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Wallace-for-Kirilenko Rumor Makes Little Sense

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The latest word out of Chicago is that there is some possibility of a Ben Wallace-for-Andrei Kirilenko swap.  Looks unproductive in both directions at first glance.

From Sam Smith's column in the Chicago Tribune

Would the Jazz take the 34-year-old Wallace, and his hefty contract, for Andrei Kirilenko?

On the surface, it would seem unlikely. Kirilenko is far more productive and younger (27 this month). But, as we saw with the Gasol and Shaquille O'Neal deals, there are many other factors in NBA trades than just talent.

A big one for the Jazz is the length and amount of Kirilenko's contract, which goes one more season (three) than Wallace's and is at $17.8 million for that final year.

Smith is right with that initial impression.  It seems unlikely any way it's cut.

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Yes, the move would save the Jazz some final money.  But while frugality is important, this team is also one that is concerned with becoming a Western Conference contender.  At the outset of the season, AK47's name was being linked with that of Shawn Marion so far as his possible trade worth.  If the Jazz are intent on moving Kirilenko, there will almost certainly be better basketball moves to be made that could also be finagled to work out financially.  Wallace has been largely unproductive in Chicago this season and hasn't been known as a model citizen during his time in town either, and it is really hard to see a team as hot as Utah right now looking to bring in a player clearly on his downside with potential 'tude issues to boot.  Can't imagine that interests Jerry Sloan too much.

On the other side, while the interest in getting rid of Wallace from the Bulls' end is understandable, how much of the Bulls' basketball problems Kirilenko solves is certainly debatable.  Kirilenko plays a very similar game to that of Luol Deng, so far as his defensive versatility and his still-developing offensive game to go with a relatively questionable touch from the perimeter.   He doesn't add the low-post scorer the Bulls need, and he isn't necessarily the type of dynamic offensive player overall that the Bulls need to add. 

Certainly, the move makes more sense for the Bulls from a basketball standpoint than it does for the Jazz, as it would allow for Joakim Noah and Ty Thomas to take more minutes while adding a nice player in Kirlienko, but it doesn't necessarily fill a major need either.  And it definitively does not make enough sense for the Jazz.

Here's guessing Wallace-for-AK47 will forever be a no-go.