As the Chicago Bulls continue to prepare for next season, they might be done making changes to the roster. They inked Zach LaVine to a massive contract extension, re-signed Derrick Jones Jr. to a new deal, signed Andre Drummond to be a backup big man, and brought Goran Dragic on board as well.
Combine those moves with the fact that Lonzo Ball should be returning from injury, and they should be set up for a solid playoff push. Whether or not they can compete with the top teams in the East for a spot in the Finals is another question, though.
However, next season won’t be the end-all-be-all for the Bulls. Their core is getting up there in age, but that doesn’t mean they have to go all-in this upcoming season. In fact, this recently-proposed trade with the Golden State Warriors I wrote would see them land four-time champion Klay Thompson in a sign-and-trade deal next offseason.
Here’s the outline of the proposed trade:
Warriors receive: Alex Caruso, Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr., 2027 1st-Round Pick
Bulls receive: Thompson
By the time the Bulls would be making this deal, Thompson would be 33 years old, but he should still be able to make a big-time impact for the Bulls.
Why the Bulls Make This Trade
Adding Thompson to the roster wouldn’t guarantee them a shot at the championship. Nothing in the NBA is ever guaranteed. However, if the Bulls want to make it over the hump, they need to be willing to take some calculated risks.
“For the Bulls, this is the sort of trade that could help catapult them toward the top of the East. Is Thompson enough to get them there at his age and with his injury history? That much is unknown. But with where they are at as a franchise, they need to take some risks,” I wrote for Heavy on Warriors.
Despite the fact that he’s coming off of two major injuries, Thompson is still a great 3&D player. And with DeMar DeRozan and LaVine by his side, he wouldn’t have to take on too big of a load. For the Warriors this past season (in 32 games), Thompson averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 42.9% shooting from the field and 38.5% shooting from behind the arc on 9.3 three-point attempts per game.
Those numbers would give the Bulls a huge boost, and even if his production dips a bit in the next year, he would still be an elite third star in Chicago. But that begs the question – why would Golden State make the move?
Why the Warriors Make This Trade
For the Warriors, this trade wouldn’t be made because they want to get rid of Thompson, but because they could be forced to. With how much money they’ll need to spend next summer, keeping Thompson around could get too expensive.
“This isn’t to say that they won’t be willing to pay their core guys, but at that point, they’re looking at having five close-to-max contracts on the roster. From a financial and logistical perspective, it seems highly unlikely that they are able to keep all of Green, Poole, Wiggins, and Thompson.
“And as painful as it may be, Thompson could end up being the odd man out. Poole and Wiggins look to be core pieces of Golden State’s future, and Green’s game is completely irreplaceable. Having Poole around should help compensate for losing Thompson,” I explained for Heavy on Warriors.
Could the Bulls capitalize on the Warriors’ need to save money by going after Thompson next summer? It’s definitely worth a shot.