NBA Trade Deadline Analysis: Chicago Bulls Save Cap Space in Minor Deal with Toronto Raptors

ESPN Reports:

“Chicago trades James Johnson to the Raptors for a first-round draft pick.”

Color me nonplussed. Before anyone gets up in arms, the pick in question is the Miami Heat’s pick, sure to be at the very end of the first round. This is a seemingly minor deal, so let’s take a look.

Chicago Bulls Outlook:

The Bulls weren’t playing their 2009 first rounder, so they decided to move him for a bit of cap space and a very low pick. The cap space is the key here, as the Bulls are in on trading for Courtney Lee or another capable 2-guard. The lower level bunch of these, i.e. not OJ Mayo, would be able to fit under the Bulls cap with the space cleared up, or they could take their picks and bit of space into the draft and see what comes up then. This isn’t a huge move, but as a Courtney Lee could (seriously) be the difference in being a contender or not, it could be far more than it seems.

Toronto Rapters Outlook:

They didn’t need another late first rounder, and now they can try a mid-first round pick out at the 3 and 4 to see what they have. If he’s useful, that’s great. If he isn’t then they gave up practically nothing.

Final Thoughts:

It’s ironic that of all the deals so far, this one could have most bearing on the 2011 playoffs and 2011 NBA Champion, but if the Bulls make an effective enough move…

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