Despite the Chicago Bulls‘ frustrating loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, one thing is for sure: Nikola Vucevic and Coby White have each been playing extremely well. Both players have also been named in trade talks as of late, and the Bulls should consider shopping them to see if they can get a haul. It could easily be worth hearing out offers from league execs to see what the Bulls can receive for their assets, especially because due to their improved play this season.
If Chicago continues going down this rut, it may not be worth it to go into win-now mode. With a max player in Zach LaVine and a solid future core composed of Patrick Williams, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Dalen Terry, it could be a solid franchise move to start building around them and adding pieces to become a contender down the line.
If the Chicago Bulls turn out to be sellers during this trade deadline, can Nikola Vucevic and Coby White command a higher return?
Nikola Vucevic has played some elite basketball as of late, showing why he is a 2-time All-Star. Vucevic was one of the bright spots in the loss against the Clippers, starting the game hot and finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds while adding 4 assists. He did this on 10-15 shooting and went 3-6 from deep.
Vooch played at this high level throughout January, where he averaged 20.3 points per game on 56.1/37.8/80.8 shooting splits. He also added 13.1 boards and 4.4 assists per game. The Chicago Bulls’ big man has shown that he is one of the best offensive centers in the league, able to score from anywhere on the court while being among the leaders in rebounding. He has shot lights out recently, even able to come off screens and drain threes.
He also has shown that he can throw it down, even at the age of 32.
There are many teams that could use a player like Vooch, and even though he is not worried about the trade deadline, it may be worth looking into potential trade options for the Montenegrin.
Coby White has also played well off the bench recently, averaging 9.9 points per game and shooting 41.3% from deep over the last 9 games. Even though Coby has been a bit of a streaky shooter, he has shown the ability to knock down shots in big moments and he has shown significant development as a player. Coby’s basketball IQ has improved, leading to better shots like this one:
White has also improved his ball handling and passing skills, which has led to better opportunities for his teammates. Coby has improved his playmaking, and he has made some excellent passes and lobs.
Overall, Coby White is developing as a player and his trade value has seemed to go up in recent weeks, which is beneficial for the Bulls.
Two weeks ago, I proposed a trade sending Coby White to the New York Knicks for Cam Reddish and a second-round pick. With the way Coby’s playing, this seems like an even more likely trade that the Bulls would be able to make, and Reddish could be a key piece in a potential Bulls rebuild. Another trade that the Bulls could be able to make is one with the Dallas Mavericks:
On the Bulls’ side, this would be a no-brainer. Christian Wood is an excellent power forward/center who is averaging 18.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while starting just 17 of his 42 games on the season. Wood is an excellent shooter, hitting 38.5% of his threes this season and shooting 53.5% from the field. He is an excellent pick-and-roll threat and has an incredible ability to score the basketball.
While he has struggled on the defensive side of the ball, Wood brings more athleticism to the table than Vucevic, and if Wood locks into that side of the floor, he can improve defensively. He has shown flashes on this side of the floor and if he can tap into this, he could be a star.
In this trade, the Bulls would also be receiving a high-quality rim protector that has fallen out of favor with his current team. JaVale McGee has rarely seen action this year, averaging just 7.9 minutes in the 30 games he’s played, while also failing to enter the rotation in several games. While he is 35 years old, JaVale can help the Bulls develop on the defense, giving more rim protection and allowing the Chicago Bulls to win more games.
The Mavericks could benefit from this trade because of their current contender status. They are currently 6th in the West and just 2.5 games behind the third-seeded Kings. As of now, the Mavs have one of the top 5 MVP favorites in Luka Doncic, as well as an excellent guard in Spencer Dinwiddie. The formula for the Mavericks since Doncic was drafted has been to add a high-quality guard and an offensive-minded big man to the team. This has been really strong in regular season play, but Doncic’s supporting cast has struggled come playoff time.
With this trade, the Mavericks can add two seasoned players in Vucevic and Dragic, both of which would fit better with the Mavs. Dallas could use Vucevic’s offensive paint presence to source a reliable second option on offense. Additionally, Dragic may be 36 years old, but he is an excellent performer in the playoffs, averaging 17.1 PPG in the postseason since 2015. The experience that these two players bring can help the Mavericks take it to the next level.
Overall, this trade can help both the Bulls and Mavericks complete their goals. If the Bulls choose to rebuild, Christian Wood could be an excellent option to add to their young core. However, this is highly contingent on the direction that the Chicago Bulls want to go in the future. Nonetheless, the Bulls’ front office has plenty to mull over as the 2023 trade deadline approaches.