Bulls must change targets on trade block after Jrue Holiday deal

Malcolm Brogdon, Jrue Holiday, Chicago Bulls trade targets (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Malcolm Brogdon, Jrue Holiday, Chicago Bulls trade targets (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

First, it was Damian Lillard. Then, it was Jrue Holiday. Now, have our offseason hopes really fallen on the shoulders of Malcolm Brogdon? That might be the case, as the Chicago Bulls will have to compensate for missing out on trades for two premiere talents at the point guard position following this week’s flurry of deals.

The trade that sent Lillard packing to Milwaukee caught everyone by surprise, but I found the Trail Blazers’ ability to find Holiday a new home in just a few days equally impressive. Holiday will be replacing Marcus Smart in the starting lineup for Boston, in return for a very solid package of Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, and two first-round draft picks.

This is truly a worst-case scenario for the Bucks, as their primary competitor at the top of the Eastern Conference has now added a player who not only knows Milwaukee’s scheme, but is notorious for locking down Lillard in head-to-head postseason meetings. It’s hard to say right now just which of these two teams is better on paper, but one thing is very clear, both the Celtics and Bucks stand tall above the rest.

Malcolm Brogdon would be a cost-effective trade target for the Bulls.

But the Celtics making improvements isn’t the only reason Chicago should be concerned here, as Brogdon will almost certainly also be hitting the trade block. The Trail Blazers will continue peddling their acquired assets until there’s room for a promising young core backcourt of Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe to shine.

Fortunately, Brogdon shouldn’t fetch the princely sum we saw for both Lillard and Holiday. Even better, Lonzo Ball’s contract is practically a perfect one-to-one match for Brogdon. The Bulls have a few assets that should pique Portland’s interest, particularly their protected first-round pick through 2028; returning that pick to the Blazers would grant them full flexibility and future peace of mind in their rebuild.

Averaging 20.4 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.4 assists per game as the starting point guard for the Pacers from 2020-2022, Brogdon was forced to take a lesser role to help a contender like Boston reach their full potential. He accepted a bench role with grace and even went on to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 2023.

If the Bulls were to deal for Brogdon, however, he’d be unlikely to have to make the same sacrifices. As a plus playmaker, three-point shooter, and defender, he’s everything Chicago has been looking for to fill the void left by Lonzo. Although the Bulls did indeed miss out on the Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday sweepstakes, perhaps Malcolm Brogdon wouldn’t be such a poor alternative route for the front office to explore.

Next. Are the Bulls becoming the NBA's retirement home?. dark