Sources: Boozer could go to Chicago
Marc Stein and Chad Ford – ESPN.com
Another major multi-team trade might be looming in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls having discussed a deal that would be headlined by Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich, according to NBA front-office sources.Sources stressed to ESPN.com that no deal was imminent Thursday and that both Portland and Utah are still evaluating additional trade scenarios. But two sources with knowledge of the three-team proposal confirmed that there have been substantive talks aimed at landing 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 while also positioning them to have significant salary-cap space for the summer of 2010 to court Chicago native Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh in free agency, since Boozer is entering the final year of his contract.
Hinrich, meanwhile, is a lead guard that Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard has been known to covet for some time as a potential backcourt mate for Brandon Roy.
For a time Wednesday, sources say Chicago was committed to participate in the four-team deal that ultimately sent Shawn Marion to Dallas, with veteran forward Tim Thomas also headed for the Mavericks. One source said that the Bulls pulled Thomas out of that deal Wednesday night to plug him into another trade, but there was no clear indication Thursday if that was with Boozer in mind or if the Bulls have other plans for him.