Chicago Bulls: Duncan Robinson trade rumors are laughable at best

Duncan Robinson, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duncan Robinson, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Although it’s been great to see an aggressive and forward-thinking front office in charge for once, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to witness the Chicago Bulls‘ willingness to trade be weaponized by other teams. Despite the franchise’s efforts to double down on the trade they made and their commitment to two-time All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic, his name can’t seem to stay out of the rumor mill.

This time, he’s been attached to a rumor with quite a paltry reward — Duncan Robinson. It was difficult for me to take this news seriously when it first crossed my news feed, but one source seems to believe it may not be all that far-fetched of an idea.

In an interview with’s Sean Deveny, an anonymous league executive claimed that Chicago’s rumored interest in Robinson could be enough for Miami to receive a player of Vucevic’s caliber in return.

"“The Bulls had some interest in Duncan Robinson before and if the Heat really wanted Vuc, that could be the basis of a deal, Vuc for Robinson. The Heat would have to add [Omer] Yurtseven, give Chicago a big guy to work with. And the Bulls would probably want them to take back Tony Bradley just to have a little more money under the tax in case they want to add a guy.”"

Trading for Miami’s Duncan Robinson would be such a terrible move for the Chicago Bulls that even discussing it feels like a joke.

And yet, here we are, discussing it. An actual decision-maker in the NBA seems to think the Bulls should trade their starting center for a player who would be fourth (at best) on the depth chart at shooting guard, and I can’t decide if that’s hilarious or just plain sad.

Even if I ignored Robinson’s terrible theoretical fit in Chicago, he’s still just one season removed from signing a horrendous five-year, $90 million deal that would ruin the Bulls’ books for years to come. Even if I ignored his status as a grossly overpaid bench player, he’s only four years younger than Vucevic and a significantly worse player. And even if I ignored all that, there’s still zero reason for the Heat to even want Vucevic to come play backup to Bam Adebayo.

For these reasons, it’s hard to not feel that whoever made these comments felt some sort of overwhelming bias toward the Heat’s cause here. There’s simply no reality where trading for Robinson when there’s already younger and better talent on the current team like Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Dalen Terry. There are also several better trade targets the Bulls could pursue if they wanted to add a three-point specialist to the team, both in terms of talent level and as a cost-controlled asset.

Even if Chicago really did want to add Robinson to their current core, Vucevic would almost assuredly not be the return package. While I believe he was a great free agency addition to the bench, the thought of Andre Drummond anchoring the center slot full-time with Tony Bradley and Marko Simonovic in reserve is enough to make a man lose his lunch.

We’ve heard Bulls’ president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas stress the importance of continuity all offseason long and there’s no reason to believe he’ll deviate from that plan now. Especially not when Vucevic’s trade value is at an all-time low, and especially not for a net negative player like Duncan Robinson.

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