The Chicago Bulls have not had much luck when it comes to landing big-name free agents or making high-profile trades, so if history is any indicator Chicago should be ready to execute plan C if Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love end up elsewhere.
Step one in plan C is to bring over Nikola Mirotic from Spain with the hopes that he develops into a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Danilo Gallinari. Mirotic would really be a steal for the Bulls if he turns out to be more Nowitzki than Gallinari.
Step two would be to gauge the Orlando Magic’s interest in trading Arron Afflalo. The Magic could take Dante Exum with the fourth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and move Victor Oladipo to his natural position at shooting guard.
With the youth movement in full effect, Orlando could look to unload the 7.5 million owed to Afflalo next season, and because he has a player option for the season after that, his contract would be attractive to the Bulls considering the team wanted to reduce Luol Deng’s salary to 10 million per year for similar production.
Afflalo differs from Deng in that he is a much better long range shooter, and he is more creative off the dribble. Afflalo shot 43 percent from three-point land last season compared to 32 percent for Deng. Afflalo put together the best season of his career averaging a career high 18.2 points and 3.4 assists.
Afflalo broke into the league as a defender, and he is versatile enough to guard one through three on the court. The Magic have two lottery picks, so the Bulls’ first-round draft picks would not tempt Orlando. Chicago would have to get creative in the package it offers to the Magic.
Jimmy Butler and a veteran-expiring contract like Mike Dunleavy could get Orlando’s attention.