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The Chicago Bulls Make Moves Towards the Future

As the NBA trade deadline loomed all week, Bulls fans were wondering if their team would get a marquee (or post-marquee) player like Tracy McGrady or Ray Allen. So on Thursday when trades for the season were put to a halt, it was surprising to see that names like Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander, and Acie Law were causing critics to jump for joy. Or was it? Sure. A team who is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference would traditionally be thinking about how to make themselves better at this point in the year. But this trade season was clearly out of the ordinary. Only one top-tier team made an addition that will help them out this season (Cleveland). The rest stayed clear of the dealings in light of what could be the most impact-filled free agent class ever. Realizing that the Bulls weren't championship contenders as the roster stood just a week ago, GM Gar Forman decided to part ways with a couple of headaches. First was the deal that sent John Salmons (and his $5.8 million player option) to the Milwaukee Bucks for two former first team All-Big East-ers Hakim Warrick (Syracuse) and Joe Alexander (West Virginia). Both Warrick and Alexander bring with them expiring contracts, an asset the Bulls said was very important in any deadline deals. However, just as valuable could be the added athleticism from both players. While Alexander has had a pretty rough path throughout his career (being coached by Scott Skiles, incurring a hamstring injury this season, then being sent to the D-League once healed), he was still the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft. He was projected as the best athlete (at least on paper) in a draft that featured players like Russell Westbrook, Michael Beasley, and Derrick Rose. However, his one full season in the NBA (2008-09) was a disappointment and he immediately found himself in the dog house on a team filled with dog house players. Warrick, on the other hand, has had some success as a role player. But much like Alexander, he has never really had a chance to blossom. His career started with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he gave them four solid years averaging nearly 12 points and five rebounds a game. He was signed by the Bucks this past offseason and saw a minor dip in numbers (10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds per game) while seeing decreased minutes on yet another sub-par team. Now add in a supreme talent and athletic freak in Derrick Rose, and we may see a coming out party for Warrick, the 2005 Big East Conference Player of the Year. And even if many see him as just a couple of dollar signs out on the court, I feel that he could play himself into a contract with the team when they'll ultimately be looking for role players to fit around any new acquisitions this offseason. The second deal this week saw the Bulls relieve themselves in an area beyond finances: their personal psyche. They dealt troubled power forward (and former fourth overall draft pick) Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats for expiring contracts Ronald "Flip" Murray and Acie Law. Now, for one of the few Thomas supporters, this deal was a little bit tougher to swallow. While getting rid of Tyrus seemed to be imminent, I was hoping that he could play his way back to good standing. However, his attitude and recent tirades must've been too much for Gar Forman. My guess is that this was the best deal still on the board for Thomas. Either way, the Bulls seemingly opened up a little more cap space for the enticing free agent class of 2010, taking them to about $18-21 million under the salary cap for next season. This will ultimately make it possible for the team to offer a max contract to one of the big names this offseason. And Forman did it all without ruining a solid core already in place in Chicago, something that could prove more important than money come free agency. With budding stars Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson staying pat along with veterans Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng, the Bulls will have a shinier nickel in the pile than that of the New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, and Washington Wizards. Achieving that is something that puts the recent Bulls' moves high on my list. And an applause is in store for Forman, whose ability to look towards the future could end up creating another dynasty in Chicago. After all, wouldn't that help us Bulls fans forget the past decade of futility? Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Bleacher Report .com
2984 days ago
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Read more of this news on Bleacher Report .com

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McGrady hopes to be part of Knicks' turnaround

Tracy McGrady is going to get a chance to show he is still a top NBA player and he wants to stick around if the New York New York ...

CBC .Ca NBA | 2984 days ago | 489 Ballers sent

Points : 518

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McGrady wants to be part of Knicks turnaround

Tracy McGrady is going to get a chance to show he is still a top NBA player.

CBS Sports .com | 2984 days ago | 518 Ballers sent

Points : 376

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New Bulls to play tonight

MINNEAPOLIS Three of the four players the Bulls acquired in a pair of trades on Thursday Hakim Warrick, Ronald "Flip" ...

Chicago Sun-times | 2984 days ago | 376 Ballers sent

Points : 459

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New Rockets pass physicals, join team (AP)

The practice almost felt like the start of a new season -- and era -- for the Houston Rockets. New acquisitions Kevin Martin, ...

Yahoo! Sports | 2985 days ago | 459 Ballers sent

Points : 792

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The Philadephia 76ers Future

The NBA's trading deadline has come and gone. The Sixers, at one point were one of the teams most rumored to be wheeling and dealing, but ...

Bleacher Report .com | 2985 days ago | 792 Ballers sent

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2010 NBA Mock Draft
01. John Wall (WW)
02. Evan Turner (76ers)
03. Derrick Favors (NJN)
04. Wesley Johnson (MT)
05. DeMarcus Cousins (SK)
06. Ekpe Udoh (GSW)
07. Greg Monroe (DP)
08. Al-Farouq Aminu (LAC)
09. Gordon Hayward (UJ)
10. Paul George (IP)
2009 NBA Mock Draft
01. Blake Griffin (LAC)
02. Hasheem Thabeet (MG)
03. James Harden (OCT)
04. Tyreke Evans (SK)
05. Ricky Rubio (MT)
06. Jonny Flynn (MT)
07. Stephen Curry (GSW)
08. Jordan Hill (NYK)
09. DeMar DeRozan (TR)
10. Brandon Jennings (MB)
Scoring
01. Othello Hunter0.0
02. Thomas Gardner0.0
03. Speedy Claxton0.0
04. Marvin Williams0.0
05. Josh Smith0.0
06. Ronald Murray0.0
07. Acie Law0.0
08. Joe Johnson0.0
09. Al Horford0.0
10. Maurice Evans0.0
Rebounds
01. Othello Hunter0.0
02. Thomas Gardner0.0
03. Speedy Claxton0.0
04. Marvin Williams0.0
05. Josh Smith0.0
06. Ronald Murray0.0
07. Acie Law0.0
08. Joe Johnson0.0
09. Al Horford0.0
10. Maurice Evans0.0
Assists
01. Othello Hunter0.0
02. Thomas Gardner0.0
03. Speedy Claxton0.0
04. Marvin Williams0.0
05. Josh Smith0.0
06. Ronald Murray0.0
07. Acie Law0.0
08. Joe Johnson0.0
09. Al Horford0.0
10. Maurice Evans0.0
Steals
01. Othello Hunter0.0
02. Thomas Gardner0.0
03. Speedy Claxton0.0
04. Marvin Williams0.0
05. Josh Smith0.0
06. Ronald Murray0.0
07. Acie Law0.0
08. Joe Johnson0.0
09. Al Horford0.0
10. Maurice Evans0.0
Blocks
01. Othello Hunter0.0
02. Thomas Gardner0.0
03. Speedy Claxton0.0
04. Marvin Williams0.0
05. Josh Smith0.0
06. Ronald Murray0.0
07. Acie Law0.0
08. Joe Johnson0.0
09. Al Horford0.0
10. Maurice Evans0.0