3 players Bulls can target in Zach LaVine sign-and-trade with Mavericks

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Jalen Brunson, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Zach LaVine NBA Trade Rumors
Jalen Brunson, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

1. Jalen Brunson

In terms of players the Bulls could realistically get in a LaVine sign-and-trade package, Jalen Brunson has to be among the best options available. Brunson is set to be a free agent for the first time in his career and will certainly attract a lot of attention this summer.

Since Brunson was a former second-round draft pick, he’s not even eligible for restricted free agency. This means the Mavericks are at serious risk of letting Brunson walk for nothing, and they should be looking for avenues to recoup any value possible.

Brunson has enjoyed a breakout season in Dallas this year, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game as the sidekick to Doncic. He’s an interesting option to consider, because the Bulls would have him locked up on a new contract for the foreseeable future, while most other options would all hit free agency within two seasons of joining the Bulls.

Negotiating that trade is extremely difficult, however, as the Mavericks would be heavily restricted by the amount of money they’re allowed to take in return via sign-and-trade. Dallas would likely have to decimate their team’s depth by trading Hardaway Jr., Bertans, and possibly more to accommodate the collective bargaining agreement’s rules regarding sign-and-trades.

When taking into account the draft capital Dallas would have to doll out to make this work, as well as the Mavericks’ desire to retain Brunson this offseason, it’s difficult to see these two parties agreeing to equitable terms.

Even if Dallas wanted to go through with this trade, there’s also the issue of Brunson’s positional fit being more awkward than the aforementioned Dinwiddie. While LaVine and Dinwiddie have the size necessary to fill the shooting guard role, Brunson’s 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame makes doing so full-time a bit too much to ask.

Ultimately, the Mavericks are better potential sign-and-trade partners than most teams around the league, but I still don’t love it. Unless Dallas is sending Luka our way, each of these moves makes the Bulls a substantially worse basketball team with no real route to becoming a contender. For that reason, I hope LaVine comes to his senses and re-signs on a max extension that keeps the star talent in Chicago for another half-decade.

Next. 3 free agents Bulls should target if Zach LaVine re-signs. dark