In one of the first non-Melo moves of the NBA trade deadline week, the Bulls have added another asset in their quest to add a shooting guard with a minor deal with the Toronto Raptors this afternoon. The Bulls have dealt second-year small forward James Johnson to the Raptors for the Heat’s first round pick this year, which Toronto acquired in the Chris Bosh sign and trade deal this summer.
What Does This Mean for Celtics and Trade Deadline Market?
First off, this is a very sneaky deal for the Bulls. Johnson had just played 11 games this year and was clearly not a major part of their future plans for new head coach Tom Thibeadou with a crowded rotation at the 3 spot between Luol Deng, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. It’s a defensible move for the Raptors, with Johnson having under contract for two more years, but probably an overpay.
With the Chicago grabbing a first round pick (albeit one that will land in 27-30 slot due to the Heat’s terrific record), they have another asset in their quest to add a shooting guard, without affecting their team’s rotation and chemistry moving forward.
Seeing that the Celtics are in the market for the same kind of player (2/3) and reportedly for a few of the same players (Anthony Parker, Rasual Butler), it allows the Bulls the potential to outbid the C’s for these guys, or add a better piece (Courtney Lee) by dealing multiple picks/adding other assets.
As a whole, this shouldn’t affect the trade market much, dealing for a 24-year-old with a couple reasonable years left on their contract, is far different than dealing for a thirty something swingman on an expiring deal as the Celtics hope to do. Nonetheless, the trade gives the Bulls a few more bullets in their chamber and with the race for the top seed expected to go down to the wire, it improves the Bulls prospects to make a move, which isn’t good news for C’s fans.