from the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson :
Over the summer, Bulls general manager John Paxson engaged in trade talks with Memphis counterpart Jerry West about Eddy Curry.
Various accounts exist about the seriousness of the talks, which league sources said at the time included names such as Lorenzen Wright and Bo Outlaw in a larger package involving Eddie Robinson and other salary-cap filler.
Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was said to preach caution to Paxson’s desire to trade Curry, insisting he get more than serviceable players like Wright and Outlaw.
But two league sources indicated recently that Reinsdorf has acquiesced to Paxson’s plan, no small philosophical shift for an owner who originally backed then-general manager Jerry Krause’s idea to build around two big men making a bold leap from high school.
Reinsdorf, after all, uncharacteristically had a one-on-one postseason meeting with Curry last April in an attempt to impress upon him his value to the franchise.
So, did Paxson miss his chance to trade Curry?
One game does not a season make. But Curry’s performance in Tuesday’s loss to Phoenix underscored two obvious conclusions.
– Curry doesn’t fit into the tough, hard-working, physical team Paxson and coach Scott Skiles are trying to build.
– The longer Paxson waits to trade Curry, the less value he will have.
The first conclusion, along with Phoenix’s uniquely small lineup and Curry’s ineffectiveness, is why Curry played just 17 minutes and was on the bench the entire fourth quarter. The Suns took advantage of Curry’s difficulty with passing effectively out of double teams, swarming him at every chance.
“We didn’t get anything inside when we threw it in there,” Skiles said after Wednesday’s practice.
The second conclusion begs the question if Paxson regrets buying out Scottie Pippen for his roster spot because Pippen’s expiring contract could have coupled with Curry’s to make a more attractive package.
Paxson declined to comment on trade possibilities for Curry.