Chicago Bulls: Lonzo Ball trade rumors make sense?

Kris Dunn Lonzo Ball Chicago Bulls (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Kris Dunn Lonzo Ball Chicago Bulls (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

If the Chicago Bulls can work in a last-minute deal on the deadline for the LA Lakers PG Lonzo Ball, would it be worth it?

It’s anyone’s best guess at this point what the trade rumors mean coming out of the Los Angeles Lakers camp. All the drama surrounding superstar Lakers forward LeBron James and the rest of the locker room with the deadline having arrived on Feb. 7 made for a turbulent time for the franchise lately. That included the fate of the currently injured second-year Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, among others.

Forbes mocked up a 2019 NBA Trade Deadline piece about how the Lakers rising young point guard Lonzo Ball could be part of the plans for the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 7. Most of that plan from Forbes depended on how the Anthony Davis trade talks shaped up between the Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans for the past two days.

Although the LA Times did report that Lonzo Ball could be part of some framework to a trade deal between the Lakers and Bulls, the rumor doesn’t have much backing to it at this point. We’re just roughly 90 minutes shy of the deadline hitting and any opportunity for Lonzo to leave LA being dead in the water, at least until this summer.

However, what would work between the Bulls and Lakers in regard to Lonzo Ball trade talks is a plan that benefits the future plans for both teams. The Lakers need immediate help alongside LeBron to try and make a title run in the Western Conference soon.

Chicago already dealt two of the players that could’ve been valuable to the Lakers in trade talks regarding a piece like Lonzo Ball. The Bulls sent a pair of forwards, Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, to the Washington Wizards for 25-year-old forward Otto Porter Jr.

A few players the Bulls could still use to entice the Lakers in a potential deal like this include athletic guard Zach LaVine, big man Robin Lopez, and third-year point guard Kris Dunn. All three of those players have the potential to fit nicely along with LeBron and help the Lakers playoff push out west.

However, an important question for the Bulls is how does Lonzo’s current contract situation fit in with the franchise’s future plans. The difficult part about answering that question is the cloudiness surrounding the direction of the Bulls front office right now. But, Ball does have a pretty beneficial contract if he can stay healthy and consistent.

The contract for Ball holds through the 2021 off-season, with a salary that averages around $8 million per year until that point. His base salary hits as high as $14.4 million before the 2021 off-season. However, that is something that is very manageable for the Bulls if Lonzo fits the picture for the direction of the franchise.

Getting a read on Lonzo’s game can also be difficult since injuries and inconsistent play has derailed his trend line for the past two seasons. There’s no questioning the high ceiling of Ball, but his player efficiency rating (under 12.0) this season leaves a lot to be desired.

Next. 3 reasons Otto Porter is a solid Chicago Bulls building block. dark

All in all, if Lonzo Ball is made available in trade talks for the Bulls in an ideal deadline scenario, then it would be worth exploring. Ball isn’t a player that the Bulls should go far out of the way to work in a last minute deal for, though.