Even with the NBA playoffs still underway, non-participating teams like the Chicago Bulls are looking ahead to an offseason with anticipation of player movement.
After falling short of the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, fans are hopeful that playoff basketball will return to the Windy City in 2022.
And for good reason, with Arturas Karnisovas and the Bulls’ new front office having taken an aggressive approach at the trade deadline in pairing All-Stars Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine.
It’s no longer a matter of if Chicago will make an attempt to bring in a third All-Star, but a question of when.
One name that’s been consistently linked to the Bulls is that of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder.
Could his ties to head coach Billy Donovan bring him to Chicago in the fall?
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Schroder Had His Best Season Under Billy Donovan
In his latest piece for NBC Sports, Rob Schaefer thumbed through a number of point guard options for the Chicago Bulls this summer.
Among them, naturally, was Los Angeles Lakers starter Dennis Schroder, who will be an unrestricted free agent.
Interestingly enough, as Schaefer notes, the 27-year old had the best season of his career under Bulls current head coach Billy Donovan:
It’s easy to envision the Bulls having interest in Schröder if he is indeed gettable. He has a years-long track record of productivity and durability on both ends and enjoyed the best season of his career under Billy Donovan with the 2019-20 Oklahoma City Thunder, when he finished a Sixth Man of the Year finalist and shot a career-best 38.5 percent from 3-point range.
For that reason alone, he filed the point guard under the “realistic” tier of options for the Chicago Bulls.
But they won’t be the only suitor after Dennis Schroder’s services.
What’s expected to be a wide pursuit of the guard will ultimately determine whether or not he reunites with Billy Donovan.
Shams Charania: There Will Be a Schroder “Sweepstakes”
In his latest reporting for The Athletic, Shams Charania linked the Chicago Bulls, among others, to Dennis Schroder:
Either you bring him back or you use him in a sign and trade. I expect the Lakers to be open to either possibility. Those are open for discussion. You’ll have multiple teams, I’m told, involved with the Dennis Schroder sweepstakes. I’ll look at the Bulls, I’ll look at the Knicks, I’ll look at the Raptors, so that’s still a very fluid situation.
The 27-year old guard is headed for unrestricted free agency after turning down a four-year, $84-million extension.
But he’s no longer expected to garner a deal in that range after a string of disappointing postseason performances.
It’s hard to see what the Bulls could offer for Schroder that would interest the Lakers, though. Would a swap involving Lauri Markkanen work for both sides?
Los Angeles was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in both the regular season and the playoffs, and the Bulls’ forward is headed for restricted free agency after shooting 40 percent from three.
The market for Markkanen is one of the more unknown variables Chicago’s facing this summer. Even after not extending him or trading him at the deadline, they still seem against letting him walk for nothing.
Or the Bulls could offer the Lakers some form of draft compensation. Despite sending two first-round picks to the Orlando Magic for Vucevic, they’ve still got all of their first-round picks from 2024 to 2027.
Whether they’d view using one of them to acquire Schroder in a sign-and-trade deal a worthy price is unlikely, but it is the NBA, and stranger things have happened.