Proposed Trade Sees Bulls Land $72M Scorer, Former Rebounding Champ

Chicago Bulls

Getty Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a three-point basket

The Chicago Bulls could be going about their mission of continuity in a different way than first thought, per league sources. Rumors of a massive trade are picking up once again with the 2022 NBA Draft just days away on June 23.

“Locked On Nuggets” host Matt Moore reported on June 20 that the “expectation around the league” is for a Rudy Gobert-to-Chicago deal to be consummated on draft night.

Independent of that, NBA correspondent Marc Stein did report that interested teams have been informed of Zach LaVine’s intention to re-sign “early” in free agency. This despite rumors to the contrary at the start of the Bulls’ offseason.

A decision to make on another Bulls star, be it now or later, could spur another deal.


Swapping Big Men

An executive tells Heavy’s Sean Deveney that the Atlanta Hawks are “considering everything” as they try to reconstruct their roster around Trae Young. Despite Hawks president Travis Schlenk insisting the opposite via The Athletic’s John Schultz, the prevailing notion is that at least John Collins will be moved.

The Bulls, says the executive, “have had eyes on” Collins but appear unwilling to give up what it would require to pry him loose.

There does appear to be another possible swap for the two teams, though.

“The Hawks are looking at taking on all comers right now…Atlanta wants to move off some of these contracts, like Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic so if you’re willing to give up Nikola Vucevic and Coby White and take back those two, that is the kind of thing the Hawks are looking to accomplish.”

Bogdanovic has one more guaranteed year left on his contract at $18 million with a player option for the 2024 season, per Spotrac. Capela signed a two-year, $46 million extension last September that will begin after next season with a $20.6 million cap hit in 2023-24.

“The Bulls are getting back the better players, Capela fits them a little better…Bogdanovic can play a few positions, he is a veteran, he can shoot…So the Bulls would do well in terms of guys they put on the floor”.


Seeing Red Flags

The Bulls, notes the executive, “need some shooting”. Bogdanovic shot 36.8% from beyond the arc last season. But he hit 43.8% of his triples a season ago as the Hawks marched to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Capela led the league with 14.3 rebounds per game last season, per NBA.com. This year, he was down to 11.9 boards, good for fifth in the league, with 11.1 points per contest.

Injuries hounded both this season with Bogdanovic undergoing surgery earlier this month, per the team. It is his second procedure on the knee since last season.

When added to the remaining time on their contracts, could make them less attractive than their skill sets warrant.

“Vooch only has one year on his deal and Capela has three. Bogdanovic…is 30 and had a knee problem last year…it will cost them in terms of flexibility and payroll. There is risk.”

Part of the difficult situation the Bulls find themselves in with both Vucevic and White entering the final year of their respective contracts.

The Bulls’ push for continuity runs the risk of missing the window to get around making those decisions before teams address other areas in the draft. That is why Karnisovas clear that he would “look at everything” in his exit interview.

Vucevic was his first major roster addition coming via mid-season trade in 2021. He was also vital in luring DeMar DeRozan to Chicago.

These are all things the Bulls have to consider with regards to Vucevic.


Bracing for Bulls Blockbuster

During a Spotify live session with The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on June 20, Stein also reported that he does not know if Gobert will be moved. But the Bulls seem like the most likely landing spot.

Both agreed that Patrick Williams’ potential should not keep the Bulls from getting Gobert.

If Karnisovas simply cannot stand to bear parting with his first attempt at mining for prospects in Chicago, the path with Atlanta could be viable.

But the injury and financial constraints that come along with both could be enough for the Bulls to look elsewhere. They could roll into next season with both Vucevic and White in hopes of either turning it around. At least enough to recoup some trade value. Stay tuned.

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