Proposed Trade Jump-Starts Bulls Rebuild With Two Former Lottery Picks

Drummond Caruso LaVine Bulls-Pacers

Getty Alex Caruso, Andre Drummond, Derrick Jones Jr. and Zach LaVine talk during a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers.

Perhaps more than any other team in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls have shown a propensity for bookending long, tumultuous stretches with thrilling finishes and moments that give their struggling fan base reason to hope. The latest example of the weird phenomenon: that last-second win over the surging New York Knicks.

Thanks to his usual clutch shooting — and some next-level gamesmanship when Jalen Brunson was trying to seal the game at the line — DeMar DeRozan was able to lead the Bulls to their third-straight win on Friday.

In the wake of the latest W, though, one can’t help but wonder who the Bulls actually are — the team of the current streak or the one that dropped four games in a row before it. This much is certain in either scenario: the Windy City crew isn’t good enough as constituted to make much noise in the East.

How exactly EVP Arturas Karnisovas should respond to that shortfall is difficult to discern. With increasing regularity, fans and pundits have suggested a reboot or retooling. If he did end up going in that direction, one analyst envisions a scenario in which the Bulls could pluck a pair of lottery talents from the Golden State Warriors.

B/R: Bulls Could Trade for James Wiseman & Moses Moody

Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale just dropped a fresh batch of trade ideas for the Christmas holiday. And one of them saw the Bulls part with a trio of win-now vets in exchange for a former No. 2 overall pick and a former No. 14 overall pick.

Here’s the deal that was proposed:

  • Chicago Bulls receive G/F Moses Moody, C James Wiseman and a second-round pick in 2027
  • Golden State Warriors receive G Alex Caruso, C Andre Drummond and F Javonte Green

“Chicago only makes this deal if they’re planning for the bigger picture,” wrote Favale. “It may never reach that point. The Bulls owe a top-four-protected pick to Orlando. That will influence their thinking. But there is a clear disconnect behind the scenes, and painful mediocrity has a way of coaxing teams into drastic measures.”

As drastic measures go, though, this kind of deal makes some sense for Chicago.

With his recent G League performance and his 30-point effort on December 21, Wiseman has reminded the world why he was so highly sought-after entering the draft. He’s not ready to be a key cog for a winning program — his minus-24.6 net rating in 2022-23 definitely speaks to that — but it’s Favale’s assertion that Chicago isn’t that right now (and he may not be wrong).

As such, the club can afford to stomach the growing pains Wiseman will undoubtedly continue to experience.

Moody, meanwhile, has legitimate two-way upside with his shooting chops, maturity/hoops IQ and that 7-foot-1 wingspan (to go along with a 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame). In February, Dubs coach Steve Kerr cited comparisons to Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges when discussing Moody’s future.

Neither baller is playing regularly in the Bay, but they could get much-needed reps in Chicago if the franchise can commit to a change in direction.

The Warriors Need What the Bulls Are Selling Here

Golden State’s motivation for pulling the trigger on this kind of trade wouldn’t be hard to figure. After winning the title last season, it’s clear that the Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson-Draymond Green core still has some serious legs. However, the loss of some key reserves over the summer and the team’s unique, dual-timeline roster are conspiring to keep the Dubs down.

By siphoning off Wiseman, Moody and a second with Favale’s trade, the Warriors would bring a trio of battle-tested vets to boost their depth and get them back in the title hunt without fully sacrificing the youth side.

Wrote Favale: “This package genuinely moves the needle for the Warriors, both with and without Curry, while sparing their asset well from bankruptcy. They aren’t giving up a distant first — they can’t convey one until 2026 — or giving up Jonathan Kuminga, who has shown flashes of figuring it out with increasing frequency on both ends.”

Meanwhile, Caruso could fill the dunk-and-disrupt role that was vacated by Gary Payton II, Drummond would be the stone-cold five-man/rim protector that the team has lacked for years and Green’s versatility and effort level would help the Warriors forget their failed JaMychal Green signing.

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