The Chicago Bulls’ recent success has rearranged some of the team’s priorities as the NBA trade deadline approaches. While rebuilding may have made sense earlier this season, it now looks like a retooling is more likely. Which players around the league are the most realistic trade targets for the Bulls?
3 Trade Targets for the Chicago Bulls’ Retooling
Spoiler alert: all these potential trades would involve trading away Zach LaVine. Following the Pascal Siakam trade, LaVine is probably the biggest name left available in trade talks. His services offer much value to many teams with potential trade pieces to offer Chicago.
Former seventh-overall pick Jonathan Kuminga is having a solid season statistically for the Golden State Warriors. The young forward is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds, with 13.6 and 4.3 respectively.
Golden State’s lack of success has led to questions about Kuminga’s limited minutes. Head coach Steve Kerr has kept him at 23.1 minutes per game despite him being the team’s third-leading scorer. Kuminga has shown flashes of his superb scoring ability, including his recent three straight 20+ point games. One of those games was against the Bulls, where Kuminga scored 24 on 75% from the field and 100% from deep.
Adding Kuminga would give the Bulls another dynamic scoring option for an improving offense. The Bulls would diversify their ability to score with his fearless drives and willingness to shoot from deep.
Kuminga is a realistic trade target for the Bulls, considering the Warriors’ need for a star scorer like LaVine. They could package Kuminga with a couple of first-round picks and perhaps dump Chris Paul’s contract to make the trade work.
It’s time for Golden State to unleash Jonathan Kuminga. This guy has all the physical tools and watching him yesterday, he seems to be putting everything together. He still has that potential to be a top-3 option on a successful team. Power, athleticism, control, and shot making. pic.twitter.com/DARTgKiR42
— Savant Hoops (@SavantHoops) January 13, 2024
In another less-than-successful season, the Atlanta Hawks are looking to shop Dejounte Murray. The Murray/Trae Young tandem hasn’t panned out how Atlanta wanted it to, but that’s not to say Murray hasn’t put up solid numbers. He’s averaging 21 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.8 rebounds this season on 47.1% shooting.
The Bulls could find value in a two-way guard like Murray. While his offensive skillset is similar to Coby White’s, Murray is a stronger and more athletic defender. Neither is selfish with the ball, either. This duo in the backcourt could open up the paint more for Nikola Vučević and Andre Drummond. Chicago’s ball movement would continue to improve with Murray’s skillful passing.
One of the Bulls’ most significant needs this season is more efficient three-point shooting. The Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Huerter brings just that. The sharpshooter is averaging 10.5 points on 35.8% from three in an offense that hasn’t given him much usage this season.
Huerter and the Bulls could benefit from sliding him into an offense that gravitates around White, Vučević, and DeMar DeRozan. The open shots Huerter could find as those three work on the drive and in the paint could be plentiful. His three-point percentage could tick back up in a new environment with more consistent playing time. Huerter gets more minutes, and Chicago improves their scoring from deep.
If the Kings pursue LaVine, a package including Huerter, Harrison Barnes, and draft compensation would probably be what Chicago would be looking for in return.
The Last Word
Chicago can maximize their current roster by prioritizing acquiring players like those above who can continue building on this season’s success. With rebuilding out of the picture, the Bulls should target trades for proven players to fill in around White, DeRozan, and Vučević.