Chicago Bulls: Crafting the perfect Lauri Markkanen trade to get Lonzo Ball

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Lonzo Ball, Lauri Markkanen Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A perfect trade between the Chicago Bulls and Pelicans with Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkanen

Bulls Get
Lonzo Ball
Eric Bledsoe
Pelicans Get
Lauri Markkanen
Coby White
Thaddeus Young

This surely is a lot for the Bulls to give up to get Lonzo from the Pelicans. But there’s not a whole lot that the Bulls aren’t getting back from the Pelicans in this trade deal when it’s all said and done. The Bulls get the veteran former Milwaukee Bucks guard Bledsoe along with Lonzo in a sign-and-trade from the Pelicans.

In return, the Bulls ship off veteran forward Thaddeus Young, Coby, and Lauri. It would be tough for the Bulls to part ways with Thad and Coby, but it would be worth it to get more veteran help to round out the backcourt rotation and to get the point guard of the future in Lonzo. This would help elevate the Bulls into more of a contender spot in the Eastern Conference for the next few years.

Young currently has one year left on the contract that he signed during the 2019 offseason. He’s due a little north of $14 million in the final year of his current contract. White will have two years left on his rookie deal, and Lauri would be part of the sign-and-trade scenario with him and Lonzo in this exchange.

Depending on what the next contracts are for Lonzo and Lauri, the salary matching should work out in this trade deal. It is likely that the next annual salary on Lonzo’s post-RFA contract will be greater than that of Lauri. Lonzo could be looking at a deal that will pay him north of $18-$20 million annually on his next contract. Meanwhile, Lauri might have trouble getting his next contract north of $15 million annually.

The Bulls would be given a true solid group of four guards to round out the backcourt rotation between Sato, Lonzo, Bledsoe, and star shooting guard Zach LaVine. The sixth man role could truly be assumed by Bledsoe moving forward, and the Bulls could find someone to maximize any remaining cap/roster space in the frontcourt in free agency this summer.

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