The Chicago Bulls have a deal in place that would move Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick to the Washington Wizards, freeing up enough cap space to pursue two maximum-salary players on this summer's free-agent market, sources with knowledge of the Bulls' plans said Thursday.
It wasn't immediately clear what Washington would send to Chicago in the trade.
The deal can't be officially consummated until July 8, when the Wizards will have room under the salary cap to absorb Hinrich's $9 million contract without having to send back anything of similar value.
Since it's a good-faith deal for the time being, there remains a chance it could fall apart. But according to one source, the Sacramento Kings are prepared to make a similar deal with the Bulls in the Wizards' stead if that were to happen.
Either way, moving Hinrich and the pick would push Chicago's space under the cap from $20 million to more than $30 million. That puts the Bulls on equal footing with the Miami Heat in pursuing not just one but two members of a free-agent class that is expected to include LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson.
**** This is just further evidence that the Nets are better served to build for the future by drafting well and compiling young talent and letting them grow together. Oh - and the Knicks are now totally f*cked. Why would you sign on to play for the Knicks when you can play with more talented pieces in DWade in Miami or Rose in Chicago?
My prediction is that the Knicks renounce David Lee (losing him for good) and end up offering max money to Amare and Joe Johnson, both of whom are on IR by Year 2 of their deals....And Knicks fans start chanting for a return of Isiah - as at least he drafted well.