Bulls trade John Salmons to Bucks for Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick

In a trade finalized on February 18, the Chicago Bulls traded John Salmons to the Milwaukee Bucks for Joe Alexander and Hakim Warrick (pronounced Ha-keem).  In addition, Chicago traded the Bulls’ regular second round draft choices in 2011 and 2012.  Also, Milwaukee has the option in NBA Draft 2010 of switching first round picks with Chicago, so long as Chicago’s first round pick is not a top 10 selection.

“We like the combination of our player talent, cap flexibility and our ability to improve our team this summer in the free agent market,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “This trade is another step in the process of building our team and getting better.”

Warrick (6-9, 219), in his fifth season out of Syracuse, signed with the Bucks as a free agent on July 31, 2009.  On the season, he has played in 48 games (six starts) and averaged 10.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 21.3 mpg.  The 27-year old Warrick spent his first four years in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies after being selected with the 19th overall pick in the first round of NBA Draft 2005.  He holds career averages of 10.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg in 21.6 mpg in 355 games played (88 starts).

Alexander (6-8, 230), the eighth overall pick in NBA Draft 2008, is in his second season in the NBA.  Drafted by Milwaukee via West Virginia, the 23-year old Alexander missed the first 41 games of this season due to a right hamstring strain.  On Jan. 20, he was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, where he has averaged 10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg and 26.8 mpg in six D-League games (three starts).  He played in six contests his rookie season, and averaged 5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.2 apg in 18.0 mpg.

Currently in his eighth NBA season, Salmons, 30, has averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 51 games (28 starts) for the Bulls this season.  Last year in 79 games with Sacramento and Chicago, Salmons enjoyed his best statistical NBA season when he averaged 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steal per contest.  He shot 47.2 percent from the field, and career-highs of 41.7 percent and 83.0 percent from the three-point arc and free throw line, respectively.  In the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Salmons tallied 18.1 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in the seven-game series against the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics.

Originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 26th selection out of Miami (FL) in the 2002 NBA Draft, Salmons was dealt to Philadelphia where he played his first four NBA seasons.  He signed as a free agent with Sacramento prior to the 2006-07 campaign and played two-plus seasons for the Kings before being traded to Chicago last year (February 18, 2009).  In 571 career regular season games, Salmons has averaged 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point distance and 79.8 percent from the free throw line.