The Chicago Bulls are still a couple of moves away from being considered genuine championship contenders, despite their roster overhaul last season.
Unfortunately, Nikola Vucevic doesn’t project to be the player he once was in Miami, while DeMar DeRozan is another year older, and there’s no concrete timetable on Lonzo Ball’s return. As such, a lot is riding on the developments of Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu.
However, according to a Western Conference Executive, who spoke to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, Chicago could change all that with one simple deal – a move that would catapult them towards the top of the Eastern Conference: by trading for Los Angeles Lakers superstar, Anthony Davis.
“The main way it would happen if it was going to happen was to get Davis somewhere he wants to go, and the main place he’d want to go is Chicago, where he’s from. Now, some guys do not want to play in their hometown but I think A.D. would welcome that, he spoke on that before. Doesn’t mean it would happen, they have not gone out and tried to trade him, but there could be something simple like Zach LaVine for A.D., you get a pair of guys going to places they really want to be. It would have to wait until January but that would be the deal that makes the most sense if A.D. is going to change teams,” The executive said.
Sure, Davis may not be considered the superstar talent he once was, but when healthy, he’s still among the top 10 players in the NBA, and for that level of talent you have to be willing to pay – although if it gets Chicago closer to a championship, one would assume they’d be willing to part with almost anyone in their rotation.
Davis Injury History Should be a Concern
The reason Davis is no longer thought to be among the league’s elite is that he’s seldom healthy enough to prove he still belongs in that tier of players. Since joining the Lakers in 2019, the Kentucky alumn has participated in just 138 games – failing to crack the 60-game mark in the past two seasons.
Still, when he’s on the court, Davis is a fearsome opponent, and throughout his time in the Purple and Gold, the six-foot-ten big man has averaged 24.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, while shooting 28.6% from deep and 55.1% from two-point range.
If Chicago is confident that Davis’ injury struggles are behind him, and that he could handle participating in 60-70 games per season, he could be viewed as the missing piece to the puzzle.
Why Bringing Davis’ Home Could Work
If you look past his recent injuries, it’s clear that Davis is still a dominant player when healthy, and given the Bulls’ commitment to becoming a contending team under this front office, it makes sense to add somebody of Davis’ caliber.
Furthermore, bringing a hometown player into the franchise is a surefire way to galvanize the fan base and develop a renewed interest in the team around the city. Yet, acquiring Davis would be more than a PR stunt, after all, we’re talking about the same player that cost Los Angeles Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram just three years ago.
Sure, Davis isn’t going to give you the floor spacing of Vucevic, or the mid-range shooting of DeRozan, but he gives you an elite pick-and-roll center who finishes around the rim with the best of them. You’re also guaranteed to have a pick-and-pop threat, along with a rebounding monster, who can also handle the rock a little bit and initiate offense from the elbows.
So, if the Bulls aren’t sold on their current rotation being good enough to make inroads in a deep Eastern Conference, it might be worth picking up the phone and testing the waters with Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office – because they too, need an overhaul of their current roster.