Bulls Projected to Ditch Lonzo Ball in Offseason Trade to Magic

Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls.

Getty Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls.

Despite their success in the Play-In Tournament thus far, the Chicago Bulls didn’t have the season they likely wanted. Injuries and a stacked Eastern Conference saw them take a step back, settling in as the tenth seed heading into the postseason.

One of the primary issues for them this year was the absence of Lonzo Ball, who missed the entire season and is projected to miss much more than that. However, according to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, Ball could be a potential trade target for the Orlando Magic this summer.

Hughes wrote the following:

Maybe the uncertainty surrounding Lonzo Ball’s upcoming season and entire basketball future makes him a scary trade target for an Orlando Magic team that should be angling for a playoff spot in 2023-24. But the fit between a theoretically healthy Ball and this particular Magic roster is too good to ignore.

It’s clear Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are good enough to function as Orlando’s main facilitators and playmakers, albeit from positions that aren’t usually tasked with those responsibilities. That means the Magic don’t necessarily need a conventional point guard. And while Markelle Fultz provides capable on-ball work and solid defense, his perimeter shooting (31.0 percent on 1.5 three-point tries per game) just isn’t substantial enough for him to be helpful as a starter.

The best version of Ball may never return, but that player would be ideal in Orlando. A two-passes-ahead connector who makes decisions quickly, Ball doesn’t need to run 15 pick-and-rolls per game to make his teammates better. He does that with hit-ahead outlets in transition, timely swing passes and a generally intuitive style that ensures cutters will be hit in stride. On D, he’s been one of the league’s more potent backcourt defenders and ball hawks.

DeMar DeRozan Praises Zach LaVine After Bulls Win

Meanwhile, after the Bulls’ victory over the Toronto Raptors in the Play-In, DeMar DeRozan gave a ton of credit to Zach LaVine for his performance.

“Amazing,” DeRozan said of his teammate via the Bulls’ official YouTube channel on April 12. “He carried us, was aggressive, downhill. He put his will on the game, and we all followed behind that, offensively and defensively. That’s why he is who he is. It was great. I knew it was coming when I seen his feet moving fast. I knew he was going to get to being aggressive and getting downhill. Nobody can guard him getting downhill.”

Alex Caruso Expresses Confidence in Bulls

In other news, ahead of the Bulls’ win over the Raptors, Alex Caruso expressed his unbridled confidence in his team.

“I have all the confidence in the world in our guys,’’ Caruso said via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Everything resets every night. We’ve had some downs this season, but when you’ve put the money on the line for us, big games, big moments, we’ve put our best foot forward.”

Now, the Bulls will get set to take on the Miami Heat in their second Play-In game. If they manage to take home the win, they will earn a shot to play the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.

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