There seems to be a sentiment among fans, media and anyone else who cares about the Chicago Bulls that certain guys need to go and certain need to stay in order for this 08-09 incarnation of the Bulls to have success. I'm not here to suggest that a big move won't be made. In fact, even though I'm a huge Kirk fan as most of you know, I would not be against a move that would ship him and his contract out. I would be fine with sending him or any other number of players to another team in a salary dump. See I have a little theory about the Bulls as they are currently constituted. I call it the "2 generation" theory. The team right now basically consists of 2 generations: the young, potential-filled generation; and the older, already hit their peak generation. Here is a breakdown:
Now some people are going to look at this and say "why is 24-25 the arbitrary cut off point?" Three reasons. The first is that statistically and historically speaking, most players peak is age 26-30 (though there are obvious exceptions). The second reason is contractual. By this I mean to say that most players are coming off their rookie contracts around 24-25, like Deng and Gordon now, so the guys in the "Old" group have bigger contracts. The third reason is purely from my gut, meaning that I feel like the guys in the "Old" group have peaked or just plain suck.
So what's the point? Well the point is that Paxson should be looking to move the people in the old generation and develop the guys in the new generation. No one in that old generation will be better than they are now. And none of the old guys is good enough to be worth their contracts ranging from 6 mil/year-13mil/year. Build around the young generation. Keeping the guys around from the old generation will only hinder our cap flexibility AND hinder the development of the young 'uns.
So in the final analysis, the discussion about whether to move Hughes or Gordon or Hinrich is really not the issue. Personally, I think we should keep BG and move Kirk. But either way I'll be happy. We need to move the older, bigger contract guys and free up minutes for our kids.
*Side Note: Gordon and Deng interestingly enough buck the trend, since Deng has a fat contract and is in the young group; and Gordon has no contract and is in the old group. While this is a discussion for another day, it is important to note that Deng may have a higher ceiling than we've seen. As opposed to BG, who may or may not improve on his defense (I'm guessing not). I'm not a scout, but that's just how it seems.