After completing one trade ahead of Thursday’s deadline, sending forward Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans, the Bulls remain active as they seek to bolster their rebuilding effort with draft picks and/or young players.
Sources told SN that one player who has drawn significant interest has been wing Justin Holiday, currently averaging a career-high 13.4 points and making 37.7 percent of his 3s. Holiday is on a reasonable contract — he is owed $4.4 million next season — and his ability to shoot and defend the perimeter has made him a potential target for playoff teams like Boston, Minnesota and Oklahoma City.
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As has become a common theme here in the NBA’s trading season, the Bulls would like to get a first-rounder for Holiday, but teams are wary of paying that price. Chicago does have an advantage, able to absorb unwanted salary with its $18 million in cap space.
The Bulls have also made Robin Lopez available, and even if they don’t wind up parting with either player, they could be a factor in potential deals as a facilitating third team because of their salary situation.
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As the deadline nears, all eyes remain on Cleveland, with the Cavs still wary of parting with the Nets' draft pick they obtained from the Celtics as part of the Kyrie Irving deal. For much of the year, the Cavs have let teams know that the pick has been off limits, though most around the league felt that Cleveland would have to change its stance if things got desperate.
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And in Cleveland, things are desperate. The Cavs are zeroing in on a potential DeAndre Jordan trade with the Clippers, even if it will cost them the pick.
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Helping the Cavs’ cause has been the way Brooklyn has collapsed lately. Back on Jan. 3, the Nets were only eight games below .500 and slated to have the No. 10 pick in June. Brooklyn has gone 4-14 since then, and have moved up to No. 8 — just one game off the mark for the league’s worst record.
"There was some concern because Brooklyn is a team that plays hard and wasn’t as bad as everyone thought, at least in terms of their record," one league executive said. "But things have come into line just in time for Cleveland, and now if you move that pick, it’s got a pretty good sho