Bulls can still net star guard in wake of Damian Lillard trade

Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports)
Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Chicago Bulls (Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports) /

In a move nobody saw coming, the Milwaukee Bucks shocked the NBA world last night with their decision to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade for Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard. While the rest of the league is still suffering from the tremors of this colossal move, the Chicago Bulls could benefit from jumping on a golden opportunity that may have just opened up.

That’s because Jrue Holiday was sent out to Portland in the Dame trade, and could be lost in the commotion of so many other notable moving parts, including Deandre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic, and a litany of promising young role players. This is a tricky situation, as the Trail Blazers are likely looking to promote their young core of Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt, rather than devoting heavy minutes to a veteran.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports this is likely to be a temporary arrangement with Jrue in Portland. The Trail Blazers would be able to recoup even more assets by trading him away, and Holiday would also have the opportunity to spend his last few elite seasons with a contending team.

Jrue Holiday may be the Bulls best chance to replace Lonzo Ball now that Damian Lillard is off the market.

The Bulls would be an obvious candidate to have interest in Holiday here, as he fulfills essentially area of need Chicago has been forced to address after losing Lonzo Ball at the point. As a top tier defender who can create his own shot and be a sharpshooter from beyond the arc — knocking down 2.1 threes per game with a 39.5% success rate over the past three seasons.

It didn’t take long for other fans to pick up on this as well, as the Chicago Tribune’s Julia Poe points out how a union between the two parties could make a great deal of sense. Jrue’s pre-existing relationship with DeMar DeRozan could help this hypothetical team become a cohesive unit just in time to actually be a threat in the Eastern Conference this season.

Of course, Chicago would be far from the only team interested in pursuing Holiday. In fact, there have already been rumblings that Miami and Philadelphia will immediately begin exploring potential trade avenues to get a deal done. It may also be worth keeping an eye on outside contenders such as the Magic, or even a reunion with the Pelicans.

Whatever may happen, it seems this offseason of persistent trade rumors won’t be coming to a close just yet. The same cannot be said for the Chicago Bulls window of contention, however, if they don’t commit to making a difference-making move sometime soon.

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