Bulls Linked to Disgruntled Former Lottery Pick

Getty Marvin Bagley

The Chicago Bulls are a scrappy bunch. They proved it again on Sunday night at the Staples Center when they rebounded from their worst loss of the season to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers 100-90. The Bulls didn’t play perfectly, but that’s part of what made the road victory so impressive. Good teams win those kinds of games.

While all of that is nice, it doesn’t change the fact that at some point, the Bulls are probably still going to need a power forward. That void has prompted several trade concepts to arise, not least of which are the ones that link disgruntled Sacramento Kings big man and former lottery pick Marvin Bagley III to the Windy City.

Chicago Sun-Times Bulls beat writer Joe Cowley floated the idea of the Bulls having interest in Bagley III. The former No. 2 overall pick has been benched in Sacramento and recently refused to enter a game. Cowley used the news as a springboard for the potential trade concept.

Patrick K. Flowers of Bleacher Nation chimed in with his thoughts on the Bulls potentially acquiring Bagley III. Flowers wrote:

Whenever you consider adding a player like Bagley to a team having as much fun as the Bulls, you have to have a conversation about locker room chemistry. Those concerns are valid. But at the same time, I can’t help but imagine Bagley being a bit of a victim of circumstance.

We’re talking about a blue-chip prospect, drafted second overall just a few years ago, who is now at the end of the bench after a bounce-back campaign last year. I think he just wants to play, and it’s not happening in Sacramento. I’d be willing to bet his attitude would be just fine after being traded, especially if it were to a team like the Bulls. Setting that aside, Bagley would theoretically be a low-cost acquisition that could provide the Bulls some much-needed size at the power forward position.

The Bulls have plenty of offensive firepower in the starting unit, and I think they could benefit from having a 6-foot-10 Marvin Bagley helping solidify that unit with the ability to score at the rim when he needs to, add size on the defensive end, and help this 21st-ranked rebounding team crash the glass.

Depending on what the Bulls had to trade away to get Bagley, the new starting lineup could be Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Bagley and Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls would still have guys like Tony Bradley, Alize Johnson and presumably Javonte Green to bring off the bench. There are a few potential issues with this proposed deal.

What Would the Kings Want in Return?

If Sacramento is fishing for Coby White or Patrick Williams in return, they need to be offering something else in return. It would be great for the Bulls if Bagley has fallen so far out of favor that Sacramento is looking to dump him.

In any case, simply acquiring Bagley for either White or Williams wouldn’t be fair for the Bulls. While Bagley has averaged double figures in each of his first three seasons in the NBA, he has barely played this year and it has hurt his stock.

It’s difficult for the Kings to make a case for the Bulls–or any other team–to part with a player who has been a significant rotation piece in a deal where Bagley is the centerpiece coming from Sacramento.

There is also another issue to consider if the Bulls are planning to make a deal for a power forward.

Chemistry is Very Important to the Bulls Roster

As it is, the Bulls’ chemistry is strong. There is a nice mix of veterans who have had success in the league and young players who are hungry for it. It would be unwise to drop just any big body into this mix and expect for things to click.

Chicago should be looking for veterans who are still looking for an opportunity to play on a winning team or young guys who are talented and intrigued by the chance to play with LaVine, DeRozan, Ball and Caruso.

Is Bagley that guy? There are likely people on both sides of the fence, but Chicago would need to be sure before giving up valuable assets.

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