The NBA is a professional sports league where mid-season trades are often dictated by contract status and expiring deals, so why not get an early look at the field by exploring the top free agents for 2012 with SB Nation's Tom Ziller? Derrick Rose is excluded from the list because he is expected to sign an Early Bird-Rights extension with the Chicago Bulls before the January 25th deadline, but an interesting Bulls player does appear on his top-65 snapshot. Here is what Ziller came up with:
15. Omer Asik (restricted): Asik would likely be much higher if he didn't play behind a near All-Star in Joakim Noah. But NBA teams know what Asik's all about, and the threat of a killer offer in restricted free agency should worry the Bulls enough to cut a deal in advance of January 25. If not, the bidding for the Turkish center might put an eye out in July.
Former Bull Kirk Hinrich also made an appearance at No. 31, so maybe the team can work out a reunion after this season to provide some flexibility at point guard and shooting guard.
For updates on free agent moves, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For in-depth coverage of the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull. For up-to-the-minute coverage of all of the key personnel moves, check out the SB Nation NBA free agency StorySteam.