Wild 5-Team Trade Would Land Bulls 4-Time All-Star and Promising Prospects

Getty Kemba Walker

The NBA trade proposed by Ian Levy of FanSided is insane.

However, when broken down, it is difficult to say that it doesn’t work for every team involved. It’s a five-team deal with tons of moving parts, and if executed, the Chicago Bulls wouldn’t just be a playoff team next season, they would also be in a position to potentially do some damage in the postseason.

Here is the complicated, but interesting trade:

Philadelphia 76ers trade

  • Giving up: Ben Simmons (POR)
  • Getting: CJ McCollum

Portland Trail Blazers trade

  • Giving up: CJ McCollum (PHI), Robert Covington (GSW), Anfernee Simons (CHI), Derrick Jones Jr. (CHI)
  • Getting: Ben Simmons, Lauri Markkanen, Eric Paschall, Kevon Looney

Golden State Warriors trade

  • Giving up: James Wiseman (OKC), Kevon Looney (POR), Eric Paschall (POR), Jordan Poole (OKC), Mychal Mulder (OKC), Damion Lee (OKC), No. 14 pick (OKC)
  • Getting: Thad Young, Robert Covington, No. 18 pick from OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder trade

  • Giving up: Kemba Walker (CHI), No. 18 pick (GSW)
  • Getting: James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Mychal Mulder, Damion Lee, No. 14 pick from GSW

Chicago Bulls trade

  • Giving up: Thad Young (GSW), Lauri Markkanen (POR)
  • Getting: Kemba Walker, Derrick Jones Jr., Anfernee Simons

 

There is a ton to examine for all of the teams, but let’s focus on the Bulls.


Levy Explains the Whys for the Bulls

The Bulls would be giving up a lot and taking on a big contract in Walker’s deal, but here is Levy’s rationale.

This trade definitely pushes the Chicago Bulls in a win-now direction and relies heavily on an optimistic projection of Kemba Walker’s ability to stay healthy. Young and Markkanen are both frontcourt players and losing defense and versatility (from the former) and shooting (from the latter) definitely changes the Bulls. But it also allows room for Patrick Williams to step into a bigger offensive role in his second season. Jones Jr. is a decent wing defender who provides depth. Simons is still figuring out an NBA role but he’s a 21-year-old guard with significant creation upside who shot 42.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. And of course, if Walker is healthy, he’s a game-changing offensive addition, sharing the creation load with Zach LaVine, helping space the floor when he’s off the ball and forming another devastating pick-and-roll combination with Nikola Vucevic.

Walker’s health is the biggest piece of this deal for the Bulls. If he isn’t healthy, the Bulls will find themselves simply waiting for the final year of his 4-year $140.7 million contract to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season. If he is healthy and can play regularly, the Bulls should be a playoff team. How far they go would depend on the play of a suddenly superb reserve backcourt with Coby White and Simons. The latter is an excellent fit to play with LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. He’s not just a good three-point shooter. Specifically, he made 51.4% of his catch-and-shoot threes last season.

Playing off of LaVine, Vucevic and even White, Simons would get tons of those opportunities.

Brown’s length, athleticism and finishing ability along with Troy Brown Jr. would give the Bulls an insanely bouncy and speedy second unit with interesting options in the event a starter was injured.


Consider This Bulls Rotation

How good does this potential Bulls lineup and depth chart look on paper?

  • PG: Walker
  • SG: LaVine
  • SF: Williams
  • PF: Theis (Priority to Re-Sign him)
  • C: Vucevic
  • Bench: Simons
  • Bench: White
  • Bench: Brown Jr.
  • Bench: Jones Jr.
  • Bench: Marko Simonovic (assuming he comes over)
  • Bench: Garrett Temple
  • Bench: Veteran and Defensive-Minded Big

Yes, the Bulls would need some experience on its bench, and that would preferably come in the form a defensive-minded big man, but that’s a roster that looks a lot more potent than the one they had in 2020-21.

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