Chicago The Chicago Bulls have traded former Kansas University standout Drew Gooden to the Sacramento Kings.
The Bulls acquired center Brad Miller and John Salmons from the Kings on Wednesday in exchange for four players, including forwards Gooden and Andres Nocioni. Sacramento also received Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons in the deal, but immediately traded Ruffin to the Portland Trail Blazers for forward Ike Diogu and cash.
The Kings then waived guard Quincy Douby and veteran Sam Cassell, acquired on Tuesday from Boston, to make room for their new players.
The Bulls gave up some salary flexibility to acquire Miller, a two-time All-Star who played 105 games with the Bulls early in his career. Salmons, a versatile swingman and Sacramento’s second-leading scorer with 18.3 points, also could be a prominent contributor to the disappointing Bulls, who are still chasing a playoff berth despite starting the day seven games below .500.
“You always hate to lose good guys and good players, and that’s difficult, but we’re adding two guys that we like a lot,” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said before the team’s game at Milwaukee.
The trade clears well over $10 million in salary cap room next season for the Kings, the NBA’s worst team. Among the four players acquired by the Kings, only Nocioni has a contract through next season.
“I’ve been traded before and the way I look at it is it means somebody wants you,” Gooden told the Chicago Tribune. “Sacramento has been interested in me for a couple years, so maybe something can work out long-term there. If not, I’m an unrestricted free agent this summer, so I’m auditioning for other teams.
“I enjoyed my time in Chicago,” Gooden said. “It’s a good bunch of guys and great management. They treat players with respect. I just wish we had won more and I had been healthier.”
In a second potential deal with the Timberwolves, the Bulls would send KU product Kirk Hinrich (who is scheduled to make $26.5 million over the next three seasons) for the expiring salary of 7-foot center Jason Collins and another unknown piece, possibly Brian Cardinal. This trade clearly would be a salary dump.