Bulls Linked to 24-Year-Old Defensive Specialist as Offseason Target

Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks was linked to the Chicago Bulls.

Getty Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks was linked to the Chicago Bulls.

While Nikola Vucevic has been a solid addition for the Chicago Bulls, they still lack any sort of true rim protection. The closest thing they got to that last season was Tony Bradley, and while he could accept his player option and return to the team, getting an upgrade would be helpful.

The Bulls won’t have any money to work with in free agency, meaning the trade markets and sign-and-trades will be their best path forward to improving at that position. And according to recent rumors, that’s exactly what they plan on doing.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Bulls have shown interest in multiple centers projected to be available this summer. Among them is New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson.

“Sources have also indicated the Bulls are a team with interest in Gobert (and other centers on the market, including Knicks free agent Mitchell Robinson),” O’Connor wrote.

Robinson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after failing to come to an agreement on a contract extension with New York. The center averaged 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game last year.

This isn’t the first time Chicago has shown an interest in Robinson, though. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they attempted to trade for him at the trade deadline this past year.

Bulls Tried to Get Robinson at Deadline

On February 13, just three days after the trade deadline, Berman reported that multiple teams attempted to snag Robinson. Among them were the Bulls and Detroit Pistons.

“Four teams went after Knicks center Mitchell Robinson at Thursday’s trade deadline, including the Bulls and Pistons, according to an NBA source,” Berman reported.

In that same article, Berman noted that Chicago’s interest in Robinson stemmed from the desire to put a defensive-minded center next to starting big man Nikola Vucevic, who shines on the offensive side of the ball.

“The Bulls were intrigued by Robinson, according to the source, because they were looking for another defensive center to go along with Nikola Vucevic as they eye a long playoff push,” Berman wrote.

Instead, the Knicks held onto him and could now lose him for nothing in free agency. However, since the Bulls don’t have any money to work with, a sign-and-trade will likely be the route they take. The question is, what trade package could Chicago offer that would entice the Knicks.

Potential Robinson-to-Bulls Trade Package

The most obvious route would be dealing point guard Coby White to the Knicks, as he’s been rumored to be a trade candidate this offseason for Chicago. And with New York’s unrelenting search for a point guard, White could have a chance to thrive in The Big Apple.

However, reports have indicated that the Bulls would like to trade White to bring back more shooting. Robinson would fill one need, but it would still leave the Bulls with a severe lack of shooters on the roster.

That being said, if the Bulls want to give Robinson a fair salary while simultaneously staying under the cap, trading White would probably be their only option (unless they want to trade Patrick Williams, which seems unlikely).

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