How a three-team Jaylen Brown trade could help Chicago Bulls blow it up

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images /

Would the Bulls make this trade?

As we said at the top, for the sake of argument we’re assuming that the Chicago Bulls’ organization has decided the time is right to move on from their veteran stars and build a new core of young talent. If that is the case, this is the kind of trade that lets them maximize Zach LaVine’s value.

The Rockets are desperate to push some assets in and get a star; they’ve had one of the two worst records in the league the past three seasons and are ready to get out of the basement. Teams might not pay a premium for Zach LaVine, but the Rockets will pay up for Brown.

That allows the Bulls to offer the veteran star to send back to Boston and get a haul in return from Houston to jumpstart the rebuild. Jabari Smith Jr. really came on over the second half of the season and offers a scintillating combination of shooting and defense as a stretch-4. Kevin Porter Jr. is up-and-down but has a lot of talent as a scoring guard. First-round picks this season and in 2025 help them to restock their roster with young players.

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The Bulls would still need to find a suitor for DeMar DeRozan, but they will be out there. This trade gives the Bulls draft capital and young talent, the exact sort of deal they should be looking for. It’s painful to break up a team, but by jumping into a trade already-in-progress they can maximize the return for LaVine.