The Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are both in a very tight salary cap situation, preventing them from signing restricted free agent Arron Afflalo to a competitive offer sheet in a direct offer, but this hasn't stopped either team from exploring sign-and-trade options. Both teams are been pushing the Denver Nuggets to consider a possible sign-and-trade that would land the 26-year old guard in Chicago or LA, according to Mark Stein of ESPN.
Other more cap-solvent teams like the New Jersey Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves are among multiple teams expected to consider extended an offer sheet to Afflalo in the near future as well, so perhaps the Nuggets will be forced to make a decision between matching a competitive offer sheet or figuring out a swap that would bring back value. If the Bulls could add someone like Afflalo to put alongside reigning MVP Derrick Rose, their starting five would be that much stronger for a championship push.
SB Nation's Chicago Bulls Blog blog, Blog a Bull, takes a serious look at whether pursuing a better SG will actually make the team stronger, considering the potential costs of acquiring a meaningful talent:
I'm not saying the Bulls shouldn't pursue adding a shooting guard because of some mystical chemistry risk or illusion of the purity of living and dying with guys brought up in the NBA through the franchise.
I'm saying that the Bulls are a great team as is, without the illusion they're any better than a fringe title contender. I'm just also saying that most shooting guards getting their names dropped don't change that and a lot of trade scenarios sacrificing combinations of size, quickness, and defensive I.Q. make the team worse.
When free agency begins in earnest on December 9th, all of this will start to crystallize beyond the haze that exists now.
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.