Proposed Bulls Trade Swaps Lonzo Ball for Pistons’ $39 Million Veteran

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls

Getty Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams the NBA world will monitor during the early going of the regular season after several trade rumors have swirled around the team.

Veterans Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig are solid additions but perhaps not enough.

[Bojan] Bogdanović … could be a boost to the Chicago Bulls offense,” wrote Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report on September 24. “Chicago was tied for last in threes per game last season, which contributed to it having a bottom-third offense. Over the last six years, Bogdanović has averaged 18.0 points and 2.4 threes while shooting 40.4 percent from deep.”

Chicago’s three-point shooting woes date back to the 2021-22 season when they also ranked 30th in threes taken. However, they were able to knock them down at a 36.9% clip which was the fourth-highest mark that season.

That would have ranked ninth this past season while their actual 36.1% mark from 2022-23 ranked 18th.

Bulls get:

– Bojan Bogdanovic

Pistons get:

Lonzo Ball
– 2028 first-round pick (top-5 protected)

Bogdanovic is starting a two-year, $39 million contract extension he received last October.

He can be traded any time before the trade deadline. But with both teams entering a new season with renewed optimism, it could take until the deadline in February for either team to be ready to part with players or draft capital, a path the Bulls have previously taken.

“First, the Detroit Pistons would have to stumble out of the gates, which doesn’t feel like a guarantee this year,” Bailey continued. “With Cade Cunningham back and surrounded by shooting from Bojan Bogdanović and Joe Harris and developing talent in Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, Detroit could be competitive.”

Detroit finished with the worst record in the NBA last season. Cunningham – the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2022 – suffered a shin injury after 12 games and missed the rest of the season.

The Pistons were 3-9 in those games.

But, in addition to adding players in the sharp-shooting Harris, backup point guard Monte Morris, and No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Ausar Thompson, they also hired former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams to help them navigate the next phase of their rebuild.

Bulls Potentially Close to Roster Needed Shakeup

“The Bulls certainly know more than us about his situation, but the track record for a player missing two full seasons a row with any injury (let alone a knee) is bleak,” Bailey wrote. “And that’s exactly what Lonzo is looking at, as he’ll reportedly be out for the duration of the 2023-24 campaign.

“Turning a roster spot that’s giving you nothing on the court into a shooter on a short, reasonable contract makes some sense.

The Bulls received a $10.2 million disabled player exception from the league for Ball.

They have until March to use it, though it is unclear if they will do so given their aversion to paying the luxury tax – which they are roughly $219, 000 over, per Spotrac – it might make more sense to expect a salary-shedding move.

“We know we can do better, and we have to do better,” starting center Nikola Vučević – who re-signed on a three-year, $60 million contract this offseason – said, per Yahoo Sports NBA reporter Jake Fischer on August 31. “And we know it’s kind of our last chance as this core of guys to do something.”

Bulls Linked to Big Names

The Bulls are said to be looking in multiple directions, each with the idea of raising their ceiling, including their most recently rumored interest in Miami Heat star Tyler Herro.

But they have also been said to have an interest in a trade for Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. And there have also been whispers of plans to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo away from the Milwaukee Bucks.

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