Proposed Trade Sees Bulls Land $90M Sharpshooter for Former All-Rookie Guard

Chicago Bulls

Getty Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat looks on

The Chicago Bulls’ pursuit of two-way players may quickly turn into a hunt for specialists, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. That could lead Bulls vice president of basketball operations, Arturas Karnisovas, to explore a trade that could give a fresh start to an embattled player.

This offseason has been largely about Zach LaVine’s free agency for the Bulls. But they still have to improve the roster even if he does re-sign.

Karnisovas has been steadfast publicly about his desire for continuity.

But he has also acknowledged the need to get better and explore all of the options. One option is trading fourth-year guard Coby White. Mayberry suggests kicking the tires on another embattled player that already cashed in: Duncan Robinson of the Miami Heat.

The Longshot

In his mailbag, Mayberry was answering fan questions regarding ways the Bulls can improve this offseason. One asked specifically about the Bulls’ need for three-point shooters. They ranked fourth in the league shooting 36.9% from three-point range, per

The Bulls were 30th in attempts from beyond the arc, though. That trend reversed in the postseason as they ranked third in attempts and just 15th in percentage.

Mayberry thinks the former undrafted free agent could be the answer for the Bulls.

He proposes the Bulls could explore swapping out White for the Heat’s designated sniper in a deal that works as long as the Bulls get creative. Perhaps they can find a way to include Derrick Jones Jr. via sign-and-trade to make the money work.

Otherwise, the Bulls will be hard-pressed to match Robinson’s nearly $17 million salary, per Spotrac, in a deal.

White will earn just $7.4 million next season

The only other salaries the Bulls have to match in a package with White are Alex Caruso or Patrick Williams. Giving up either of them would be far too much to take on such an albatross of a contract with Robinson locked in through the 2025 season.

He also has a player option for the 2026 season at $19.9 million.

Is that type of investment worth the production Robinson provided this past regular season and in the playoffs?

Fallen Arches

Robinson is coming off a season in which he averaged 10.9 points 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. His 37.2% mark from long distance during the regular season would have ranked seventh on the Bulls behind rookie Ayo Dosunmu.

It is also the second-lowest mark of Robinson’s four-year career and his second straight season of statistical decline. Heat head coach, Erik Spoelstra, played Robinson off of the bench over six of the final seven regular-season games and in the postseason despite the Heat shooting just 31.3%.

Robinson shot 38.3% from three in the playoffs. But his defense was still poor.

Heat president, Pat Riley, addressed players such as Robinson and teammate Tyler Herro in his exit interview saying they needed to become winning players on both ends of the floor.

“The next part of his development is going to the basket and finishing and making plays and being very aggressive. It’s not just off random ball cuts. Defensively… he’s got to get better. We hang our hat on that. Duncan can improve. That message has been delivered to him many times.”

Robinson posted the third-worst defensive rating on the team despite playing averaging just over 12 minutes per game in the playoffs. His defensive rating was 4.4 points worse than White’s in the postseason.

He did play 13 games to White’s five.

Robinson vs. White

For as much talk as there has been about the Bulls possibly moving on from White, he did post career-high efficiency from the floor and behind the arc. And his inconsistency can easily be attributed to an equally inconsistent environment and circumstances, which he alluded to in his exit interview.

The reality is, however, that his contract situation in combination with the Bulls’ limited assets to improve the roster elsewhere could force a decision.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that White is more likely than not to be traded.

Mayberry acknowledges Robinson’s porous defense. But he also concurs with the assessment of White’s tenuous (at best) future with the Bulls pointing more towards a trade than anything else at this point that could have Robinson in play.

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