Snap judgements about the Ben Wallace trade

I hate to take on Larry Hughes’ contract but it’s actually not as bad as Ben Wallace’s was.

The Cavs were asking for Chris Duhon.  The Bulls were saying they didn’t want Hughes.  That looks like the compromise of the trade.  I’m glad they kept Du because even if they let him go in the offseason, he’ll be very valuable this season if the Bulls can sneak into the playoffs.

At least the throw ins Chicago ended up with, Simmons and Brown, are both young and thus hopefully have upside.  I haven’t seen them play enough to know.

Losing Joe Smith hurts, but obviously was a necessary part of this trade.  He’s been the Bulls most consistent player this season and they will miss him.  Drew Gooden is a solid play though and should help.  I would have preferred Duhon was included instead of Gooden and I think it made more sense for the Cavs.  They need a PG and Du is a solid true PG.  He’s not a great scorer, but with LeBron that’s not a problem.  My only guess at why they went for Smith is his higher salary was needed to make the salaries match up.

Finally, and most importantly, getting rid of Ben Wallace was ESSENTIAL.  He may decide to start trying again now that he’s been traded to Cleveland, but he was poison to this Bulls team.  He seems like a good guy and all, but getting paid the money he was on a team full of young players and still only playing hard 1 out of every 6 games was killing this team.  It was causing apathy to spread through the youngsters like wildfire.  Thank goodness somebody was desperate enough to take him off of the Bulls’ hands.

Now if Chicago can just somehow rejuvenate Larry Hughes’ career they’ll be set . . .

2 Responses to “Snap judgements about the Ben Wallace trade”

  1. 1 Joe P.
    February 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    At first, I hated this trade. Absolutely hated it. You know where I stand. I thought – and still do think – that the Bulls should have packaged a group of the youngsters for an all-star. They should have gone after Kobe this summer. Then Pau this fall. Then maybe make a run at Wade, McGrady, or Agent Zero. I realize that would have taken alot, but I think that the Bulls have enough role players to support any of those trades.

    Anyways, as I look further at the trade I don’t mind it as much. By getting rid of Wallace the Bulls force themselves into a position to play their young players, namely Noah and Thomas. Noah’s averages per minute are as good as Wallace’s in blocks and boards, so I think he can fill the role of a defensive big guy. Gooden offers a better low post offense than Smith, which is an area the Bulls have obviously suffered. Finally, Hughes, while sucking offensively, still gives the Bulls a pretty good defensive presence at guard.

    Where Pax really fucked up is in not solving the impending Gordon/Deng debacle and the payroll probelms that will result. We are either going to have to sign both of those guys to $12m per year contracts(they both rejected $10m), or lose them for nothing. If I were to guess – given how fiscally conservative(boarding on stingy) the Bulls have proven to be – I’d guess that the Bulls are going to lose one of them for nothing. That sucks and is dumb planning.

    Even if, the Bulls sign them we are going to have a monster, handcuffing payroll. Check it. We will have Hughes at $12m, Gordon at $12m, Deng at $12m, Heinrich at $11m, Noc at $8 Gooden at $6m. That totals to $61m. Thats over the $56m salary cap. Just those guys. That’s not even including the rest of the team. Or what it will take to resign the younger guys and the inevitable upcoming lottery pick. PLUS we have to start looking for a new coach. What a mess.

    This is what happens when you fall in love with your own creation.

  2. 2 312chill
    February 22, 2008 at 1:20 am


    I can’t argue with your comments and in fact I’ve stated similar opinions in the past. It’s not that I think this was a great/smart move by Paxson, but rather a job-saving move. If I’m Reinsdorf – well I’d be a smarter owner – Paxson’s job was already on thin ice. This trade gives him at least until after the draft before I fire him.

    I really believe Wallace was clubhouse cancer. Larry Hughes, while not upgrading anything for the Bulls, will at least be seen as a faliure by the other players as opposed to a role model, as I believe they viewed Wallace. I think Deng ane particularly Gordon looked at Wallace as an example of how to make big money in the NBA. Try hard for a few years and one team or another won’t be able to help but pay you $15 million a year and then it doesn’t matter.

    Here’s the thing with the salaries; Gordon is gone this summer or early next season. He’s already said he’ll sign the qualifying offer next season in order to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of it. More than anything else that means the Bulls can trade him as an expiring contract. Package that with the expiring contract that will be Gooden next year and that’s a good amount of money. Add Thomas to it or somebody else and you have money to get a good player back. What Paxson HAS to do next year is swipe that season’s Pau Gasol instead of ONCE AGAIN letting his valuable expiring contracts expire.

    Finally, you’re absolutely right about Paxson falling in love with his own decisions. Complete bullshit. There’s no excuse for him not picking up either Zach Randolph or, preferably, Gasol. Sure Randolph has questions but the Blazers gave him up for nothing. Bulls could have had him and bought him out by now without being in any worse of a situation than they are now. Missing on Gasol just makes me feel sick to my stomach.

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