There wasn't much to report from the trade front Tuesday, at least anything pertaining to the Bulls.
The possibility of an Amare Stoudemire trade may not be closed completely, but it appears Phoenix has backed off plans to move the all-star forward.
There has been no evidence to suggest Toronto is ready to trade Chris Bosh or Utah will deal Carlos Boozer. One trade consummated Tuesday sent former Bulls center Tyson Chandler from New Orleans to Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox and another ex-Bull, Joe Smith.
Faced with a dire need to trim payroll, the Hornets shopped Chandler around the league. The Bulls were open to bringing him back and might have strongly considered a deal for Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Thabo Sefolosha. The Hornets wanted Joakim Noah, but that didn't make sense for the Bulls, since Noah can do many of the same things as Chandler, at a much smaller salary.
The Oklahoma City deal works for the Hornets because it brings two respectable big men to help take Chandler's place for the rest of the season. Both Smith and Wilcox have expiring contracts. Neither figures to cost much to re-sign this summer, or New Orleans can let both of them walk.
ANY OPTIONS LEFT?
As I've written before, the best hope for a Bulls trade may be the bad economy. Sports Business Journal reported that 15 teams are looking to borrow money from the league to help cover operating losses. As long as teams are losing money, the Bulls may be able to pick up a bargain in a salary dump.
The most attractive option is probably Clippers center Chris Kaman, who is signed for three more years at $10.4, $11.3 and $12.2 million. Kaman's been out since November with plantar fascitis, but is a strong defender and averaged 15.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks last season.
Philadelphia's Sam Dalembert is available and Washington's Antawn Jamison has come up in rumors. There are bound to be more players mentioned before the deadline expires on Thursday at 2 p.m. Central time.
I saw a rumor tonight about the Bulls talking with Minnesota about Kirk Hinrich. I can almost guarantee they will not trade Hinrich for expiring contracts, though.
HUGHES STILL WAITING
So what happens if the Bulls don't trade Larry Hughes by Thursday? My guess is they let him go home for the rest of the season, but there will be no buy out.
He'll be a $13.7 million expiring contract next year, which could be a valuable trading chip. And who knows? If Ben Gordon departs as a free agent and Hinrich gets hurt again, maybe Hughes opens next season as the starting two guard. Stranger things have happened.