Grade the Trade: Bulls offload Lonzo for big free agent in proposal

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Alex Caruso, P.J. Washington, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors
Alex Caruso, P.J. Washington, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

What would a Bulls trade for P.J. Washington realistically look like?

Last week, my colleague here at Pippen Ain’t Easy penned an article about ways the Bulls could get off Lonzo Ball’s contract. Most of these scenarios involved dishing out some combination of a first-round pick(s), Patrick Williams, and a plethora of second-round picks. The response was, uh… understandably hostile, to say the least.

I get it. We’re all Bulls fans here, and none of us want to see the front office get their pockets picked in a horrible trade. I certainly agree that the Bulls should strive to find a more equitable trade if they’re to move Lonzo, particularly one that doesn’t involve sacrificing several of the franchise’s most important future assets just to get off a contract that expires in two seasons anyways.

Here’s a deal I believe could develop for both parties involved.

Following the news of the trade that sent Boston’s Grant Williams to the Mavericks, the Bulls have a perfect window to capitalize on the market value of this deal. Since Boston had no cap space nor room in the depth chart for the forward, Williams was traded for three second-round picks and essentially salary filler in the form of Reggie Bullock.

This came as quite a shock, as Williams was one of the best remaining free agents on the board and his 3-and-D talent was expected to fetch a premium return. With little to no leverage in negotiations, however, the Celtics were forced to take what they could get. If Chicago is lucky, they could potentially take advantage of the Hornets’ unwillingness to re-sign Washington for his asking rate by offering this package.

Since Washington has become the last premiere free agent remaining on the market, the Hornets may opt to trade him now before he signs a deal too hefty to match (looking at you San Antonio), thus losing him for nothing in return. Now that we have an idea of what a Washington to the Bulls trade may actually look like, would both parties be interested in pulling the trigger on this deal?