Brad Miller/John Salmons for Andres Nocioni/Drew Gooden Trade Analysis

I have heard rumblings about Brad Miller being on the trade market for the last two days. Brad Miller and John Salmons get traded for Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin (sent to Portland), and Cedric Simmons. The Blazers also sent Ike Diogu to Sacramento.

I like this trade for the Bulls. I wrote a while back about how Brad Miller was one of the most underachieving players in the NBA. He is a 2-time All-Star, and actually played for the Bulls from 2000-2002 before moving onto Indiana. He has been plagued by injury for the last couple of seasons, but when he has played this season, he has been putting in a lackluster effort. Miller went through the motions, and just sort of existed on the court. He is capable of playing as one of the most fundamentally sound Centers in the league. He proved that when he was in Indiana, and that is why Sacramento signed him to such a big deal. This puts Chicago in good position for, none other than, the Summer of 2010. Chicago will easily be a major player that summer. No one is really talking about Chicago, but lets not forget that they are the 3rd biggest market after LA and New York. They have Brad Miller's $12.25 million, Larry Hughes' $13.6 (although he may be traded before his contract expires), and potentially 5 other players who will have either a team option or qualifying offer in the summer of 2010. Derrick Rose has a team option for that year that I can safely assume the Bulls will pick up. Brad Miller is more of a high post guy expect Miller to be setting a lot of high screens for Derrick Rose. Pick N'Roll will probably be Vinny Del Negro's go-to play after a while. The most under appreciated part of Miller's game is his passing. He is averaging 3.4 assists this season, which is high for a big man, but don't think that is his limit. I believe that Miller will be up to around 5.5 assists by the end of the season. There are a plethora of shooters that Miller will be able to go to in order to increase those assists. Miller also brings 11.9 ppg and 8 rebs to the table. Not too bad, but expect those averages to go up a bit. We have to take into account his lack of effort, but we can't blame him. How much effort would you put in if you were on the worst team in the league?

So lets look at John Salmons. The Spurs wanted Salmons really badly because of his affordability. Salmons is easily the best deal in the league. He averages 18.3 ppg, 4.2 rebs, 3.7 assts, and 1 steal a game for the discounted price of $5.1 million this year. Salmons is undoubtedly part of the Bulls' long term plans as he is signed through the summer of 2011. Salmons has played solid all year. He shoots about 47% from the field, and has good size. I can imagine that Del Negro will go for a lineup of Miller, Deng/Ty Thomas, Salmons, Gordon, and Rose/Hinrich. That would be a solid lineup for the Bulls, and would put them in position for a strong playoff push towards the end of this season. The Bulls may not have an incredibly strong bench past Hinrich and Thomas wth this lineup, but this would give them a 10-man rotation if you throw in Gray, Noah, and Sefolosha (expect Aaron Gray's playing time to be cut). A good start for a Bulls team that has been criticized since the passing of the Jordan era. General Manager John Paxon has finally made a move that has made both financial sense and basketball sense. I think the Bulls may be able to capture the 8th spot, but that would be the best case scenario. This has put the Bulls in a good situation for the future and for next season. Ben Gordon will be a free agent this summer and it is doubtful that Gordon will re-sign with the Bulls. That will be another $6million free for them to go after a mid level player to complement the core they have right now.

As for Sacramento, I'm not going to go too in depth into the basktball side of this trade because it was made more for financial reasons than anything. The Kings have abandoned this season. Nocioni is the only player the Kings wanted to get for basketball reasons. They acquired Nocioni who still has about $29 million on his contract left with an option of $7.5 million for the 2013 season. That is a long term deal, and the Kings seem to have Nocioni in mind for the long run. Nocioni is a shooter. He is inconsistent, and he will probably always be inconsistent, but he brings little else besides shooting to a team. My thinking is that the Kings want to acquire a big man and hope that Kevin Martin develops into the star they think he will be, and surround Martin and the big man with shooters. As far as Gooden goes, he is actually from Northern California (Oakland, 2 hours southwest of Sacramento), and he is an expiring $7.1 million at the end of the season. Something that will make owners George and Gavin Maloof smile. Gooden is actually posting better numbers than Brad Miller this season. He is putting up 13.1ppg and 8.6rebs. Of course, he is not as good of a passer as Miller, but again, Gooden is a financial acquisition. The Kings are trying to cut costs at this point, and may look to the future. Their small-market mentality makes it hard for them to go over the luxury tax because they are likely to not be able to cover themselves financially if that happens. The Kings were currently at $70 for this season, and this trade allows them to save some money in the long term. Cedric Simmons also adds a bit of financial relief as well for the Maloof brothers. He is due $1.7 million at the end of the season with an option for about $2.6 million for next season. Simmons' basketball impact is minimal as he averages 2.5 ppg and 1.1 assts a game. For Kings fans, it seems like a lifetime ago that they were playing the legendary playoff series' against the Lakers in the early part of this decade. Lets hope that they can come back to relevancy some time soon.



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Anonymous said...

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Thank You!