2020 NBA Draft Prospect: Chicago Bulls Should Go All-In on LaMelo Ball

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls
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How to get him

If the Bulls are outside the top five, they should consider trading up even if that means dumping Porter Jr’s max-contract on draft night in order to move up for Ball. He’ll be owed $28.489M in 2020-21, and the Bulls can acquire new talent that stays on the court with that kind of cash.

Chicago certainly looks much more appealing with all the new hires in the front office to free agents. It makes a lot of sense to trade Porter Jr. now, rather than keeping him for one guaranteed year, banking on his health in order for a run at a lower seed in the East.

Porter is planning on playing for the Bulls this final season and if he gets hurt and misses the season or most of it, Chicago would have paid him $81,751,526M for 29 games so far equating to over $2.819M per game. Someone should call the police on this man if he gets hurt again. Of course, Chicago is hopeful he plays more than his Bulls career-high of 15 games in a single season, but it’s not looking likely.

Adding LaMelo Ball and dumping Porter and perhaps the contracts of Cristiano Felicio ($7.529M ) or Ryan Arcidiacono ($3M). If Chicago dumped these three for draft capital now and later, they’d save over $39M. The 2020-21 salary cap will be $115M and the Bulls are currently at $106.082M with 12 players on contract, not including Denzel Valentine and Dunn who have team options this summer.

Shedding those players would put them around $67M with 48M in cap space for a major push in 2020 and 2021 free agency periods. Ball is the type of player you take a chance at a 6-foot-7 and growing with the ball skills and shot capability he possesses. Ball would immediately improve the Bulls’ 25th-ranked field goal percentage (44.7%) and the 16th-fastest pace factor (101.9) ranked unit from 2019-20.

Imagine if he grows to 6-foot-10 and 200-or-210-pounds and becomes the sharp-shooter he appears to be and the Bulls pass on him? For Tyrese Maxey out of Kentucky or Cole Anthony out of North Carolina? They’re good players, but not going to make Carter Jr., LaVine, and Markkanen want to stick around any longer than they have to.

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With Roc Nation behind LaMelo Ball this isn’t the same situation teams were walking into with Lonzo in 2017. He was still selected No. 2 overall, but teams weren’t willing to take his father as part of the package. Now, that won’t be a problem, and a city and franchise like Chicago should welcome and want LaMelo Ball after what they’ve gone through the past few years.

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