Thursday, January 19, 2023

Proposed trade brings former Bulls guard back for ex-Lottery pick

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In the last three games, Chicago Bulls guard Coby White finally looked like a player making his stride after some ups and downs towards the start of the campaign. In games against the Wizards, Thunder, and Warriors, the former No. 7 overall averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals with 55-56-100 shooting splits

Along the way, he was also one of only four Bulls players with positive net ratings.

However, his future at the club remains in doubt. The baller entered the campaign without a contract renewal and is expected to enter the summer as a restricted free agent (assuming the Bulls offer a qualifying offer). Still, ESPN’s NBA front office insider Bobby Marks can envision clubs kicking the hoops at White Trades ahead of the league’s Feb. 9 deal.

“White’s minutes have been increasing lately and with the Bulls looking to restart their season, the former lottery winner should be a sought-after guard,” Marks wrote in his latest breakdown of the upcoming deadline.

The former manager even suggested a trade involving the 22-year-old as well as a former Bulls guard.

Marks cited the following trade as one he would “like to see” from the bulls in the above feature:

While veteran Payne had a strong season prior to a recent foot injury — he started 14 of 28 games for Phoenix and averaged 12.1 PPG and 5.3 APG while hitting 37.8% of his triples — it might at this move more about future assets and saving money than anything.

Although Payne is technically signed for 2023-24, only $2 million of his $6.5 million salary is guaranteed. And Chicago could always use more picks after sending the moon and stars to the Orlando Magic in the Nikola Vucevic deal two years ago.

On the other hand, Payne is a prime backup who could hold the line while Lonzo Ball is away – just as he has done for Chris Paul at various points in the Valley of the Sun. In any case, Marks doesn’t see much on the trade front, unless it’s helping the Windy City crew now and later.

“Unless there is trade to keep the bulls competitive and add significant draft capital, waiting until the off-season before making sweeping changes is the wise decision.”

On Monday, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale released his list of the top blockbuster-level trading assets for each team in the association. As for the Bulls, the tire writer landed on DeMar DeRozan, the team’s first pick in the clutch.

Favale wrote:

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