The Bulls spent Friday working on a deal to send Kyle Korver to Atlanta, according to multiple reports.
No trade was completed, a team source confirmed, and the sides continue to work on details. The Chicago Tribune reported that Minnesota is also involved in what could become a three-team deal.
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It's not clear what the Bulls would receive in this trade, but there are several possibilities:
•They could end up getting Kirk Hinrich in a sign-and-trade. The veteran guard, a free agent who played for the Hawks last season, agreed to return to the Bulls earlier this week, but has not yet signed a contract. Hinrich is expected to sign for $6 million over two years.
If the deal becomes a sign-and-trade, the Bulls wouldn't have to spend their mid-level exception on Hinrich and could conceivably use it to land another free agent.
•If the Bulls receive a second-round draft pick in return, they would create a trade exception worth $5 million, the amount of Korver's salary this season.
A trade exception cannot be used to sign free agents, but the Bulls could acquire a player making $5 million or less in a trade without having to give up a player in return.
•By completing a trade, the Bulls would avoid paying Korver the $500,000 they would owe him if he was waived, an amount that could conceivably be subjected to the luxury tax.
The Bulls were likely to decline the option on Korver's contract -- as they did with Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson earlier this week -- because they are closing in on the luxury tax threshold of $70.3 million.
Korver, who joined the Bulls as a free agent in 2010, has long been regarded as one of the NBA's best 3-point shooters. Last season, he averaged 8.1 points and shot 43.5 percent from 3-point range.
Korver had a disappointing playoff series against Philadelphia. After Derrick Rose went down with a knee injury, Korver had trouble finding enough space to get his shot off and knocked down just 3 baskets from 3-point range in the final five games of the series.
Still to come for the Bulls is deciding what to do about center Omer Asik, who has verbally agreed to an offer sheet with Houston worth $25.1 over three years. Once the offer is signed, the Bulls will have three days to decide whether to match.
But first, the Rockets inked New York point guard Jeremy Lin to the same offer sheet -- three seasons with a third-year salary of $14.9 million. Houston is expected to wait until the Lin contract is settled, one way or another, before moving on to Asik.
If the Bulls decide not to match Asik's offer, their payroll would be low enough that they could use the full mid-level exception of $5 million to pursue free agents. If they keep Asik, they'd be limited to the taxpayer midlevel of $3 million.
Or, the Bulls could pass on Asik and conceivably keep their payroll below the tax level. One benefit to that is the new collective bargaining agreement includes extra luxury-tax penalties for teams that have paid the tax in three of the previous four years. So it could make sense for the Bulls to avoid the tax this season, when Rose will miss time while recovering from ACL surgery, by making it less painful to increase the payroll down the road.
Some big men have become available in the past few days. Dallas' Brendan Haywood, Houston's Luis Scola and Minnesota's Darko Milicic were all waived using the amnesty provision. Teams below the cap (not the Bulls) can bid on those players, but if no team places a bid, they become free agents. Ex-Philadelphia forward Elton Brand was awarded to Dallas in an amnesty claim.
Also, Former Portland center Greg Oden reportedly feels ready to play this season after originally intending to sit out and rest his knees.