Chicago Bulls: BR pitches LaVine-Andrew Wiggins trade with Warriors

Would it be wise for the Chicago Bulls to get in a negotiation with the Golden State Warriors to try and land small forward Andrew Wiggins and the 2nd pick?

The Golden State Warriors are one of those teams in the NBA Draft Lottery this year that seems to be just waiting for the right time to make a move to immediately help their chances to win another title. Entering the 2020 offseason, the Warriors look to have one of the more advantageous positions of any team that could be a potential contender next season. They’re obviously in a much different position than that of the rebuilding Chicago Bulls.

In the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, the Warriors landed the second overall pick. The team picking ahead of the Warriors is the Minnesota Timberwolves, another team in a very different position from them.

However, could a team that is picking further down the board in the lottery, like the Bulls, get in discussions with the Warriors to trade up for the second overall pick?

One recent piece from Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report on Sep. 9 shows that some believe it is a good idea for the Bulls to have some level of buy-in to trade up for the Warriors second overall pick in the 2020 draft. This Bleacher Report piece mentioned some potential trade packages that would help to start building superteams for next season. And the Bulls were involved in one of the trade packages to help the Warriors get a superteam back.

The trade that the Bulls were involved in here saw them shipping off their fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft, shooting guard Zach LaVine, and combo guard Tomas Satoransky to the Orlando Magic. This trade proposal was part of a three-team deal. The Magic also got forward Kevon Looney from the Warriors.

That left the Warriors getting standout big man Nikola Vucevic, Khem Birch, and the 15th overall 2020 draft pick from the Magic. Then the Bulls got former Kansas Jayhawks wing Andrew Wiggins, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, and the second overall draft pick from the Warriors.

What the Chicago Bulls would benefit from here

In terms of what the Bulls are getting out of this trade, Wiggins brings a massive contract with him. More than half of the Bulls payroll would seem to be just Wiggins and fellow small forward Otto Porter Jr. That would be a lot for the Bulls to swallow on their cap sheet moving forward.

Isaac is definitely an intriguing fit with the Bulls, but he is currently recovering from an injury he sustained earlier in the season. Really the two positives out of this trade would be getting Isaac over the long haul and sliding up two spots in this draft and likely either getting shooting guard Anthony Edwards or point guard LaMelo Ball.

Here’s more on what this piece from Bleacher Report had to say on what Chicago is getting in the deal.

LaVine is an offensive force, but he’s been equally inept on defense. Though he finished 37th in offensive real plus-minus, he was 484th on the defensive side. Plus, the Bulls may already have his replacement in Coby White, who scored 26.1 points, dished 4.4 assists and grabbed 4.2 rebounds in his last nine games while shooting 43.2 percent from three.

The Chicago Bulls can afford to take on three years of Wiggins’ pact and be patient while Isaac rehabs. Besides, moving up two spots may get the Bulls a shot at drafting Jonathan Wasserman’s highest-rated prospect: LaMelo Ball.

In the season that was, Wiggins averaged 21.8 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks. He shot 44.7 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 70.9 percent from the free-throw line. Wiggins’ efficiency did improve a bit once he was traded from the Timberwolves to the Warriors (career-best -0.2 box plus/minus rating and 17.5 player efficiency rating), but he is still a big risk to take on.

But Isaac is an emerging star on the defensive end of the floor (averaged 1.6 steals and 2.3 blocks, with a 2.9 defensive box plus/minus rating) that has a lot of potential on offense too. The Bulls would also get a shot to either land LaMelo or Edwards in this draft class.

Would this be something that most Bulls fans find worth it to pull the trigger on if the hypothetical could become a reality?

LaVine is a lot to give up, especially as he really starts to knock on the door of stardom entering his seventh year in the NBA. He averaged a career-best 25.5 points per game in the season that was, and posted a career-best 2.4 box plus/minus rating.

The Bulls finished up their 2019-20 season with a record of 22-43, prior to the pause in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. They completely reshaped the front office back in spring, and parted ways with now former head coach Jim Boylen back on Aug. 14, to hopefully rejuvenate the rebuilding heading into its fourth year.