If anyone was alarmed by the Internet rumor posted Friday that the Bulls and Pistons are talking about turning the Ben Gordon free-agent signing into a sign-and-trade that would send Allen Iverson to the Bulls, don’t worry.
There is no chance of that happening. In fact, a team source confirmed that the Pistons have not even asked about doing a sign-and-trade for Gordon.
One reason teams might talk about such a thing is Gordon could get a sixth year on his contract if he re-signs with the Bulls and is traded to Detroit. Most people believe the approximately five-year, $55 million deal for Gordon is already above market value, so a sixth year hardly seems necessary.
The Bulls have no interest in Iverson because their backcourt is already full with Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons. They’re also close to the luxury-tax threshold and probably have less than $2 million to add another player. The salary cap and tax threshold for next season won’t be announced until July 8.
The Bulls aren’t likely to pursue another shooting guard. If they do, it would be a low-priced free agent such as Rodney Carney or ex-Bull Thomas Gardner.
TURKOGLU TO PORTLAND OR TORONTO?
UPDATE -- There were reports Friday afternoon that former Orlando forward Hedo Turkoglu had agreed to terms with Portland. Later in the day, there was talk that Turkoglu might back out of the Blazers' deal and join Toronto after all.
The Raptors can clear about $8 million of cap room by renouncing Shawn Marion and Anthony Parker.
The Bulls are obviously very interested in what happens to Toronto this season, because they have an eye on either trading for Chris Bosh at the deadline or signing him as a free agent next summer. The Raptors actually finished the season strong (9-4) with Marion in the lineup.
PHIL JACKSON TAKES ON ARTEST
You’ve got to hand it to Lakers coach Phil Jackson. He could have eased into retirement after winning his 10th championship. Instead, he might be taking on the biggest challenge of his career by adding Ron Artest to the roster.
I’ve been an Artest fan since he was drafted by the Bulls in 1999, but no question he can be a handful. It appears the Rockets had little to no interest in bringing him back.
I’d argue that coaching Artest will be a bigger challenge for Jackson than Dennis Rodman, because at the end of the day, Rodman was a team-oriented player on the court. Artest’s team approach can come and go, as evidenced the Bulls’ 17-point fourth-quarter comeback against Houston on Feb. 28 while Artest kept tossing up errant 3-point shots.
--Word is, Boston, Orlando and San Antonio are in pursuit of Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace.
--Glen “Big Baby” Davis may not make is back to Boston. After a strong performance in the playoffs against the Bulls, he’s drawing interest from several teams, including Detroit, as a restricted free agent.