NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls Would Do Well to Swap Rip Hamilton for Timofey Mozgov

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 5, 2013

January 28, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov (25) reacts during the first half against the Indiana Pacers at the Pepsi Center.  The Nuggets won 102-101.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls have never reaped any major benefits from signing Rip Hamilton. He's spent the bulk of his time in Chicago in street clothes, and the 11.3 points per game he's averaged since coming to the Windy City hasn't exactly filled the void at shooting guard.

He has a team option at the end of this season, which means that he represents an expiring contract to suitors. It may not be much, but it represents some value on the trade market.

The Bulls have been shopping Rip for sometime, but no trade has materialized.

A practical and reasonable deal would have the Bulls shipping Rip to the Denver Nuggets for center Timofey Mozgov.

The Daily Herald writes:

The best scenario might be the popular rumor of trading Richard Hamilton to Denver for 7-foot-1 Russian Timofey Movgoz. But it's tough to tell whether this has a chance of actually happening.

Most know Mozgov as the poor guy Blake Griffin destroyed with a vicious slam in 2010, but he could be a nice backup center for the Bulls.

The 26-year-old is a legit 7'1" and he moves well for a big man.

He's only averaged 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in his career, but he's only played 11.8 minutes per game. He has the defense-first, protect-the-rim attitude that Tom Thibodeau covets in his big men.

While he may not be quite as effective in the role as Omer Asik was last season, his size, youth and athleticism are more attractive than that of Nazr Mohammed.

He's a far more skilled offensive player than Asik or Mohammed, and he's still has some upside. Take a look at a solid performance he had against the Miami Heat.

The need for depth at the center position has been even clearer over the last week. Joakim Noah has missed the last three games—and the Bulls are 1-2 in that stretch. Going into the playoffs, having three big bodies to use in the middle would be ideal.

If things don't work out, Mozgov is a restricted free agent at the end of the year, and the Bulls could always let him walk.

Moving Hamilton also presents another opportunity to get Jimmy Butler on the floor. The second-year swingman has played his way into a valuable role with the team, and he could make Luol Deng expendable in the offseason.

For now, he could play alongside Deng when Marco Belinelli isn't on the floor—or even start at the shooting guard.

Any way you look at this potential deal, it makes sense for the Bulls. 


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