The NBA trade deadline moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and pick-up the phone once in a while, you must just miss it.
With a legitimate playoff run feeling about as justifiably far away as it ever has, the Bulls have no reason to let the NBA trade deadline pass without any involvement. And while we’re not expecting or hoping for anything close to a “big splash” before 2:00pm CT, the rumors circling Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine do feel quite warranted and plausible – at least, from the Bulls perspective.
Young, who is in the first year of a three-year $43 million contract, hasn’t meshed with this squad from the moment he stepped on the court. And with the Bulls sights still centered on Lauri Markkanen, Young’s talents are better suited for a contending team in need of a big-man upgrade (*cough* the Clippers *cough*). Not to mention, moving him can open up a bit more cap space for this team moving forward.
As for Valentine, the Bulls have expressed no interest in keeping him aboard following his restricted free-agency this summer. And if they don’t trade him now, they risk getting absolutely nothing for him in return. If you’re the Bulls, you need to capitalize on every single asset whenever you can. And that includes Valentine before the deadline.
But according to the Sun-Times, the market for both players this morning has cooled off.
Per source, there were some calls made on the Denzel Valentine front in the last few hours, but nothing of substance. Market on Thad Young is surprisingly quiet, but Bulls think that will change as deadline approaches.
— Sun-Times Basketball (@suntimes_hoops) February 6, 2020
Not what you want to hear. Whether this is on the Bulls general lack of aggressiveness/openness/willingness to deal (depending on your frame of reference) or the market’s general lack of interest is up for debate. But hopefully, things do pick up as the Bulls reportedly expect.
At least in the case of Denzel Valentine, we saw each of his reportedly top-two suitors complete a deal last night. The Philadelphia 76ers were in desperate need of off-the-bench shooters and received just that from the Golden State Warriors. Alec Burks and Glen Robinson III will be headed to Philly in exchange for three second-round picks (that’s all it took?). The 76ers are likely not done trading, but that’s only because they don’t yet have enough roster spots to welcome in both players. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski points out, if the 76ers can’t find other trade partners before 3;00 p.m. ET, they’ll have to waive to players.
Meanwhile in Memphis, the Grizzlies agreed to trade Andre Iguodala to the Miami Heat in exchange for Justise Winslow. When completed the trade could end up being a three-team package deal that would also send the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Danilo Gallinari to Miami.
Regardless, with both these deals on the table, it’s hard to believe Denzel Valentine is in either the 76ers or Grizzlies plan as of right now. Anything can happen, but the Bulls might have to start making some calls.
The Clippers haven’t made any moves yet, which could still mean they’re open for business on a possible Thaddeus Young deal. However, the team also has speculated interest in Marcus Morris, and chances are, other names are out there.
All we know right now is that the NBA trade deadline can be quite unpredictable. The stove may not be too hot in Chicago, but anything can happen.