Monday, November 10, 2008

If You Were Waiting For That Big Bulls Trade This Season, Don't Hold Your Breath

By now everyone knows about Hinrich's injury that will keep him out until February. Going into this season the Bulls had the most crowded backcourt in the whole league. The problem is that outside of Rose, everyone in the backcourt was ineffective yet had some value as a trade asset. Hughes is a big guard that still is living off the reputation of a good defender he got the season he led the league in steals with the Wizards 5 years ago. Gordon can shoot the lights out and score in bunches. Hinrich is an average point guard in a league starving for point guards. Even Thabo is a big 2 guard that can bring a lot of value to a team looking for a defensive-minded guard.

With no real post presence on the offensive end for the Bulls, everyone expected (or hoped) that Paxson would stop being a pussy and pull the trigger on a big trade; that he would trade one of his "stockpiled assets" for a big man that would fit with Rose and Deng. Well that seems impossible now. A combination of factors ending with the most recent injury to everyone's favorite little white guard will render the likelihood of a trade improbable if not impossible.

There were a few things preventing a trade even before this injury. Hughes getting hurt thinned the backcourt out a bit (even though he sucks). Paxson's unwillingness to trade Hinrich, Hughes, or Thabo for fear of Gordon walking at the end of the year and the Bulls going from guard glut to guardless was also a factor. Now with one of our most tradable assets going down, even the return of Hughes is unlikely to create a scenario where Pax is comfortable dealing a guard. All this assumes that Hinrich cannot be moved since he is injured, which seems logical.

Paxson definitely did not have the spine to make a trade before this, as evidenced by the years of "stockpiling assets" that resulted in nothing (unless you consider Ben Wallace for Larry Hughes something). So if you were hoping for a big trade this season, think again. Maybe around the all-star break something could happen, but definitely not before then. For better or worse, this is your 08-09 Bulls backcourt, so you better get used to it.

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