In addition to advising the Pacers to blow up their existing roster, the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith has a trade proposal for John Paxon to consider “before the first exhibition game.”

Well, with a half-dozen new rotation players, there are no assurances that the Bulls will be as good as I believe (I’ve already said they could win 55 to 60 games). And it’s not like the main changes”adding Ben Wallace, P.J. Brown and two rookies”will add any scoring in a league that is tilting to offense.

So how about obtaining Corey Maggette (above) for Luol Deng?

The Bulls would have to add more to such a deal, certainly Michael Sweetney, who sounds like he’s on the way out, anyway, with questions already being raised about conditioning, his weight and overall health. And even then the Bulls would have to add something else to that kind of deal because Maggette makes $7 million, more than Deng and Sweetney combined. But it would be something worth looking at for both sides if they can find a way.

And money is the issue, especially for the Bulls.

It’s beginning to look as if Kirk Hinrich will not get his contract extension this fall and will become a restricted free agent after the season. That’s not very risky for the Bulls because they can match any offer. The problem for the Bulls is that Andres Nocioni’s contract expires after this season, plus Ben Gordon and Deng are eligible for extensions.

So the decision could come down to Gordon or Deng. Though I’ve long suggested Gordon in various deals given his size limitations, he does have a vital NBA skill: He can shoot and score. And he can do so effortlessly. I long felt he wouldn’t fit in a backcourt with Hinrich, but the addition of Thabo Sefolosha could prove crucial. If Sefolosha can be the big, defensive combo guard the team is missing, Gordon would be a keeper.

he Bulls have a flaw, it still remains scoring. Maggette, the Fenwick High School product, is a 20-point scorer. He may not be long for the Clippers, where he mostly is used as a sixth man. Maggette has chafed in that role and is not likely to remain satisfied.

The Clippers entertained talks over the summer of a trade for Golden State’s Mike Dunleavy. I’d take Deng over Dunleavy. Maybe the Clippers would too. And if the Bulls were going to move Deng, it would be better to deal him to a Western Conference team. Though Maggette’s $7 million seems like a lot to us mere mortals, it is a modest NBA salary and far less than any of the Bulls’ four potential free agents is seeking.