Why panic trading Lonzo Ball is ridiculous idea for Bulls

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports)
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports) /

When he’s on his game, Lonzo Ball makes this Chicago Bulls team look like legitimate contenders. His seemingly never-ending battle with the injury bug is a setback to be sure, but it’s far from time to even contemplate the thought of giving up on him just yet. That’s why Bleacher Report’s suggestion to panic trade Ball now while his value is low is a pathetically misinformed idea.

Bringing in veteran point guard Goran Dragic should certainly help stem the tide in Lonzo’s absence, but I don’t think the acquisition has anyone fooled in regards to just how badly this team needs Ball. Dragic, Alex Caruso, and Ayo Dosunmu can work together to temporarily keep the ship afloat, but the Bulls will need Lonzo back to his old to be the wind behind their sails.

B/R’s Eric Pincus, however, seems to think the idea of moving Lonzo now should at least be on the table. Of course, he cites Ball’s long list of injuries over the past few years as a major deterrent to making Lonzo part of the team’s long-term plans. What’s odd, is that Pincus actually seems to comprehend Ball’s vast importance to Chicago’s defensive schemes.

"“Ball’s defensive rating of 107 points allowed per 100 possessions was second on the team among guards behind Caruso’s 105.5… Caruso and Ball give the Bulls their best chance at getting stops without draining the offense. Not many tandems can boast that kind of production, and the Bulls need that to be a force in the postseason.”"

Even before factoring in Lonzo’s elite floor-spacing ability and hyper-efficient shooting, any idea of trading him should have ended right there. Still, Pincus persists with the hypothetical.

The Chicago Bulls would be foolish to panic trade Lonzo Ball away now.

What makes this proposed idea even more of a fool’s errand is that there’s no clear route to improving the starting lineup without somehow getting a point guard who’s better than Ball in the first place in return. Since that seems highly unlikely, trading Ball for what would essentially amount to bench depth should be a conversation-ender.

Pincus even seems to acknowledge how unfruitful this search would prove to be.

"But what would Chicago even target? Vucevic is in the last year of his contract and is projected to stay with the franchise long term. Maybe the Bulls target a starting power forward, but if the team expects Williams to grow into that role, a quick deal doesn’t make a ton of sense."

Pincus continues on to note that the Bulls are in a state of financial cautiousness with the luxury tax hovering just above their heads and that they’ve already done an admirable job of scouring the free agent market in advance with the Dragic signing. There’s simply no reason to trade Ball, and I’m not surprised to see Pincus’ argument abruptly before reaching any conclusive end.

Ball is still the Chicago Bulls’ best option at the point moving forward, and the fact they have him locked down for the next three seasons on an extremely team-friendly deal certainly doesn’t hurt. Just because the fanbase may still have scars from Derrick Rose’s long battle with his ability to stay healthy, doesn’t mean we should be giving up on our Big Baller just yet.

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