3 trades to kickstart Bulls rebuild and enter Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes

Victor Wembanyama, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors, Tanking for Victor Wembanyana
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Zach LaVine gets to chase a championship ring

After committing the largest contract in Chicago Bulls’ history to Zach LaVine over the summer, it may be seen as a bad look to move on from him so soon. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that committing to a trajectory and making aggressive moves to achieve your goals is how you build a championship contender, not treading water and watching assets expire.

Considering the Jazz just received a massive haul involving two talented young players, essentially four first-round picks, and two first-round pick swaps, the Bulls have to be looking for a similarly large haul. Mitchell’s youth and reputation as a big-time playoff performer obviously had his value pegged slightly higher than LaVine’s, but I still believe Chicago could get at least a comparable package.

The Chicago Bulls need to receive a huge haul if they’re going to move on from Zach LaVine.

While the Bulls handed the bag to LaVine over the summer, the Mavericks were far more hesitant to make a big offer to their own free agent guard Jalen Brunson. There were concerns regarding his ability to be a true No. 2 option on a championship team, and Dallas’ payroll was already busting at the seams to begin with.

Enter the Bulls, who could solve both of Dallas’ problems here by offering up LaVine, who would rightfully so be viewed as a substantial upgrade over Brunson. To bolster their return package, Chicago could also offer to take the Mavericks’ bad contracts off their hands in Davis Bertans and Tim Hardaway Jr. These two are owed a combined $102 million over the next three seasons — no big deal for a rebuilding team, but a death sentence for a contender.

In return for saving Dallas from financial crisis and granting the Mavericks a legitimate second All-Star to complement Luka Doncic, the Bulls would then receive the same compensation in terms of picks that Cleveland got for Mitchell. That means 3 first-round picks in ’25, ’27, and ’29, a pair of pick swaps in ’26 and ’28, as well as a promising rookie in Jaden Hardy. This would grant the Bulls plenty of time to rebuild and line up a perfect window of contention just a few years from now.