When the Chicago Bulls traded for Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline, they all-but announced their plan to the league to form a “Big 3” in the Windy City.
But when looking around the NBA, star power isn’t a known quantity right now, or in the upcoming offseason either.
Chicago will need to take bold measures to acquire a third star, before this core’s window closes, even if it’s just opened.
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Bradley Beal to the Bulls?
Few stars have been discussed over the last year and a half than Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Despite his team’s free falling out of the playoff picture seemingly every season, the 27-year old and three-time All-Star has yet to request a trade out of DC.
Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina thinks that if that day ever comes, the Chicago Bulls should go all in:
Bradley Beal, who played for Donovan in college (Did you know that, Bulls fans? It’s true!) and can opt out of his contract would be a grand slam addition.
Beal is the NBA’s leading scorer, averaging 31.2 points per game this season to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals. If freed from Washington, does he make a bee-line for Chicago?
That seems unlikely, even with the aforementioned coach connection, and he is very close with Donovan, rest assured. Beal is smack in the middle of his prime, and would have a number of suitors.
Some, with concrete championship ceilings, unlike the Bulls in their current state. Chicago’s got nothing to show for their three-game winning streak, aside from a firm grip on the Eastern Conference’s 10th seed.
That is notably better than the 18-32 Wizards, for what it’s worth.
Chicago Can Trade for Beal
With just one guaranteed season left on his contract, Bradley Beal could start up a sweepstakes for his services as soon as this offseason. He’s got a player option for 2022-2023.
So if the Chicago Bulls were absolutely enamored with the idea of a Beal, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic trio, they could put an offer on the table to the Washington Wizards this summer.
Something like Coby White, Lauri Markkanen, Al-Farouq Aminu, and draft compensation seems like a starting point.
Is that enough for the Wizards to part ways with Beal, and officially begin a rebuild in DC?
Markkanen, as good as he’s been, would make for a complex power forward rotation with Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura. And White would be playing behind Russell Westbrook, if they couldn’t find the former MVP a new home.
It likely comes down to the draft compensation, of which, the Bulls do have plenty. Even after sending two first-round picks to the Orlando Magic, they’ve got all of their firsts in 2024-2027.
As the season continues on, and playoffs inch closer, teams without title shots will start looking to the offseason. Expect a number of them to have Bradley Beal on their whiteboards.