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Bulls talking Tyrus to Bobcats; Salmons deal official
by Sam Smith
Posted on Feb 18
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The Bulls early Thursday afternoon were trying to beat the trade deadline with a trade of Tyrus Thomas to the Charlotte Bobcats for guards Flip Murray and Acie Law, both of whom have expiring contracts, league sources confirmed.
The deal had not yet been completed, the sources said, but indications are the teams were trying to get it done and it would be approved. The Bulls also had been talking with the Knicks about a trade of Thomas for Al Harrington.
If the Bulls complete the deal with Charlotte, it would be a remaking of the team similar to the John Salmons and Brad Miller deals of last year but without disturbing the starting lineup. Murray is an explosive, veteran scoring guard and Law could provide some backup point guard minutes. Also, Warrick is a athletic forward who would fill the role Thomas played for the Bulls without the controversy. The Bulls would likely have to vacate a roster spot, perhaps with Chris Richard, if the deals are completed. There also is a swap of first round pick involved with high lottery protection. The Bobcats had been seeking a power forward and would pair Thomas with another former Bulls failed high pick, Tyson Chandler. It also would end the troubled Thomas era in Chicago and provide the Bulls a high level veteran scorer in Murray and in the Salmons deal with the Bucks an athletic player much like Thomas in Warrick but a better defender and less controversial figure.
It was officially announced the Bulls will get Milwaukee’s Warrick and former high first round pick Joe Alexander for John Salmons. The trade is a major development for the Bulls because it enables the team to get between $18 million and $20 million below the salary cap for free agency this summer. That would be more than enough to offer a maximum contract to one of the top free agents this summer and put the Bulls in enviable position with arguably the best young core among the teams vying for free agents.
The Bucks get Salmons, who was a major contributor to the Bulls push for the playoffs last season, in addition to two second round draft picks and the rights to swap first round picks. It’s a good deal for the Bucks who add a high level NBA starter to their rotation at a time they wouldn’t have the salary space this summer to add a top player.