As we progress through the NBA season we begin to see more and more trade rumors. The Bulls found themselves in a trade rumor this week. It centered around the team bringing in a new point guard as Bulls PG Coby White has been struggling.
Chicago Bulls have interest in Pelicans PG Lonzo Ball I’m hearing.
Clippers, Knicks, Magic, Raptors, Mavs do also as reported last week.
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A. (@ScoopB) January 26, 2021
Earlier this week it was reported that the Pelicans were open to trade discussions surrounding guards Lonzo Ball and JJ Reddick. After many teams were reported being interested in Ball the Bulls found their names in the mix. The Bulls could use some help at the guard position but would this trade be worth it for this team?
What would this trade cost the Bulls?
The trade scenario that has been floated around the most has been the Bulls sending PF Lauri Markkanen to the Pelicans for Lonzo Ball and a draft pick. This would benefit the Pelicans to gain more frontcourt shooting and the Bulls would find themselves with a pass-first PG and a draft pick.
While there may be other trade options out there this is probably one of the few that would get this deal done. There’s also a possibility that the Bulls would send White in exchange for Ball but that feels less likely given the belief the coaching staff has in him.
Would this trade be worth it?
This all depends on who you ask. When you look at the contract situation for both players they are both set to be free agents after this season. So if both teams plan to let their respective players walk then trading each might be the right move. However, in the current state, the Bulls may be leaning on Markkanen more than ever. After news broke that center Wendell Carter Jr. would be out for at least 4 weeks it looks like Markkanen will end up filling that role. Beyond the contracts and the injuries let’s look at the stats.
So far this season Lonzo Ball is averaging 12 PPG, 38.9 %FG, & 4.7 APG. Those aren’t exactly eye-popping stats considering they would have to give up Markkanen to bring him in. Markkanen is scoring 18.5 PPG this season and is shooting 48.5% from the field. The Bulls would somewhat be gambling if they brought in Ball and moved out Markkanen. If you take a look at White’s stats he’s averaging 15.2PPG, 40 %FG, & 5.6 APG. If Ball is supposed to come in and be the starter you are really on looking at three fewer points per game and one less assist as it stands right now. It’s tough to know if where each player is at right now will be where they land come seasons end. But looking at the stats right now the Bulls would essentially be bringing in a similar player stats-wise as White.
Should the Bulls make this trade?
If the Bulls already know they have no interest in bringing back Markkanen next season this would be a no-brainer. Bring in a PG that wants to pass first and set up his teammates. Ball would pair well with SG Zach LaVine and White could come off the bench and lead the second unit while he’s still learning the position. White has played a total of 82 games in his career and still has a lot to learn. This all boils down to the Bulls wanting to gain something if they don’t want to keep Markkanen. If they bring in Lonzo and he’s a great fit they can re-sign him and keep him on long-term. If it doesn’t work out then at least they would most likely be looking at an added draft pick.
There are a lot of what-ifs in this trade scenario. It will all boil down to the front office’s views on Markkanen and even White. If they think they need to bring in someone new because White isn’t the long-term answer then don’t be surprised if they make a move. Don’t expect to know much before anything happens. The Bull’s new front office has been very quiet about everything they’ve done this season.
The Bulls future
The Bulls front office certainly has a vision for this team’s future. If that involved playing out this season and making no moves then they will stick to that. Depending on what they see for the future of this team they may simply wait. Allow contracts to expire and try and pull in a big free agent this offseason. They may be looking to move expiring contracts for draft picks or for players. This front office hasn’t given any insight into what they want. Don’t be surprised to see the Bull’s name pop up in trade rumors. Until we hear something from the Bulls front office you should take it with a grain of salt. If Lonzo Ball is in the future for the Bulls then the front office will make it happen.