So says Jasmyn Wimbush of CBS Sports in an article outlining the “valuable lesson” of how the Wizards handled things up to and until they traded Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for pennies on the dollar.
“If there’s anything the Chicago Bulls could’ve learned from the Washington Wizards trading Bradley Beal in June, it’s what not to do when trying to deal your franchise player,” Wimbush wrote on August 1. “When the day finally came to trade Beal…the Wizards didn’t even manage to get a first-round pick out of the deal, essentially salary dumping the All-Star guard.”
That is a big difference from owning additional first-round picks outright.
Beal, 30, averaged 23.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds across 50 appearances for Washington last season. The three-time All-Star heads to the desert to man lead guard duties after spending most of his career playing off.
“For years, Beal had been the subject of trade rumors, and every time the team rebuffed the notion that he was available,” Wimbush added. “Instead, Washington toiled in years of mediocrity, and — against better judgment — signed Beal to a five-year, $251 million supermax contract in 2022 with the league’s only no-trade clause.”
Bulls Exploring Options With Zach LaVine
LaVine, 28, averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists this past season. He has found himself the subject of trade rumors dating back to the trade deadline.
They have maintained a “giant” asking price for the two-time All-Star, keeping him in place.
“One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine,” wrote NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson in June. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”
The Bulls gave LaVine a five-year, $215 million max contract last offseason. To Wimbush’s point, they are 146-203 with LaVine in the lineup since 2017-18 but are 75-69 over the last two years after the front office made a concerted effort to become competitive.
“LaVine’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for some time…but it’s obvious that right now, the Bulls aren’t willing to part with LaVine for just anything,” continued Wimbush. “To be clear, that’s a completely understandable stance to have for Chicago, LaVine is one of the most prolific and efficient scorers in the league. The Bulls should be stingy with the two-time All-Star.”
Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Kanrisovas has been just that.
Bulls’ Moves Could Pay Off
Karnisovas went nearly two years without making a trade, instead making only fringe additions that had little to no impact as the Bulls have tried to navigate life without Lonzo Ball since January of the 2021-22 campaign.
Wimbush leaves the door open for an over-the-top deal to sway the Bulls into moving LaVine but also notes that they made some key additions this offseason.
If those moves pan out, it could change the perception of this squad if they pan out.