Vladimir listened to Jason Kidd explain the trade details to Khris Middleton and Greivis Vazquez. Khris was very surprised when they first called them in to the office, whereas Greivis didn't show a hint of it. Greivis has moved around the league plenty already and he knows that he is on an expiring contract. Those contracts make for great trade chips. Jason looked over at Vladimir, as if to give him the cue to talk. Closing time. "Listen Khris, you're going in to a great situation. You're going to get to be one of the building blocks as Brooklyn starts their rebuild. I know you are apprehensive because of their lack of recent success. I'm coming from their organization and I can assure you that they are moving in the right direction. They now have a solid core with Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, and you. This also will give you the chance to be the star player in Brooklyn," Vladimir didn't bother going in to much more detail for Greivis. The veteran didn't need to be coddled. Vladimir stood up and Jason followed. Vladimir extended his hand to shake, "Best of luck to the both of you." With that, both of them exited the office. Vladimir could tell Khris was still in shock. Vladimir had a hint of sympathy for the young player, but at the end of the day this is a business. The Bucks are making the right move.
Jason turned to Vladimir, "I'm not sure Khris is going to talk for the next 24 hours."
Vladimir responded, "This next group will probably be even worse." Vladimir was talking about the next three players that they have to talk to.
Jason took a deep breath in, "You're putting us out on a limb here Vlad. I really hope this doesn't blow up in our faces."
Vladimir smirked and turned to Jason, "Trust. That's all I need Jason."
Jason nodded his head without turning towards Vladimir, "You have it. For now."
Vladimir chuckled and there was a knock on the door, "Come in."
Michael Carter Williams, John Henson, and OJ Mayo walked in the office. MCW and John sat on a couch together and OJ sat on the couch next to them. They all looked a little confused. Vladimir spoke up first, "Let's cut straight to the chase guys."
MCW interrupted Vladimir though, "What happened to Khris? Is he alright?"
Jason's face wrinkled as he look at MCW, "He's fine, just hear out Mr. Stanovich."
Vladimir continued, "Usual business within the NBA is that agents found out about transactions first. In some cases, player unfortunately find out through social media. For me, I want to be the first to give the news to players. I don't want you all to think I forget you are all human beings. Even before calling your agents, I want to let you all know the news." MCW shifted in his seat. It appeared he was figuring out what was going on, but he didn't understand why. John kept a stone face and stared forward. OJ picked up what the talk was about and looked up at the ceiling. "Khris and Greivis were traded to Brooklyn in a three team trade. The three of you were also involved in the trade. As of approximately 30 minutes ago, the three of you were traded to the Chicago Bulls." MCW looked obviously frustrated and looked towards the ground. John still didn't make any facial expressions. The corner of OJ's mouth showed approval in the move.
Jason spoke up, "Look, this wasn't an easy decision for us. We are looking at moving in a different direction that we think best gets us deep in the playoffs. Unfortunately we have to make sacrifices to get there. The three of you were a huge part in this team's growth last season. We are developing a new vision is all this has to do with."
Vladimir nodded his head as Jason made eye contact with him. Vladimir turned to the players once again, "All three of you are going to be an integral part of the Chicago Bulls present and future success. OJ you're looking at being their key wing player off the bench. John, you will be a main plug in the interior. Michael you are going to have the opportunity to start for this Bulls team that is obviously destined for the playoffs."
MCW looked over at the other two players and then to Jason. At last he looked over at Vladimir with a confused face, "Starting point guard? How? Is Derrick Rose hurt again?"
Vladimir stared at MCW as he began to think about all the pieces that were moving in this trade and how he orchestrated it all.
Vladimir hung up the phone. Billy King of the Brooklyn Nets agreed to their part of the trade Vladimir offered. Now Vladimir just need to get the Bulls to agree to the three team blockbuster trade. Vladimir took a deep breath and collected his thoughts. Brooklyn agreed to send Joe Johnson to Chicago while sending Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Willie Reed to Milwaukee. Vladimir was helping Chicago get offensive help on the wing in the shape of Johnson, now hopefully they are willing to dish out some pieces. The Bucks were sending Khris Middleton, Greivis Vasquez, and Milwaukee's 2016 first round draft pick to Brooklyn. Vladimir was prepared to send Michael Carter Williams, John Henson, and OJ Mayo to Chicago. He was even willing to give up a first round draft pick in 2017 that belonged to the Sacramento Kings.
Vladimir picked up the phone and dialed Gar Forman's number. Gar is the general manager of the Bulls. The phone call was answered, "Hey Gar, it's Vladimir Stanovich over with the Bucks... Do have some time? ... I've talked to Billy over in Brooklyn about a possible three team trade and he has agreed to it. Obviously, I'm calling you to make you the third team in this trade... I absolutely understand you guys are contending and that this could be a long shot, but hopefully you will hear me out... Okay so the Nets are willing to send you Joe Johnson to help out with your new offensive focus. I know his contract is huge, but it's also expiring. I want to send you Michael Carter Williams, John Henson, and OJ Mayo. I think Carter Williams gives you a point guard of the future and stabilizes that position for you more. Mayo will be a great addition to your wing rotation. Henson will give you a young big man to begin molding for the future. This trade would require you to send Tony Snell to the Nets. As for us, we are looking to acquire Derrick Rose, Joaquim Noah, and E'Twaun Moore." Vladimir took a deep breath and there was nothing but silence on the other end. He knew it would take a moment for this significant of a trade to sink in for Gar.
Finally he spoke up questioning the deal. Vladimir was prepared though, "Look Gar, everyone knows you guys are having a power struggle between Jimmy Butler and Rose. Rose has done so much for you guys, but hasn't stayed healthy. Meanwhile, Butler has shown he wants and easily could be your franchise cornerstone. You guys hired Fred Hoiberg to shift a new focus to offense. Sending us Rose and Noah shows your fan base you are fully committing to change and building around Butler. This makes him the face of the franchise while letting you move to a new era. You get Johnson's contract that expires instead of having Rose's huge contract that still has two years remaining... I know, I know. You love Noah and so do your fans, but everyone must face reality. Your team is worse with Noah on the floor now. Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic fill your most effective frontcourt team. Taj Gibson give you that fire off the bench and Henson can be the young center you have locked in for the future. He is very promising. MCW has the potential to be a great point guard. You shed some old popular faces for talented players that assure you success for years to come."
Vladimir and Gar went back and forth for some time. Vladimir finally brought the Kings draft pick in to the equation. Vladimir continued to stress on how shedding Rose and Noah would create a changing of the guard that appears necessary for the locker room morale. How happy could Noah really continue to be coming off the bench for a team that he has carried when Rose was out. Vladimir needed Rose and Noah. He needed a franchise player like Rose and the competitive spirit of Noah. Vladimir truly believed this move would give them the best chance of finishing high in the east and making a deep playoff run. Vladimir was currently on hold as Gar spoke to his staff. Finally the phone picked up and Gar gave Vladimir his answer. Vladimir smiled and tried to keep from shouting, "Great Gar, I think this deal is going to help all three teams. It was a pleasure doing work for you." Vladimir hung up the phone and let out a very primal yell in celebration.
Vladimir held up his hand to MCW and motioned downward as if asking to calm down, "You don't have to worry about that Michael, Rose will be coming to Milwaukee. The three of you will join Joe Johnson in Chicago to create a big time contender." OJ Mayo seemed happy and John, for some reason, still hadn't said anything. John also didn't appear to have moved a single muscle in his face. It was a little unsettling. Jason spoke up and continued to explain the move and smooth out the conversation. After some time, everyone stood up and shook hands. OJ and John exited the room, but MCW turned around before leaving the room. He looked at both Vladimir and Jason, "I promise that you two will regret this move. I will personally ensure that in the near future you will look at this and realize you lost more than you gained." With that MCW turned and stormed out the door. Vladimir understood the frusturation, but though that was a little childish. Vladimir didn't care too much though because he had wanted Rose and Noah so badly.
Jason didn't appear to let MCW's words brush off his shoulder though. He remained standing and staring at the door as Vladimir sat down. Vladimir spun his chair towards Jason. Jason spoke up just before Vladimir could say anything, "We're really putting ourselves out on a limb Vlad. I'm trusting you. For now." Jason didn't look at Vladimir as he spoke. He grabbed his papers without looking at them. Then with regret showing in his posture he walked towards the door. Once in the doorway Jason took a big breath and shook his head. He walked out of the office with his head down.
Vladimir knew that Jason would have a hard time with this trade. Milwaukee was letting go of young important assets in order to get a fragile superstar and an aging defensive star. Vladimir knew this trade was going to work though. He had to believe in it. Change has come in the shape of Derrick Rose. Vladimir knew this meant great things for Milwaukee, even if no one else believed so. They would see soon enough.