3 Business Ideas to Address the Bulls’ Need Forward originally appeared on NBC Sports in Chicago
The NBA trading deadline is weeks away, and the Chicago Bulls may be in the market for a move.
How cool would this move be, if one paid off? That remained to be a sight.
But even as the Bulls soared to the Eastern Conference’s 27-12-leading record, the need for additional size, shooting and wing defense emerged, particularly in the forward force point. This need is exacerbated by the continued absences of Patrick Williams, Jafonte Green, and Derek Jones Jr.
Here are three potential deals that could remedy that, and possibly push the bulls higher post-season:
1. Jerami Grant, F, Pistons
Bulls receive: Jeramy Grant
You receive pistons: Patrick Williams, Derek Jones Jr., 2022 first round pick (via Portland)
Grant addresses several areas of post-season interest for Taurus. A highly athletic and versatile defender, both indoors and on the periphery, he has experience managing a position of strength forward in the playoff teams – a better choice against Kevin Durant and Giannis Antikonmo in the world than the Bulls have at home.
In previous low-use roles, Grant has also proven to be a reliable shooter and an added attack threat. Provided he’s able to play that kind of role again — he’s averaged 21.6 points and 16.8 field goal attempts in 78 games for Detroit since the start of last season — he’ll fit right into the starting lineup.
Additionally, Grant has a relationship with Artūras Karnišovas from their co-season in Denver, and Billy Donovan from their three co-seasons in Oklahoma City. At 27 years old, the possibility of a long-term marriage exists. There is a lot to like.
It’s also the most important commodity in the commercial market right now, so there will be competition for its services. But The Bulls have an interesting package to offer to Detroit, titled one of the players at Williams that Troy Weaver and Co. are anticipating great interest in during the 2020 pre-draft process.
The question is whether Bulls’ front office is willing to abandon the previous No. 4 pick – and the first draft pick for the new system – which has shown an intriguing upward trend as a novice. Jones Jr. and Portland I for 2022 (protected by lottery every year through 2028) provide payroll filler and (moderate) sweetening of raffle assets.
2. Harrison Barnes, F, Kings
Bulls receive: Harrison Barnes
Kings receive: Patrick Williams, Derek Jones Jr., 2022 first round pick (via Portland, protected by lottery until 2028)
The same package should get the bulls in the Barnes conversation if they end up selling 17-27 kings.
Barnes and Grant both play the same position, but they boast different skills. Barnes has a better track record as an outside shooter, having earned at least 38 percent of 3 in each of the past four seasons, making him fit to attack a little simpler. He’s also averaged 6.1 rebounds this season — 6.6 last season, and 5.1 in his career — while Grant has only had five boards per game once in his eight-year career.
But Grant is two years younger than him and has a higher defensive streak – perhaps making it easier to swallow Williams’ pill if the bulls decide to tackle him (far from a given).
3. Nicholas Batum, F, Los Angeles Clippers
Bulls receive: Nicholas Batum
clippers receive: Choose the next tradable second round
The Clippers, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, are a potential salesman to watch on Deadline if Paul George continues to be sidelined through injury throughout the rest of the season. While Fischer identified Marcus Morris or Serge Ibaca (in the salary dump scenario) as the two most likely moves, Batum would be a more interesting name for Taurus.
why? For example, Batum’s salary of $3.2 million would fit comfortably with the player’s $5 million trading exception resulting from Daniel Theiss’ August signing and trading, meaning the 33-year-old striker’s contract could be accommodated without the Bulls needing to send matching money.
The 33-year-old Battom, while not as springy as Grant or Barnes, caters to much of what bulls need in the frontal area. He inspired the Clippers last season with his defensive versatility and powerful shots that remain consistent, even managing some small ball position as Los Angeles reached the Conference Finals.
There are of course caveats. Bulls absorbing Batum will put them up against the luxury tax streak, if not over, and they’ll need to forego a player and eat their paycheck the rest of the season to do so. If the Clippers were more interested in a young, inexpensive player, the Bulls would really only have Marko Simonovic — or Troy Brown Jr., in the unlikely event the Clippers already on tax would be willing to shell out an extra $2 million in salary. Williams, Kobe White and Ayo Dosunmo are very valuable.
Additionally, with the exception of a possible protected Nuggets pick in 2023, the Bulls don’t own their second-round pick until 2026 – and their next available docking will result from the NBA’s investigation into premature negotiations in the Lonzo Ball tag-and-trade. Maybe he’ll end up with a more competitive showing, or the Clippers decide to stick with Batum, who’s still a productive player. Either way, it’s worth a phone call.
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