This may or may not be true, but know that when a New York columnist starts talking about a player on another team that the Knicks might want to get some day, we take the report with a healthy grain of salt.
With that, this is from the pen (or computer, I guess) of Mitch Lawrence at the New York Daily News, writing about the Chicago Bulls:
League sources with knowledge of Chicago’s plans say that they’ll definitely be looking to deal Luol Deng before the Feb. 20 trading deadline. Deng is a free agent this summer and the Bulls don’t want to pay him anything close to top dollar. The second part of their house-cleaning: They intend on using their amnesty move this coming summer to part ways with Carlos Boozer. Boozer is scheduled to make $16.8 million next season.
The Bulls have said they are not looking to trade Deng… which is what you say when you want to keep leverage in a potential trade situation.
The reality is likely in the middle — if the Bulls are going to move Deng it’s because somebody gave them what they wanted, reportedly a productive young player and a first-round draft pick. Which seems pretty steep for a guy who is likely a half-season rental as Deng can be a free agent this summer. Chicago might be willing to move him for a productive young player or a quality first round pick… and they very well may not get that either.
As for Boozer, that has been rumored for years. It remains likely this summer, that isn’t really new.
We’ve discussed before this could be the long-term plan — if the Bulls move Deng (without taking back much salary) or let him walk, and they amnesty Boozer, Chicago would have the money to go after not a max but near max free agent this summer or next to pair with a core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler.
That’s a pretty good plan. But to call it definitive might be a mistake.