Friday, July 09, 2004

Please Don't Sue

I'm being shameless here, but I'm lifting the Crawford rumors out of Chad Ford's column today (sub. reqd.):

Isiah Thomas wants Jamal Crawford. How badly? Sources claim the Knicks and Bulls are talking about a deal that would have the Knicks swallowing the contracts of Eddie Robinson and Jerome Williams in an effort to convince the Bulls to do a sign-and-trade.

Of course, the Bulls would have to take back a bad contract, as well -- Shandon Anderson's. So far they've been reluctant to do even that. They've been pushing for the Knicks to trade Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington and Frank Williams for Crawford. Mutombo and Harrington are in the last years of their contracts, offering the Bulls more long-term salary cap relief. Still, despite the snags, expect something to happen here soon. It's pretty clear the Bulls don't want Crawford back (agent Aaron Goodwin claims they haven't even made an offer), and the Bulls are reluctant to pull the trigger on their free-agent favorite -- Brian Cardinal -- until they figure out what to do with Crawford.

Chicago also has been talking to the Heat, who might be able to offer a slightly better deal -- Caron Butler and Eddie Jones for Crawford, Williams and Robinson -- but they're a little preoccupied with the Shaq talks at the moment and aren't offering Crawford as lucrative a contract.


So there you go. That's what I call blogging journalism. I think we'd all agree that the Heat deal is a little sweeter. Get some wing players who can put the ball in the hoop. And guard a little as well. As much as it seems the Bulls are through with Crawford (and I am too), they do need people to replace his scoring. Ben Gordon can pick up some slack, but even with Crawford the Bulls offense was abysmal, so more help needs to come. Moving on...

I haven't made a comment yet on the Free Agent signings that have run rampant over the past week. Let me just say I'm almost glad the Bulls don't have cap space, because there are some UGLY deals going down. Check out all the numbers from EoTB, he's understandably miffed at the whole thing. Suddenly the Eddie Robinson contract doesn't look so bad. Well...maybe I won't go that far.

On the Carlos Boozer defection to Utah, go here and learn why we're lucky to have the right Paxson brother as the Bulls GM. This is the kind of mistake people get fired for.

I'll be back later in the weekend to go over the Summer League squad. Oh and some links will be changin' shortly. So keep hitting refresh every 5 minutes or so.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

"The Custodian"

Just a quick note here:  Free agent Brian Cardinal is lookin at the Bulls

Golden State forward Brian Cardinal is an Illinois native with a special place in his heart for the Bulls.

"He grew up a Bulls fan," said Cardinal's agent, Mark Bartelstein. "That's more of a factor (in his decision process) than him wanting to move back to the Midwest."

Well, whatever helps. I guess if Paxson and Skiles made a basketball robot with all the things they wanted most, they'd get Brian Cardinal. Well, maybe they'd try and add a dash of athleticism. And some height. And a better shooting touch...

....but all the other stuff about Cardinal, that's their type of guy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Crawford to the Knicks? And other poorly-kept secrets

Originally the Knicks were hoping to sign Crawford for the full mid-level exemption, but it seems the price has been raised. What helped Crawford's case was the fact that Dallas' Marquis Daniels, a similar 'combo' guard, signed for that amount, and Crawford's people think he's worth more than that. So its sign-and-trade time, which is the kind of thing the  Knicks love to meddle with.

A sign-and-trade for Crawford, the Chicago Bulls guard, appears to be progressing. Thomas is speaking regularly with the Bulls about a trade for Crawford, a restricted free agent who is looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $7 million and $9 million annually.

The Knicks would prefer to trade Shandon Anderson but will likely be forced to part with Kurt Thomas and perhaps Frank Williams and Othella Harrington. The Bulls would insist that the Knicks take back a player with a big contract, either Eddie Robinson or Jerome Williams.


I'm not gonna go through the salary cap fiasco that comes with a sign-and-trade, as Crawford's new contract qualifies him for BYC status. But looking at the players suggested, I wouldn't mind taking Thomas/Frankie/Harrington back.  Thomas is solid at the 4 (his natural position), and can at least provide consistent scoring. Anything that reduces what Antonio Davis' responsibility is a plus.

My boy, fellow Illini Frank Williams, recently has been praised over at Knickerblogger by guest-blogger Kevin Pelton.(look here for his take on Thomas). The most surprising conclusions was his defensive prowess. That has to make Skiles/Pax salivate. Sure he just finished only his second season, but I think he would be a suitable backup PG to Hinrich.

Harrington would be the ever-enticing 'expiring contract' with little more value than that. But a big thumbs down on Shandon Anderson, whose contract GMs avoid like the plague.

On the Bulls side of things, whose contract would you rather see go, E-Rob or the JYD? Here's the remaining figures(thanks to hoopshype):

Player 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Eddie Robinson $6,767,540 $7,288,120 $0 $0
Jerome Williams $5,600,000 $6,075,000 $6,425,000 $7,050,000 (TO)

Obviously, Williams makes a little less, but is signed for an extra year (I sincerely doubt that team option would be picked up). The numbers don't tell the true value though, as JYD actually is part of the rotation. I think that Skiles' complete lack of faith in E-Rob would have Paxson ready to cut bait. Now watch while E-Rob lights it up for another team.

After its all said and done, Crawford could have no offers worth taking, and simply play another season with the Bulls for the 3.5m qualifying offer. Him and his agent seen to be betting on a solid performance this year being parlayed into a bigger contract when his free agency status will be unrestricted. I am still waiting for a team with cap space like the Hawks or Bobcats to make a run, but nothing has even been rumored yet. So a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for now is the most realistic option. Lets see if Pax can get the best of Isiah here.