This is cross-posted at BlogaBull, so feel free to take a look at what the other side of the trade is saying. I did run this through the ESPN Trade machine and it works...but I admit there's always a possibility of there being some other contract hangup that I (or the Trade Machine) didn't catch.
2016 Philadelphia 1st Round Pick (1-14 Protected in 2016, 1-11 in 2017, 1-8 in 2018; if not conveyed by 2018, Philly will instead convey it’s 2018 & 2019 2nd round picks)
2015 Charlotte 1st Round Pick (1-10 Protected in 2014, 1-8 in 2015, or Unprotected in 2016)
Bulls Rundown: The Short- and Long-term Move
I’d argue this trade makes the Bulls better "right now" and gives them more long-term flexibility, at the expense of the Charlotte pick that would otherwise bolster their mid-term planning.
Aaron Afflalo – A very good 3&D player, his first year in Orlando was rough due to being asked to play way out of his comfort zone. Due to the lack of talent on the roster, Afflalo was forced to play as the 1st or 2nd option on offense and create for himself. He tried his best, but he’s simply not a Kobe or a Wade. He excels at being the 3rd or 4th option, knocking down 3’s (career 38%) and using more energy on the defensive end. This is exactly the role the Bulls would ask of him, and in doing so he would likely rebound to the kind of production we saw from him in his 3 years as a starter in Denver: 13.8 pts (41.8% 3PT on over 700 attempts) / 3.8 rbs / 2.5 asts, while providing solid D against SGs and smaller SFs.
As Afflalo is a better outside shooter than Butler, having him start at SG means better spacing on offense while still maintaining a strong defensive lineup on the wings. Butler can then come off the bench as the main reserve for both SG & SF, likely playing as minutes as Afflalo and Deng while allowing more "grooming" minutes in the SF role if/when Deng leaves.
Glen Davis – Davis would likely battle Taj for the starter role. I'd lean towards Taj because Davis played better as an off-the-bench "energy guy", but it's not as clear cut as you might think. Davis has a more offensive game than Taj, but he’s clearly less efficient. Both are excellent on defense, and while Taj is been with the Bulls for years, Davis won a ring in Boston with Thibs in 2008...so both know the system. Whichever order you place Gibson/Davis in; overall it’s likely a slight downgrade in offense but a solid upgrade on defense for the PF rotation post- Boozer.
Also, Davis becomes a valuable expiring contract after this coming season, meaning he’ll be a great trade chip if/when Mirotic comes over in 2014.
As for the salaries, the Bulls save approx. $1.2 mil next year and $2.6 mil the following. They end up owing more salary total in the deal by $3.9 mil due to Afflalo’s contract length, but it’s because he has the extra year on his contract. If they trade him as an expiring deal, they end up saving money in this trade.
Random side note: Davis & Nate Robinson were great friends in Boston…so making this trade could give Robinson a bit of an incentive to take less money to stay in Chicago. Probably not, but it’s worth mentioning.
The Bulls do give up their coveted Bobcat’s pick, but in return they get a more complete roster and an average/consolation pick from Philly that at best would be a late lotto round pick and at worst would be a pair of 2nd round picks.
Also, in this year’s draft, the Bulls now have a clear goal: Get a reserve Center.
PG: Rose, Hinrich, Teague
SG: Afflalo, Butler, Hinrich
SF: Deng, Butler, VetMin
PF: Gibson, Davis, VetMin
C: Noah, (#20 Pick), Davis/Gibson
As a Bulls fan, I feel that’s a great lineup for a ring-run. Good spacing w/ Afflalo & Deng, Noah & Gibson can both hit the mid-range jumpers alright, Rose’s penetration and playmaking, a strong bench with Hinrich/Butler/Davis, and defense everywhere.
Magic Rundown: The Mid- and Long-term Move
By taking the heavy hit of Boozer’s contract short term, the Magic set themselves up for a comeback in a few years, with enough rookies and mid-term cap flexibility to take them into the future.
Carlos Boozer – Coming off a solid year, he’d provide veteran leadership along with some scoring punch and rebounding that the Magic had been missing from the PF spot. The Magic would still have the same log-jam they have now at the PF spot, but the jam would likely move to who plays off the bench, since Boozer would pretty clearly be the starter, barring injury or focusing on rookie development (cough-tanking-cough).
Salary-wise, the Magic spend a little more up front with Boozer’s higher salary, but it shortens the pain against the cap by a year. If they allow his contract to run its course, they save several million while getting a load of cap space freed up right before the 2015 FA derby or to re-sign some of its young players long term. Or, if they could move Boozer in next year’s off-season as an expiring deal, they’d free up a ton of cap space even earlier.
The Magic lose some cap flexibility in the next year or two, as well as give up an ok Philly pick…but do it in order to get their hands on the Charlotte pick, which I feel could come over for the 2015 draft. This means the Magic will have 2 picks in both the 2014 & 2015 drafts, both of which are considered strong draft years. That would allow them to add young talent into the lineup right as their current youngsters been in the league a few years and (hopefully) becoming stars of their own.
In this year’s draft, it becomes all about need: A young and talented SG, taking either McLemore or Oladipo with their #2 pick (who will get tons of minutes).
PG: Nelson, Moore, VetMin
SG: (#2 Pick), Moore, Lamb
SF: Harkless, Harris, VetMin
PF: Boozer, Harris, Nicholson
C: Vucevic, KOQ, Boozer
As a Magic fan, I expect another rough year anyways, so it’ll be about watching the young guns (Harkless/Harris/Nicholson/#2 Pick) grow and getting what shreds of enjoyment I can on the way to the Wiggins-lottery, knowing that the team is poised to break out of its "rebuilding" phase in after only 2 (maybe 3) years, essentially following the OKC model. Considering the damage that was done to the organization’s roster/books before the rebuild, that would actually be an impressive turnaround.