The Chicago Bulls acquired two useful pieces from the Sacramento Kings this afternoon, landing G/F John Salmons and F/C Brad Miller while unloading F Drew Gooden and F Andres Nocioni.
The Bulls get the edge in the deal mainly because they were unable unload the 20 million remaining on Nocioni’s contract. Ultimately, the trade satisfied the wishes of both teams.
The Bulls will likely insert Brad Miller into the starting lineup. Although Joakim Noah has played better in recent weeks, he is not the offensive threat Miller is. The Bulls need to spread the floor to allow Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon room to penetrate, and Miller’s outside shooting will instantly have an impact on spacing.
Salmons is an underrated player who is quietly averaging 18.8 ppg this season. He can handle the ball and has a solid all-around game. It will be interesting to see what idiotic Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro does with Salmons.
He could potentially start Salmons instead of Ben Gordon to help on the defensive end. He also could (and probably should) replace the struggling Luol Deng in the lineup. But I doubt John Paxson wants to see his 71 million-dollar man coming off the bench.
As for the Kings, Gooden and Nocioni will probably get minutes but may not start. This will probably frustrate both players, given their high opinion of themselves. Gooden grew up near Sacramento, so he will probably be a “good soldier” and accept his role. Who knows what goes through Nocioni’s brain.
Gooden is a free agent after the season and will probably not re-sign with the Kings.
Sacramento is struggling financially and there have been rumors that the Maloof brothers might try to move the team unless a deal to build a new arena can be reached. The idiotic signings of Francisco Garcia and Kevin Martin to long-term deals has put the Kings in salary cap hell. So moving the large contracts of Salmons and Miller was certainly a positive step for the Kings.
Cedric Simmons and Michael Ruffin were included in the deal for salary cap reasons. The Kings promptly dealt Ruffin to the Blazers for Ike Diogu. Remember him?
I will be watching closely to see how this trade impacts the Bulls, who are technically not out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.