Proposed Blockbuster Sees Bulls Trade Star for $120 Million Worth of Talent

Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls.

Getty Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls.

This offseason will be an important one for the Chicago Bulls. Last year was a great first step in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go if they are going to contend in the Eastern Conference. Their current roster simply isn’t equipped to do that.

And with little wiggle room to make a big-time move, they will have to get creative on the trade market. DeMar DeRozan ad Zach LaVine are all but untouchable, as is Patrick Williams, at this point. In turn, it’s looking more and more like Nikola Vucevic could be the odd man out.

But with him being on an expiring deal and entering the latter stages of his career, Chicago likely wouldn’t be able to trade him for a star, despite him still being a borderline All-Star at this current moment. So instead, why not explore a trade to add improved depth? Enter the LA Clippers.

Here’s the outline of a potential deal:

Bulls receive: Marcus Morris, Luke Kennard, 2023 2nd-Round Pick

Clippers receive: Vucevic, Coby White

That may seem like a lot to give up, but this deal could actually end up benefitting both sides. Let’s start with the Bulls’ perspective.

Why the Bulls Make This Trade

For Chicago, this deal would be about prioritizing depth. All of the best teams in the league are elite because of their insane depth. Look at the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, and Clippers as prime examples. The Bulls need some depth in certain places.

Adding Morris to the mix would give them another great scorer, as well as an added three-point threat. His hard-nosed play would help set a tone in Chicago, too, as the intensity he brings to the locker room could help them on the defensive end.

Kennard would be a three-point specialist in Chicago, and that’s something they desperately need. The Bulls were a decent shooting team last year when it came to percentages, but they didn’t attempt a ton of threes. With Kennard in town, that would change drastically.

This deal would also mean that the Bulls don’t have to worry about extending Vucevic or White. Both will be heading into the final year of their contracts, and handing them extensions could turn into tricky business. Instead, dealing them for added depth could be worth considering.

The one glaring issue with this deal for the Bulls is that it would leave them without a starting center, but it would allow them to experiment. As great as Vucevic is, the immobile center is slowly being irradicated from today’s game. Look at Robert Williams and the Boston Celtics, Kevon Looney and the Golden State Warriors, Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat. Can Vucevic’s playstyle be conducive to winning at the highest level nowadays? Maybe not.

Chicago could experiment with Williams at the five, give some run to Drummond, and/or explore the trade market more. But this trade would definitely be worth exploring for them.

What about the Clippers?

Why the Clippers Make This Trade

The beauty of this deal for the Clippers is that they have enough defense to allow Vucevic to exist peacefully. On the Bulls, the defensive pieces around Vucevic don’t compliment him well. That wouldn’t be the case in LA. Plus, they would still have Ivica Zubac, anyways.

LA lost Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency, and they’ve expressed potential interest in dealing Morris in the past. So why not take a chance on Vucevic and add a solid center on an expiring deal to an already-stacked roster?

White would step in as a young player with something to prove, but the Clippers could also just choose to use him as trade bait at the deadline. Losing Kennard would certainly hurt them, but with the depth they have, adding Vucevic could be worth it.

Both teams should consider this trade if it were ever to be on the table.

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