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Treading water after trade
By Mike McGraw Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted January 25, 2004 Click Here To View Entire Article

At this point, the six-player trade between the Bulls and Toronto Raptors doesn't seem to have helped either side.

The Bulls were 4-12 when the deal was done Nov. 29 and are 8-19 since. That's a slight improvement in winning percentage, but check back in two weeks after the Bulls finish a seven-game Western road trip.

The Raptors were 8-8 at the time of the trade and have gone 12-13 since. Toronto arrives at the United Center today with a four-game losing streak, which began when Vince Carter missed three contests with a right quadriceps tendon strain.

"I think it's been good," Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill said of the trade. "I feel if we hadn't had a rash of injuries in the last 10 or 12 days, we may have won a couple more games."

The Bulls sent Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter to the Raptors for Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies. In a separate deal with the same teams on Dec. 15, the Bulls swapped Roger Mason Jr. for backup point guard Rick Brunson.

Today's game is the first of the season between the Bulls and Raptors.

Both sides got what they were seeking. Toronto was averaging an abysmal 78.0 points per game when the trade was made. Marshall (17.3 points) and Rose (15.4) injected some offense and the Raptors are scoring 88.7 per game with the new lineup.

The Bulls' defense has improved dramatically. They gave up 101.1 points per game before the trade and 92.6 points since.

First-year Bulls general manager John Paxson also thought there was bad chemistry on the team. It was never stated publicly, but the Bulls obviously wanted to get rid of Rose and had to include Marshall for Toronto to agree to the trade.

Rose didn't express any hard feelings about the move. He just pointed out that he is now with a playoff contender, while the Bulls (12-31) have the second-worst record in the league.

Premium Member
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I think it helped the Raps more then it helped the Bulls. The Raps may not be perfect now but they now have three quality players in Vince, Rose and a step down in Marshall (although he is playing as good as the other two). Those are what is needed to win games. Our foundation is set. We have the bricks we just need the white stuff to hold them all together. :D
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