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NBA Trade Rumors: Chicago Bulls Will Struggle to Move Rip Hamilton

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 14:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls adjusts his face mask during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 14, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.   The Bulls defeated the Suns 112-106 in overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Shawn BrubakerContributor IIDecember 26, 2012

The Chicago Bulls aren't expected to be an especially active team at the trade deadline this season, but CSNChicago's Aggrey Sam sees Rip Hamilton as a player the Bulls could move.

The Bulls would like to shed his $5 million contract, which would let the team avoid the luxury tax, according to Sam.

Unfortunately, Hamilton's foot injury is making moving him difficult. Few teams are interested in an injured, aging veteran, as his recovery is still a question mark.

Still, Sam recognizes that a few teams could still be interested in the talented shooting guard. The only team he mentions, though, is the Phoenix Suns.

On paper, that trade could work out well for both teams. The Suns would add a scoring option to a team that needs a sharp-shooter off the bench—one who can also play defense. Also working in the Suns favor is that Hamilton's contract expires at the end of the season, with a team option to renew at minimal cost.

The Bulls, meanwhile, would get the benefit of moving Hamilton and possibly acquiring a draft pick in return. At the very least, they would dump salary and avoid the luxury tax.

Unfortunately, Sam points out that Hamilton will not want to be moved to a team without championship ambitions. The Suns are a long way away from being a contender, and even acquiring a player like Hamilton will not be enough to change that.

That makes a move to Phoenix unlikely for Hamilton, and there are few other logical destinations. Not many teams want to take on a $5 million salary for an aging role player. Hamilton has played well at times this season, but his injury situation makes that almost irrelevant.

This is a difficult scenario for both Hamilton and the Bulls. A trade would probably benefit both sides, but it's unlikely to get done. If Hamilton recovers well, though, the Bulls might just be happy this trade never went down.

Regardless, this is a situation worth monitoring.

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