Chicago Bulls: 3 updated trades with Rockets for James Harden

James Harden, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
James Harden, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

2) Chicago Bulls early season trades for Harden

Knowing what the Rockets would think about any hypothetical trade deal that would involve so many moving pieces is hard at this point in time. We also don’t know if the Rockets new look front office regime, in the post Daryl Morey-era, will want to take on a full on rebuild even with Wall’s supermax on their current cap sheet.

In this particular hypothetical trade deal, the Bulls do wind up mortgaging a lot of their future to do their best to win now. They would also take another risk at pairing the second-year former North Carolina Tar Heels 20-year-old point guard Coby White with the likes of Harden and veteran shooting guard Eric Gordon.

The Bulls also wind up sending LaVine and OPJ to the Rockets since it’s hard to get a deal done without their salaries for matching purposes. They also include the likes of overpaid big man Cristiano Felicio to get him off of the books and match salaries with the Rockets. The Bulls and Rockets would each have to get around the $60 million mark in salaries to match for this trade to go down.

And the most notable addition to this trade package compared to the last for the Bulls and Rockets would be the inclusion of fourth-year power forward Lauri Markkanen. The Rockets would get to try their hand with a pretty potent lineup if they included Markkanen, OPJ, and LaVine, alongside the former Washington Wizards star floor general Wall and big man DeMarcus Cousins.

The last major piece that the Bulls include in this trade deal is a lottery protected first round draft pick for 2023.