Last offseason was a summer of transformation for the Chicago Bulls. They added DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso to the squad and, in turn, enjoyed their most successful season in five years, reaching the playoffs as the sixth seed.
And so far this summer, they haven’t slowed down. Sure, the moves they have made haven’t been as huge, but they will help improve the team. Chicago brought in Andre Drummond to be a backup big man and Goran Dragic as added guard depth.
However, with how talented the Eastern Conference has gotten, Chicago shouldn’t be complacent. There could still be moves out there available to them, and in this proposed trade, they would be landing two-key rotational pieces from the Atlanta Hawks.
Here’s the full outline of the proposed deal:
Bulls receive: John Collins, Clint Capela
Hawks receive: Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr., Tony Bradley, 2023 1st-Round Pick (via POR), 2027 1st-Round Pick (via CHI)
Atlanta could potentially ask for another first or a couple of second-rounders in this deal, but this seems like a fair offer for both sides, and here’s why.
Why Both Teams Make This Trade
From the Bulls’ perspective, this deal would be a clear upgrade in talent. Adding Collins to the roster would give them a borderline All-Star power forward to play alongside Zach LaVine and DeRozan. The Hawks have reportedly been looking at trading Collins, so he would presumably be on the table in talks.
Giving up Vucevic would blow up their core, but Capela is a more-than-suitable replacement. He’s not the player Vucevic is right now, but he’s better on the defensive end. Having his shot-blocking and defensive presence would give Chicago a boost on that end. Chicago would also not have to worry about handing Vucevic an extension.
The Bulls have been open to trading White and losing Jones Jr. and Bradley wouldn’t hurt their rotation too much. They would have to wait until October 4 to trade Jones Jr., however, as they just recently re-signed him.
On the flip side, the main reason Atlanta would make this move is future flexibility. Vucevic’s contract is up at the end of the upcoming season, as are White’s and Bradley’s. Meanwhile, Collins’ and Capela’s deals are for four and three more years, respectively.
Being able to open up a ton of cap space next offseason would give them the freedom to add a third star alongside Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Plus, Vucevic is a talented enough center to keep them in the playoff race. The Hawks would also recoup some picks in the deal, which is helpful considering how many they gave up in the deal for Murray.
Plus, past reports have indicated that Chicago has had some level of interest in Collins.
Bulls’ Past Interest in Collins
On June 29, Matt Moore of Action Network reported that the Bulls had shown an interest in potentially trading for Collins.
“Boston, Chicago, and Sacramento are three other teams that have shown interest in Collins, sources have said over the last few weeks,” Moore wrote. “It’s a little surprising Collins’ market isn’t stronger. He averaged 16-8 on a miserable team last season, is a proven contributor at a high level in the playoffs, and gives good effort on both ends of the floor. Collins’ defense is his weak point, but at 24, he should improve significantly there over the next four seasons.”
Since then, the Hawks have traded for Murray and their priorities may have changed, which could bode well for the Bulls, as Chicago could offer Atlanta cap flexibility for the future and a couple of first-rounders.
The real question is, would that be enough to pique their interest?
I hate to give up Vuc here. Trade
Lonzo instead? Then I like this trade!