The stalemate between the Chicago Bulls and Ben Gordon continues as Gordon is still intent on finding somewhere else to call home, and the Bulls are still intent on trying to trade him. Unfortunately for both sides, it doesn’t look like either is going to get what they want. The Bulls have reportedly offered Gordon a deal for six years and $59 million, but Ben wants something more in the $12 million range.
Of course, Ben’s real problem in getting that kind of money out of the Bulls is that he has absolutely no leverage. No other team in the NBA is willing to pay him that much, and the Bulls know this because they’ve tried to manage a sign-and-trade with anybody who will listen. So now Gordon has only one card left to play, and he’s playing it. Apparently he’s been talking to a team in Russia.
Sources close to this situation say CSKA Moscow is indeed interested in Ben Gordon and would offer him a deal, now whether that deal is in the $8 to $9 million per year range is unclear and unlikely (reports say the deal was $5.5 million). Bulls’ sources maintain that the team does not view Europe as a threat for Ben Gordon for two key reasons – first, they know Ben pretty well and do not believe he’d play in Europe. The second is that regardless of Ben signing a one year deal in Russia, the Bulls would still retain his rights. Gordon refused to comment to media on the stories coming out of Russia that his agent is indeed talking with them.
I wonder if Ben realizes that in communist Russia, ball shoots you.
This is obviously just a last ditch effort to pry a couple of extra dollars out of the Bulls, because I really don’t see a reason that makes sense for Gordon to go to Russia. As it said in the HOOPSWORLD article, even if Ben did go overseas to play, he’d want to come back to the NBA eventually and when he did he’d still be a Chicago Bull.
Eventually Gordon is going to have to swallow his pride and realize he’s just not as valuable as he thinks he is, and accept the Bulls qualifying offer of $6.9 million. Then he can just play out the upcoming season, and enter unrestricted free agency next year.
At least now we know there’s one person in the NBA upset about the fact Isiah Thomas got fired by the Knicks.