4. Portland offers Bulls best path to a rebuild
Among the greatest inherent difficulties that come with trading a player of LaVine’s caliber is that it’s very difficult to justify such a decision without receiving a sizeable haul that can realistically kickstart the next rebuild. We saw this when the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler for LaVine, former No. 5 pick Kris Dunn, and the rights to the 7th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Just like the Butler deal, if the Bulls decide to move a top 30 player in the NBA like LaVine, it has to be for a prospect or asset Chicago can build around moving forward. That’s why I’d like to put a spin on a trade proposal one Bulls fan on Twitter suggested, to piece together a deal that makes sense for both parties and secures the No. 3 overall pick for the Bulls.
The Bulls’ best option to rebuild involves trading Zach LaVine to jump into the top three at the 2023 NBA Draft.
Although the original proposal saw Chicago netting all three of the No. 3 pick, Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe, I believe that’s far more than Portland will be willing to give up in such a deal. Sharpe and this year’s pick are both integral assets to the Blazers’ success, and it would take a true superstar-caliber player to net both in this deal.
This deal puts Portland in a great position with a starting lineup that includes Damian Lillard, Sharpe, LaVine, and presumably Jerami Grant on a new deal. Alex Caruso, Matisse Thybulle, and Nassir Little off the bench would be very solid depth, each of whom would help compensate for any defensive deficiencies in the starting five. This deal also keeps the Blazers far below the luxury tax threshold with plenty of wiggle room to fill out the center position.
From Chicago’s perspective, no one else can offer quite as attractive of a deal as Portland here. This deal gives the Bulls a clear package they can build around, and would also greenlight future moves to trade DeRozan and Vucevic while building around the youth. After all is said and done, the Bulls could potentially build around a lineup of Scoot Henderson, Simons, Patrick Williams, and Dalen Terry with a sizeable war chest of future draft picks.
The Blazers will likely look for better deals (Pascal Siakam, anyone?) before agreeing to anything of this nature, but if they truly intend to give Lillard a shot to go all the way, this trade could be just what both teams are looking for.