Bulls Add 2 Former 1st Rounders in Proposed Trade With NBA Powerhouse

Bones Hyland

Getty Bones Hyland is the latest name to be mentioned as a trade option for the Bulls.

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland would make an intriguing addition to the Chicago Bulls roster, but would it be worth giving up fan favorite Alex Caruso as part of the trade to get him?

The Denver Nuggets currently hold the top spot in the Western Conference with a 34-16 record, and recent reports have them shopping Hyland and a few others in the hopes of adding a player or two who could help them make a strong push in the postseason.

“After his name was discussed in trade conversations around last June’s NBA Draft, Denver begun gauging the trade value of second-year guard Bones Hyland,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported on January 27, adding: “The Nuggets have a decision to make regarding the team’s backup point guard position.”

Fischer also noted this about Hyland’s trade value: “In exchange for Hyland, the Nuggets have expressed an interest in defensive-minded frontcourt players, sources said, and will search for a player plus a first-round pick.”

BR Proposes 2-Player Swap With Denver Nuggets

The Bulls don’t have a first-round selection in the 2023 draft, so that would be a huge hurdle for them in this scenario. Chicago’s first-round pick will go to the Orlando Magic as part of the 2021 trade for Nikola Vučević — unless the team misses the playoffs entirely and finishes low enough to be worthy of a top selection in the 2023 draft order, which is a possibility.

Per NBC Sports, if that pick is not conveyed in 2023, “it becomes a top-four protected first-rounder in 2024; if not conveyed then, it becomes second-rounders in 2026 and 2027.”

Regardless, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale proposed the following trade for Chicago and Denver:

Bulls Receive: Christian Braun and Bones Hyland
Nuggets Receive: Alex Caruso and Javonte Green

Green hasn’t played since December 31 after injuring his knee, and he had a minor procedure to repair the issue, the team announced on January 10. Caruso’s name has been one of many rumored to be a trade possibility, but the team has made it so that the demand for him is so high (two first-round picks), he’s “basically untouchable,” according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

What Would Hyland and/or Braun Bring to the Bulls?

The Nuggets chose Hyland with the 26th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He played his college ball at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been a solid backup point guard since entering the league. So far this season, he’s averaging 19.9 minutes, 12.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.7 steals.

By comparison, Caruso is playing 24.5 minutes a game and is netting 5.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Hyland is the better scorer, but Caruso is incredibly efficient and a much better defender — and the Bulls clearly don’t want to part with him. Never say never, but words like “untouchable” are pretty strong.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Braun was taken in Round 1 (No. 21 overall) out of Kansas. So far this season, he’s averaging 13.7 minutes a game and is scoring 3.6 points, while hauling in 2.0 boards and dishing out 0.6 assists a game. A defensive-minded wing who is both physical and full of hustle, there’s plenty to love about his game — but it’s just not a trade the Bulls are inclined to make given their feelings about Caruso in particular.

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