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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Bulls stand pat at trade deadline

By Nick Friedell

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Chicago Bulls did not make a move at the trade deadline.

The lack of movement didn't come as much of a surprise given the Bulls' cap situation and the fact that the only two players they really wouldn't have minded moving were veterans Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton. Boozer will have two years left on his deal after the season worth over $30 million while the 35-year-old Hamilton has been on a minutes limit most of the season because of ongoing injury problems. Tom Thibodeau never sounded like a man expecting much of a trade and he has repeatedly held to a mantra that the Bulls have 'more than enough to win with.'

"I feel good about our team," he said recently. "I feel very good about our team. There's a long way to go. There's a long grind ahead of us, a big challenge, but I like the guys that we have."

The lack of activity from the Bulls holds in line with the notion that they want to maintain financial flexibility moving forward. The Bulls understand that in a season and a half they will have cap space to go after a big name free agent on the open market or try to acquire one in a trade, assuming they amnesty the final year of Boozer's contract and make a decision on re-signing Luol Deng after his contract runs out. The Bulls, who are hard-capped this season because of their use of the bi-annual exception last summer, are on track to pay the luxury tax for the first time under owner Jerry Reinsdorf.