A few weeks ago, I was predicting a fairly quiet trade deadline.
Let’s forget I said that.
It seems more and more teams will do anything in their power to avoid the league’s new-and-improved luxury tax, which escalates a lot more quickly than the old version and which includes an additional charge – dubbed the “repeater tax” on teams that exceed the threshold for too many years in a row.
In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. Fear of the tax was a big reason the Thunder traded James Harden before the season, was the primary driver of the Grizzlies’ recent trades, and is a major factor in just about every proposal that has been floated this week.
So who’s going where?
Carlos Boozer to the Raptors? The Bulls have never been shy – or particularly apologetic – about looking to economize on salaries, and it feels like they’ve been hoping to unload Boozer’s exorbitant salary since the day he arrived at the United Center. The hottest rumor has Boozer headed to Toronto in exchange for Andrea Bargnani. It’s not hard to see why Jerry Reinsdorf likes the idea; Boozer will make roughly $32 million over the next two seasons, Bargnani $23 million.
Funny thing, though – for a money deal, this one actually makes a fair amount of basketball sense. Bargnani would give the Bulls a floor-stretcher in the frontcourt, which would help create space for Derrick Rose’s drives, while Taj Gibson is already on hand to replace Boozer’s paint presence.
Toronto, meanwhile, would get a low-post scorer they haven’t had since Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach, and (potentially) a nice complement to Rudy Gay.
Boozer is 92-percent owned – which seems about right. He’ll score and rebound but doesn’t block enough shots or shoot a stunningly-high percentage. Gibson (32-percent owned) stands to benefit significantly from the proposed deal, especially when you consider how much time Bargnani and Joakim Noah spend dealing with injuries.
Complete article at Waiver Wire: Rumor Mill – RotoWire.com.