Shams Charania of The Athletic is widely known as one of the NBA’s top insiders, and this week he’s been the messenger between front offices around the league and the fans who are desperately wondering what their team will do at the trade deadline. Now six days away, Bulls fans have been holding their breath for the last month, wondering what this roster will look like on February 10th once the dust has settled. In his latest interview with Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000’s radio show, he provided some clarity as to what to expect from Chicago.
“Active In The Marketplace”
When the projection for a team headed into the season is a 3-6 seed in the playoffs, and after 50 games that team sits still under the .500 mark, there’s bound to be trade talk. For Chicago there’s been plenty, including murmurs that stars Zach Lavine or Nikola Vucevic could be headed out of town for the right price. According to Shams, there’s only one goal in mind in the Windy City, and it’s not involving either of those two.
“From everything I’m told they want to contend for the playoffs. They’re trying to go get guard help in the trade market… they have been actively trying to get a guard out there.”Shams Charania via ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy’s Radio Show
He continued on to mention that’s there’s been very little speak of actively “shopping” any of their three stars, and that their intention is to add at the deadline, not tear anything down. As frustrating as it may sound, the right point guard could jumpstart this offense to early 2021-22′ levels, when Chicago sat atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Possible Trade Targets
Without any evidence of what level point guard the Bulls are looking to add, it’s tough to draw any conclusions from Shams report alone. Given that their cap situation, the bench players they’ve already admitted to being willing to part ways with, and the guards around the league likely to be dealt, let’s look at possible trade targets at each level of player. Here’s a few who are stars and would require a blockbuster, or a role player who would require a lesser package and little to no risk.
Trade Option A: Star Player
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Zach Lavine
Chicago Bulls Receive: Kyrie Irving
In other breaking news by Shams earlier today, Kyrie Irving wants out of Brooklyn. While Chicago did not land on the initial list of desired destinations for the former NBA Champion guard, the need for his services is certainly there. With Lavine’s struggles and his max contract looking like an ill-advised one early on, this might be the perfect opportunity to bail on the expensive and inconsistent two time all-star in exchange for an established champion and All-NBA talent in Irving.
Other Candidates: Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley.
With all four of these guys, steering clear is the best option for Chicago. All four are too old, too overpaid, and too ‘ball-in-hand’ dependant of players to be effective alongside DeMar DeRozan’s play style. This would infuriate Chicago even moreso than a trade for Irving would.
Trade Option B: Role Player
Washington Wizards Receive: Coby White, 2026 Second Round Selection (CHI)
Chicago Bulls Receive: Monte Morris
This would be a dream scenario for Chicago, almost a mirrored-image of Lonzo Ball’s skillset as a career 40% three-point shooter, one of the highest assist-to-turnover ratios in the entire league since being drafted, and a solid defender he would fill all of the voids the Bulls have had since Ball went down a year ago. For Washington, having recently acquired Kendrick Nunn, they’re more willing to part ways with the former Iowa State point guard for a younger and more deadly from deep version in Coby White. In the bottom ten in the league in bench scoring and three-point shooting as a team, the Wizards could use White to bolster themselves in both areas as they head for a likely play-in game scenario.
Other Candidates: Derrick Rose, Cameron Payne.
Two former Bulls on the trading block, either of these would be a lateral move rather than an improvement for the second half. Both having similar games to Goran Dragic, there’s not much proof that either one would provide the facilitating or three-point shooting qualities that Chicago is sorely lacking without the injured Lonzo Ball.
However this next week goes, it’s a good sign that Chicago is not content with where they’re currently at and that they can admit the point guard position is one of need. Whether it be pouring all their chips into a superstar that’s on the trading block to make a championship run this season, or by doing a bench swap of younger talent for more established point guard skills, their goal is to improve at the position and should be a sigh of relief from the Windy City faithful.
Who do you hope they go after as the trade deadline nears? Vote below!
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