Saturday, August 6, 2022

Bulls may be forced to trade the 2x All-Star Center

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The Chicago Bulls are in a difficult position as an organization. They’re clearly a playoff team. DeMar DeRozan is coming off an elite season, Zach LaVine just earned a big bag and Lonzo Ball should be back from injury. But being a playoff team is not the goal.

Chicago isn’t a city that cares about making the playoffs. Sure it’s a big step forward, especially after the bad years they’ve just gone through, but the ultimate goal should be winning a championship. And if the bulls want that, they need to take action in the trading market.

Trading DeRozan or LaVine would not be successful. Trading Coby White is very possible, but his salary is not high enough to get an influential player back. A similar statement can be made for Patrick Williams, but the Bulls have already shown they are unwilling to move him.

That leaves Nikola Vucevic.

Now, at 31, Vucevic doesn’t have much commercial value. However, he’s still a solid center and will be in the final year of his deal. Tacking on his contract along with White and some draft picks might be Chicago’s only real means of improvement.

So unless they want to blow up their backcourt and dish out one from Lonzo Ball or Alex Caruso, trading Vucevic seems to be their main route to improvement. But what offers are there for the bulls to discover?

One potential team the Bulls could talk to is the Utah Jazz. While Utah doesn’t have any stars to give Chicago, they do have plenty of solid role players. Replacing Vucevicto to add even more depth to the squad could be an interesting avenue to consider.

Chicago could snap two from Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley or Jarred Vanderbilt if they’re willing to use young players and picks. Having that level of depth behind DeRozan and LaVine would be extremely helpful.

You could also look to the Dallas Mavericks or Brooklyn Nets for potential deals, but neither of them would be able to give you a star return. In either situation, they would trade Vucevic for Deep Pieces, which could end up being more beneficial than a year of Vucevic.

However, there is only one team that could give Chicago a star back and that is the Atlanta Hawks.

In a recently proposed trade, the Bulls would send Vucevic to the Hawks in exchange for a star power forward and a quality center. Here’s the full synopsis of the proposed deal:

Get Bulls: John Collins, Clint Capela

Gain Falcon: Vucevic, White, Derrick Jones Jr., Tony Bradley, 2023 1st Round Pick (via POR), 2027 1st Round Pick (via CHI)

Chicago would get a new, star-studded forecourt while the Hawks would get a solid starting center, two picks to replace those lost in the dejounte Murray trade, and financial flexibility to continue building around Trae Young and Murray.

The Bulls may have traded for Vucevic less than two seasons ago, but if they want to make themselves a title contender they may need to look into a trade with him.

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