaction under NBA trade and salary cap restrictions, as confirmed by the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have several needs, and at least in theory, Rondo and Gibson would address many of those deficiencies. Gibson would take Frye’s current spot as the backup power forward and give the team a skill set (defense, scoring in the paint) that is lacking on their second unit. Rondo would be the veteran playmaker that the Cavaliers covet, and his lack of shooting prowess would be covered up by having multiple outside shooters playing alongside him when he comes off the bench for the Cavs.
Channing Frye would become expendable with the addition of Taj Gibson, and Chris Andersen is out for the season and is only included in this rumored trade proposal for salary cap purposes. Cleveland would miss Iman Shumpert’s perimeter defense, but the pros appear to outweigh the cons if the Cavaliers were to make this deal with the Chicago Bulls.
While Rajon Rondo could be a missing piece for the Cavs, he is very much in the doghouse in Chicago. Rondo was brought in by the Bulls to be their starting point guard, but he was benched a few weeks ago and has only recently returned to Chicago’s playing rotation — but in a fairly limited role. Taj Gibson has recently taken over the Bulls’ starting power forward position, but the team has two other capable players at that spot (Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis) who could pick up the slack if Gibson is shipped out.
Iman Shumpert would give Chicago a very strong defensive guard for their second unit, playing behind starter Dwyane Wade. Shumpert is still a young player (26), so he would fit into the Bulls’ rebuilding plan. Channing Frye is a solid veteran, but his skills are similar to those of Nikola Mirotic, so Frye may not be able to make much of an impact on Chicago’s playing rotation right away.
This example from the most recent batch of NBA trade rumors would be a plus for the Cleveland Cavaliers — assuming this is the best deal available that will net them a veteran point guard. This hypothetical swap would seem to be reasonable for the Chicago Bulls in terms of value, although perhaps not to the extent it would be for the Cavs. However, in order to move Rajon Rondo and his bloated contract, the Bulls will have to give up something of quality. Given all the circumstances, it’s conceivable to think that Chicago may take this offer, be rid of the distraction that Rajon Rondo has become, and simply move on with their rebuilding process.
[Featured Image by John Raoux/AP Images]