Does this trade make the Bulls better?
Trading a star player for non-stars is a difficult proposition, and it’s especially difficult to do when trying to remain relevant yourself. This deal attempts to thread the needle by tossing in a future first-round pick and the 22-year-old Josh Green alongside three more established veterans.
Green might be the key to this entire deal, as he is having a much more efficient season after a slow start to his career. He has nearly doubled his 3-point attempt rate and yet also spiked his efficiency, hitting 44.4 percent from deep on a decent 3.8 attempts per 36 minutes. He has good size and profiles as a legitimate 3-and-D wing down the road.
For now, the combination of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock gives the Bulls two veteran wings who can both shoot, improving the Bulls’ size without completely punting on their spacing as they have been while playing Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green. Hardaway has some verve to pair with Ayo Dosunmo and Goran Dragic in creating offense when DeRozan sits.
This trade clarifies the pecking order for the Bulls and helps them to build some truly potent lineups. At the same time, they’re giving up on a 27-year-old All-Star in the prime of his career and not getting any players who are Top 50 now or likely to get there. That’s a tough pill to swallow, and ultimately why this deal won’t happen.
Still, it’s something to think about. The Bulls aren’t going to find a move at the Trade Deadline to make them a contender, so getting out of the business of managing LaVine’s knees and creating a new rotation around DeMar DeRozan is an interesting idea. The Bulls should pass on this deal, but the idea behind it is one to be explored.