The moment that Carlos Boozer announced that he was opting in for one more year in Utah, the Jazz front office has been scrambling to find a way to get rid of him.
And at the same time, they’re trying to juggle a bunch of inflated contracts and Paul Millsap‘s precarious situation, as he’s being heavily courted by Portland. If Utah is going to lock up Millsap to a long-term deal, they need to find another home for C-Booz soon. Here’s one option.
Two sources with knowledge of the three-team proposal confirmed that there have been substantive talks regarding a trade that would land Boozer in Chicago, Hinrich in Portland and Tyrus Thomas in Utah.
A deal featuring those main components would deliver the elite low-post scorer that the Bulls have been chasing for years in Boozer and furnish Portland with a lead guard in Hinrich that the Blazers are known to rate highly as a potential backcourt mate for Brandon Roy.
I really like this move for the Bulls. Boozer makes Derrick Rose‘s maturation a bit easier. Plus, without Ben Gordon, Chicago could use another capable scorer so that last year’s No. 1 doesn’t feel too much pressure to put the ball in the basket on his own.
Let’s look at the business side of things for Utah. Thomas would be a restricted free agent a year from now. If it works out well with Thomas, Millsap and Mehmet Okur playing along the same frontline, Utah could lock up Tyrus for a long-term deal. If not, they’ll still be able to leverage his talent in a trade. That ensures that they don’t end up getting nothing down the road in exchange for Boozer.
But from a basketball perspective, don’t Millsap and Thomas play the exact same position? Tyrus isn’t big enough to slide over to play center. And he doesn’t have the pick-and-roll skills that Jerry Sloan demands from his PF’s. I don’t see the fit.
ESPN’s report doesn’t detail who Portland would give up to make the deal work out. We’ve heard rumblings that Philly was interested in Travis Outlaw, who built a name for himself this season as a fourth-quarter killer. So maybe it’s Outlaw.
But no matter who they give up, is Kirk Hinrich the type of dynamic talent who will take Portland to the next step? While L.A. added one of the League’s premiere defenders in Ron Artest, Dallas went after Shawn Marion, and the Spurs got Richard Jefferson, Captain Kirk just doesn’t make the Blazers stand out.