Grade the Trade: Bulls land inside help, intriguing defender in blockbuster idea

In a blockbuster trade proposed by Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus, the Chicago Bulls would add a nice pairing to DeMar DeRozan in the frontcourt.
New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls are just 10 games away from finishing another underwhelming regular season. Though the Bulls should have an opportunity to make the playoffs through the play-in tournament, winning will be a tough battle

There hasn’t been much change surrounding the Bulls roster lately, and it’s becoming difficult to watch. That said, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report proposed a three-team trade that would stir up the pot for Chicago. 

The Bulls would send over Lonzo Ball to the Atlanta Hawks and receive De’Andre Hunter and Sidy Cissoko. The San Antonio Spurs would pair star point guard Trae Young with Victor Wembanyama and send Tre Jones, Devonte' Graham, and five first-round picks to Atlanta. San Antonio would also receive a first-round pick from Atlanta, and Jevon Carter. 

Would Chicago Agree to this trade? 

While the Spurs would land one of the best guards in the association, Chicago plays a much smaller role in the trade. It’s essentially a swap of Ball and Hunter and a G League player with defensive upside. That said, it could still be very beneficial to the Bulls’ supposed “win now” mentality. 

Ball quickly became a fan favorite in Chicago despite playing just 35 games in his first season with the team. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played in two years. There are rumblings of a potential return next season, but his comeback story would be nothing short of a miracle. 

Hunter, on the other hand, has been very consistent throughout his career. He made 67 starts last season, averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.2 RPG. This season, however, he’s taken another leap in his production. 

Making just 27 starts in 47 games this season, he’s averaging more points per game in over three fewer minutes. Not only is he averaging 15.6 PPG in just 28.6 MPG, but he’s doing so on 47/41/87 shooting splits. He would also make for a great pairing next to DeMar DeRozan. 

Each player can play either small or power forward, and will always get theirs on offense. Inserting Hunter into the lineup will be an almost definite 15 PPG boost, making up for the lack of production in the frontcourt. Neither Torey Craig nor Patrick Williams does much on the offensive end, so Hunter could fill that void. 

As for Cissoko, he’s averaged roughly 16 PPG over 21 games this season with the Austin Spurs. He’s not a very efficient shooter, but he gets active on the defensive end. This season he’s averaged 1.5 steals per game and roughly one block per contest.

Cassiko’s only 19 years old and has plenty of time to develop into a solid role player. Adding him to the Bulls would be a very low risk high reward situation. 

Overall, though it would hurt to see Ball leave, this situation does make sense. It adds a lot of depth to the forward position, as well as some much needed offensive production. Ball is also a risk to keep on the team as is future is very uncertain. If offered, the wisest decision would be to take this deal. Again, it’s a relatively low risk, high reward situation, especially with Coby White’s development. 

Final grade: A-