Just because the Chicago Bulls signed Keith Bogans doesn’t mean they’re done trying to bring Rudy Fernandez to the squad. It still remains to be seen whether the Knicks’ signing of Roger Mason takes them out of the running. (Quick interlude: Mason and Bogans both took the minimum. Am I wrong, or would either of them have helped in Boston?)
Remember, it has been reported that the Bulls and Trail Blazers are very close on a trade that would send Rudy to Chicago and James Johnson (and perhaps a draft pick) to Portland. Marc Stein refutes that rumor, but says the possibility still exists that Rudy will end up in Chi-Town. (ESPN)
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau hinted at that thinking Friday in a radio interview with ESPN 1000′s “Waddle & Silvy Show” in Chicago before TNT’s David Aldridge broke the Bogans news on NBA.com. When asked about McGrady, Thibodeau confirmed that the Bulls hadn’t ruled him out completely but made it clear that acquiring a proven shooter was their priority.
Hours later, Chicago clinched Bogans’ signature, which doesn’t conclusively fill that void … but also doesn’t affect the salary-cap space needed to acquire Fernandez and might just convey to the Blazers that the Bulls aren’t going to keep waiting around.
In one of its proposals to Portland, sources said, Chicago has offered to absorb Fernandez’s modest $1.25 million salary for next season with cap space in exchange for a future first-round pick.
Sources say Portland, however, has believed that it can do better in a Fernandez deal and is holding out for more, even though New York also balked at the Blazers’ demands this week and elected to sign Roger Mason to a bargain one-year deal at the veteran minimum of $1.4 million.
It’s widely assumed that the Blazers want Taj Gibson back from the Bulls, but sources say Chicago is not about to include Gibson in Fernandez talks. James Johnson is the best young player Chicago has made available.
Even though ESPN refutes the claim that Rudy-to-Chicago is pretty much a done deal… If Portland thinks it can do better than a future first-round pick, the Celtics are unlikely to get him. After all, the only other asset the Celtics would be likely to include would be the contracts of either Tony Gaffney or Oliver Lafayette, both of whom the Bulls would be likely to waive before their fans could say, “Who the hell are Tony Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette?”
For all those still hoping for a Sheed/Gaffney/Lafayette trade for Przybilla/Fernandez, methinks that boat sailed away when the C’s signed Shaq. Even if it was only a pipe dream when we discussed it.
P.S. – According to Steiny Mo, T-Mac has approximately zero suitors. I don’t think I’d mind if he signed with the Celtics fo’ free.But the sad thing is, I might.