Following yesterday’s Knicks/Raptors swap of Antonio Davis and Jalen Rose (followed yet another defense-free showing by New York in Toronto), the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith predicts that Davis will soon return to Chicago.

Because Davis lives in the Chicago area, wants to return to the Bulls and hopes to work for the organization after his playing career is over, here’s a likely scenario:

The Bulls trade Thomas to the Raptors for Davis because their salaries are almost equal. It doesn’t seem likely the Bulls will get a better offer for Thomas, who also was in the Curry trade, after all this time.

The Raptors don’t necessarily need Thomas with a young team and might release him so he can catch on with a contender. Perhaps they could pick up a few hundred thousand dollars from a buyout. Thomas makes about $100,000 more than Davis, so the Bulls could make that up and throw in a second-round draft pick.

With two first-round draft picks this year and a young roster, the Bulls hardly need second-round picks. The Bulls would love to have Davis back to fortify their front-line defense and lend support to Tyson Chandler. And the Raptors could come away with a savings of about $14 million (the difference between Rose’s 2006-07 contract and about $3 million in cash to the Knicks), cash from the Bulls and a draft pick.

Davis could be in a Bulls uniform as early as next week because the Bulls have an open roster spot.

Friday’s ugliest stat : Sacramento went 0-20 from the field during the fourth quarter of last night’s 89-79 home loss to Utah. The Greg Ostertag intimidation factor must’ve really kicked in.

New Jersey, hoping to extend their home winning streak to 10 games, are clinging to a 7 point lead against the Heat entering the 4th quarter today at the Meadowlands. Mark Jackson is so much more interesting when he isn’t arguing with Reggie Miller about who will win the Super Bowl.