QBF wrote:The trade is simple for both teams: Richard Hamilton, C.J. Watson, and Jimmy Butler to Detroit for Ben Gordon.
Chicago gets the second scorer it needs, and there is no doubt Thibodeau remembers what Gordon did in the 09 Bulls-Celtics playoffs series like it was yesterday. Chicago also gets to keep its bench basically intact, with Mike James available to take Watson's back-up PG minutes. Not including James' salary and a minimum-salaried 13th player for the rest of the season, Chicago's payroll would be $70,952,129, very close to the luxury tax threshold.
Detroit saves $27 million in the change from Gordon tp Hamilton's contract, and they can buy-out and retire Hamilton at the end of the season as a Piston, which is the way it should be. (If anything will convince Hamilton to retire, this year should do it.) Watson is an expiring contract or a solid back-up point guard, and Butler is a young SG prospect with some size, defense, and intangibles.
The problem for Chicago is that they aren't getting anybody really good and on-top-of-his-game (such as, say, Wesley Matthews) without giving up significant assets. This would destroy Chicago's bench and certainly rob them of one of their valuable back-up big men. Bringing Gibson and Asik off the bench is one of Chicago's only advantages over the Heat, and trading one of them for anyone other than Dwight Howard or Lamarcus Aldridge would end what little chance Chicago has against Miami in the playoffs.
With Gordon, Chicago only needs to provide significant cap relief to save Detroit its amnesty to use on Charlie Villanueva. Thanks to the more-than-adequate play of Mike James in spot duty this season, C.J. Watson is the least essential part of Chicago's bench and can be replaced with a long-term solution in the draft or free agency this summer.
For all of Gordon's flaws, he instantly becomes Chicago's second best scorer, and he easily fits in with Chicago's basketball culture. More importantly, he is a proven scorer in the playoffs, and he will be deadly to any team that ignores him the way teams ignored Keith Bogans last season.
Has Gordon seen better days? Obviously, but so had Hamilton, and that didn't stop Chicago from signing Hamilton from Detroit three months ago. Is Gordon expensive? Absolutely, but when you are desperate to beat Miami and win a championship, you do everything you can. Chicago only gave up Gordon (and Hinrich) because they wanted a shot at Wade, Lebron, and Bosh, and they struck out on all three. Chicago can be penny-wise and avoid Gordon's contract, but my guess is that Chicago's management is in a win-now mode, and are considering something they wouldn't have dreamed of 12 months ago.