With a sub-.500 record and growing frustration around the recent benching of free agent addition Rajon Rondo, the Chicago Bulls would be wise to start planning for big moves before the NBA’s trade deadline in February. Rondo recently informed the Chicago media that he would “absolutely” request a trade if he remains out of Fred Hoiberg’s rotation. The $14 million question is: what team would be willing to take on the aging point guard’s contract, and what other pieces would they insist be included in that package?
That question could give Gar Forman and John Paxson some sleepless nights in the near future. But it least it sounds like they have their eyes on a few potential trading targets.
Earlier today, the Bulls Nation blog reported that the team is interested in acquiring either Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight or Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel.
— Bulls Nation (@BullsNationNet) January 2, 2017
Not The Knight Bulls Need
Let’s start with Brandon Knight. In one of his columns last week, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Suns are looking to move the underwhelming guard before the deadline.
“The latest signals continue to suggest that Suns guard Brandon Knight will be one of the bigger names to move between now and the Feb. 23 trade deadline. Knight played only nine minutes in the Suns’ home win Thursday night over Toronto, less than 20-year-old rookie Tyler Ulis.” – Marc Stein
It appears as though the former first round pick has worn out his welcome in Phoenix. In addition to the emerging talent of Ulis, the Suns also have veteran Eric Bledsoe as their locked-in starter at the point. When Knight is on the floor, he’s hurting his team’s effectiveness. He has the league’s worst plus/minus total of -256. Why, exactly would the Bulls want to trade their struggling point guard for somebody even worse? Do they see Knight as a better backcourt fit with Dwyane Wade? He’s not necessarily as ball-dominant as Rondo, and can be a better scorer. But he’s still not a great shooter (39.5%) and he doesn’t have the passing skills of a true point guard.
Knight’s contract is slightly cheaper than Rondo’s this season. But he has 3 more years on the current deal worth $13.6 million, $14.6 million and $15.6 million. Does that sound like a good investment for the Bulls given his current numbers? No.
Nerlens Noel, on the other hand, just might be worth a closer look from Chicago’s front office.