Chicago Bulls trade rumors have revealed that everyone on the roster not named Jimmy Butler is now available to the rest of the NBA. This includes Dwyane Wade, who is likely in the final year of his current contract, and who could provide veteran leadership to any contending team. A Wade trade to the Miami Heat could certainly make the second half of the 2016-17 NBA season very interesting.
A report by Brian Windhorst at ESPN confirms that “everyone except Jimmy Butler” is now available. While the most likely candidates to be dealt before the NBA trade deadline are Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson, the Chicago Bulls may be willing to part with players like Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo as well. It might be an extensive endeavor to try to pry Wade away from the Bulls, but a future first-round pick might just do it.
As the latest NBA playoff standings show, the Bulls are currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 28-29 record. It’s not where the front office expected to be this season after offering large free agent contracts to Wade and Rondo. This puts the Bulls only two games ahead of the ninth-place Milwaukee Bucks and three games ahead of the tenth-place Miami Heat. The Detroit Pistons, residing as the No. 8 seed, are also only one game behind the Bulls.
What do all four teams have in common? They each have a front office that is unsure about what to do for the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA season. Each team is caught between trying to compete for a spot in the 2017 NBA Playoffs and going into a full rebuilding mode. All four franchises also have pieces that could be very intriguing to other contending teams trying to improve before the February 23 NBA trade deadline.
An interesting scenario that hasn’t been brought up in previous NBA or Chicago Bulls trade rumors, could be Dwyane Wade going to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook could certainly use some additional help, and Wade has the postseason experience that might just make OKC a real threat in the postseason. Would OKC be willing to give up a future first-round draft pick to acquire the future Basketball Hall of Fame inductee?
Wade is averaging 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in his first season with the Bulls. He makes $23.2 million this season and then has a player option worth $23.8 million next year. Former All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo has taken a hit in his numbers but could provide good minutes off the bench for a contending team. He is on the books for $14 million this season and then roughly $13.4 million next year. Both guards are “expendable” at this point if the team can find someone interested in acquiring them.
Despite all the intriguing Chicago Bulls trade rumors that have been floating around, including a potential reunion of Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat, the two most-likely players for the team to part with are still big men Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. Gibson is the starting power forward, averaging 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He makes about $9 million this season. Mirotic is averaging 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game off the bench at a salary of about $5.8 million. Both players are free agents at the end of the current season.
So what is it that the front office in Chicago is going to do before the February 23 NBA trade deadline? There are still quite a few rumors about trading Jimmy Butler to teams like the Boston Celtics and L.A. Clippers, but it would probably be a mistake for the Bulls to give up a young All-Star in that fashion. What the team does have is a good group of veteran players who could bring back future draft picks. Fans likely hope that the Chicago Bulls trade rumors all get ignored, and the team instead tries to make a run in the postseason.
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