There is a possibility Shaquille O’Neal could be in a Chicago Bulls uniform next season. In a rather surprising discovery, the Phoenix Suns and Bulls plan on engaging in trade talks that could send the future hall of fame center to Chicago, as soon as teams are allowed to talk after the playoffs. Suns GM Steve Kerr is looking to deal Shaq and is said to be interested in Luol Deng. The Suns would like to move the aging center mainly because he has slowed the up-tempo Suns down drastically. They feel Deng could bring some young, athletic energy back to the team. The Suns also feel Deng could still live up to his potential and contract if he can stay healthy.
The Bulls apparently will listen to the potential idea at the very least. However, Chicago fears that O’Neal will slow down the Bulls young, up-tempo style of play (with the Bulls already having a slow moving, aging center on the team in Brad Miller). On the other hand, the Bulls would love to get rid of Luol Deng’s huge contract, especially with the emergence of John Salmons and with their hopes to resign Ben Gordon. In addition, Shaq’s contract expires at the end of next season, freeing up even more money for 2010. The Bulls also feel Shaq could be a good influence on the young big men and could fit temporarily for one season as a low post presence. The trade would likely be O’Neal for Deng, Tim Thomas and Jerome James (assuming James exercises his player option) Look for the Suns and Bulls to at least toy around with the idea.
If those talks do not work out, the Bulls, as we all know, will likely target the Clippers Chris Kaman or Marcus Camby in exchange for Kirk Hinrich. It seems more likely that the Bulls would be interested in Camby with his contact expiring after next season. It will be interesting to see what direction the Bulls go once the off season begins, stay tuned.