What would the Chicago Bulls do with the fourth-overall pick in this June’s NBA Draft? That is one question that arises following the suggestion that they send DeMar DeRozan to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for said pick.
That pick, writes Winfield, represents the Kings’ best chance at ending their 16-year playoff drought, the longest active streak in the league. Not because of the pick itself, which is likely to be less useful to them with the top bigs expected to go in the first three picks.
The time for developing young players in Sacramento has passed
That’s Just Bull…Right?
Most would probably wonder why the Bulls would ever consider making this trade after acquiring DeRozan via sign-and-trade last summer. There are not many reasons to move off of a player that was in the thick of the MVP race prior to the All-Star break.
We also cannot discount that DeRozan helped bring credibility back to the organization after years of mishandling relationships around the league. He has made plans to take talented forward, Patrick Williams, under his wing this offseason for a “summer from hell” and has been a good role model with his mental health advocacy.
The public relations hit the Bulls would endure if they traded him would take more than just another regime change to undo.
However, there is a scenario in which the Bulls lose Zach LaVine this offseason.
They could decide their best course of action is to focus on building around youth like Williams and Ayo Dosunmu who earned a second-team All-Rookie selection.
In that extremely unlikely scenario, the Kings would have to include the other players to make the deal work without the Bulls sending anyone back. Would both Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes in addition to, say, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey enticing enough for the Bulls?
The answer should be no outside of a forced rebuild and essentially leaves this deal dead.
Fast Forwarding Their Process
This is not the typical supposition from an outsider even though Winfield’s normal beat is the Brooklyn Nets. He refers to moves made by the Kings themselves that signal they are ready for the next phase organizationally.
The Kings let us know they’re here to win now when they made the unpopular decision to trade second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton to the Indiana Pacers along with Buddy Hield for All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis.
Brown comes to the Kings with a clear organizational mandate: End the longest playoff drought in NBA history and return the Kings to the postseason for the first time in 16 years.
While asking for DeRozan might get Kings’ brass hung up on, they could follow through on another target in Zach LaVine. Sacramento signed LaVine to an offer sheet back in 2018 as a restricted free agent.
The Bulls ultimately matched but they will not have that opportunity this time around with LaVine an unrestricted free agent.
This would still require a sign-and-trade that only further complicates things.
That Time of Year
Even if there is a kernel of sensibility in this proposal – perhaps LaVar Ball is right and the Bulls need to get proactive – they need to be supplementing what DeRozan gives them. They should steer clear of anything that forces them to take a step back.
Trading DeRozan would certainly qualify as that.
It is telling that what was once considered by some to be the worst contract of the offseason is now worth the fourth-overall selection even though the player it is attached to is older.
What a difference a year makes.