3 Best players Bulls can trade for with Lonzo Ball’s injury exception

Jarred Vanderbilt, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Jarred Vanderbilt, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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Just when things seemed to be cooling off for the Chicago Bulls this offseason, news of Lonzo Ball’s injury exception has stirred up the pot and has the rumor mill buzzing with potential possibilities. This means the Bulls can outright sign OR trade for a player on the last year of their contract, as long as their contract isn’t greater than the $10.2 million exception. With so few difference-making players available in free agency, this greatly enhances Chicago’s flexibility in negotiations.

This opens up a big opportunity for the Bulls, as they still have clear holes to address, primarily in the frontcourt and on the wing. Considering the few truly net-positive players remaining unsigned in free agency have already been covered extensively here at Pippen Ain’t Easy (looking at you Christian Wood and P.J. Washington), I thought I’d take a crack at scouring the market for the best potential trade deals the Bulls could pull off.

Let’s take a look at the top three players that the Bulls could realistically target in trades with their newly acquired DPE.

These are the 3 best players the Bulls could trade for via Lonzo Ball’s injury exception.

3. Kenyon Martin Jr., Los Angeles Clippers

Between Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, Cam Whitmore, Jae’Sean Tate, and the recently signed Dillon Brooks, the Houston Rockets are more than loaded up on interesting players at the wing. That’s why their decision to trade the young and talented Kenyon Martin Jr. for nothing more than two second-round picks didn’t come as all that much of a shock to me. He was simply the odd man out.

Truth be told, things may not go so different for K-Mart Jr. in LA either, as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris, and Norman Powell are all firmly entrenched in the rotation. Things could be different for the forward in Chicago, however, as outside of DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, and Torrey Craig, the Bulls have virtually no proven depth.

Although his career averages of 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game are nothing to get too excited over, the fact that Martin Jr. averaged 14.4 points (on 57.4% shooting, no less) and 6.2 rebounds is certainly worth a deeper look into things. KMJ could genuinely challenge Williams for the starting power forward role, and would be a welcome addition to the Bulls.