Sources: Bulls-Raptors deal not imminent

Aggrey Sam gives his take on the Bulls, Raptors rumor

Sources: Bulls-Raptors deal not imminent
February 7, 2013, 8:15 pm
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DENVER--According to multiple news outlets, the Bulls have held exploratory trade talks with the Toronto Raptors surrounding Carlos Boozer and former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani.

League sources have confirmed to that the discussions did indeed take place, but as one person with knowledge of the situation said, "There's nothing to it. Nothing's going on."

However, another individual, who wasn't authorized to speak on behalf of either team, believes the proposed deal -- which would package Boozer and backup point guard Nate Robinson in exchange for Bargnani and former Bulls fan favorite John Lucas III -- is still on the table, though Toronto is hesitant to take on the remaining salary on Boozer's contract.

The Raptors are "100 percent committed to moving Bargnani," added the source, and were interested in trading the jump-shooting big man for disgruntled Lakers star Pau Gasol, until the former All-Star recently suffered a foot injury.

If Toronto cannot find another taker for Bargnani prior to the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline, they could revisit the Bulls' offer, which occurred a "week-and-a-half ago," according to the same person.

The front offices of the two respective teams have a recent history of dealing with each other, as the Raptors acquired former first-round pick James Johnson from the Bulls two seasons ago.

Swapping Boozer and Bargnani would help both teams avoid the luxury tax, with the Bulls acquiring cap space because Bargnani makes $10 million this season, $5 million less than Boozer's $15-million salary for the year.

Bryan Colangelo, Toronto's top executive, who is in the final year of his contract, recently acknowledged that Bargnani, who just returned to the Raptors' lineup from injury, is on the trading block.

Toronto also made the NBA's first blockbuster trade of the season by acquiring Rudy Gay from Memphis, while trading young big man Ed Davis to Memphis and sending longtime floor general Jose Calderon to Detroit.

The latter move has opened up playing time for Lucas, who was previously stuck as the Raptors' third-string point guard in a positional logjam. first reported the trade discussions.