There’s no point in sugarcoating things any longer, this past season left a lot to be desired from the Chicago Bulls. This franchise is clearly in need of drastic change if they wish to return to their winning ways anytime soon. If recent rumors are to be believed, however, an opportunity may have just presented itself to get things back on track this summer.
Per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Houston Rockets are entertaining the idea of moving Jalen Green over the offseason if it means they can acquire a star. This is a wild departure from what everyone expected Houston to do over the summer, but if you break things down, it starts to make a lot of sense.
For starters, the Rockets have not hidden their interest in a reunion with James Harden all year long. Picking up a quality co-star could greatly enhance Houston’s odds of bringing The Beard back home.
When you also consider the fact that the Rockets are projected to have a top pick in this year’s draft, they could become a deceptively formidable contender this summer by adding a player like Victor Wembanyama (or Scoot Henderson) to a core of James Harden, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, Kevin Porter Jr., and the mystery star they’ll receive in exchange for Green.
The Chicago Bulls could finally build toward the future without tearing it all down by dealing for a player like Jalen Green.
As a relatively inefficient shot-chucker on high volume, Green has failed to develop cohesive chemistry with his teammates thus far in his short NBA career. This problem has only been exacerbated by an environment that fosters these poor decisions, as seen by the recent firing of inept head coach Stephen Silas and the fact Green’s backcourt partner Porter Jr. is liable to make even more boneheaded decisions than Green himself.
This is why I believe this report may not be all smoke and mirrors. Sure, the promise of the player Green could become is great, but for a team that’s looking to sell tickets and return to relevancy like the Rockets, I could see them going all in by moving their young star in the making.
A team like the Bulls could have a lot to offer. Even though they haven’t found success of their own thus far, this Bulls team is clearly built to win now and has several assets that contending teams would jump at the opportunity to add if they become available.
While ready-made contenders like Milwaukee, Golden State, and Denver would love to add players like Alex Caruso or a healthy Lonzo Ball to their team due to their ability to impact games in the margins, Houston would undoubtedly be looking for a true star and presumably an elite scorer to replace the void left by Green in the lineup. That means we’re looking at making either Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan available here, and honestly, I don’t hate the notion.
Granted, trading away a player like LaVine for a player who hopes to one day be as good as LaVine may sound foolish, but rewinding the clock and aligning this core’s window with where it truly needs to be feels like a healthy start to me.
If the Bulls wish to rebuild, a core of Green, Coby White, Patrick Williams, Ayo Dosunmu, and Dalen Terry isn’t such a bad start. If they wish to contend? Well, toss in one of LaVine/DeRozan and (if we re-sign him) Nikola Vucevic, and that team isn’t any significantly worse off than it is right now.
A lot needs to go right for this trade to truly be realistically entertained — like the Rockets securing a top-two pick and Harden committing to a return — but if it did, this is the rare far-out rumor that may actually develop some legs as the offseason progresses.