Chicago Bulls: How about a Dwyane Wade for Luol Deng swap with Los Angeles Lakers?

Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng (9) dribbles the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng (9) dribbles the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

An interesting trade idea involving the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers that makes sense for both sides.

After trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Chicago Bulls have clearly embraced a full rebuild. Their front office finally understands that staying in mediocrity makes no sense and they need to tear up this roster from the bottom.

This means building through the upcoming draft classes and around the players acquired in the Butler trade. As it stands now, the Bulls young core involves guys like Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine and Paul Zipser. Not exactly the most inspiring bunch. That being said, with proper rebuilding moves over the next few years, the Bulls will be able to get back on track.

With that in mind, they should not have any thoughts of being major players in free agency. Having cap space is always important, but it is different for the Bulls than it once was. Instead of going for high-priced veterans in free agency, the Bulls should be looking to take on bad contracts to get young assets in return.

Prime trade candidate

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Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers stands out as a prime target for the Bulls.

The Lakers signed the former Bull to a four-year, $72 million contract last summer, in a deal that never seemed to make sense. The Lakers quickly regretted that Deng contract and would undoubtedly love to unload the final three years on a willing team.

Look no further than the Lakers’ recent deal with the Brooklyn Nets for the framework of a potential deal. In that trade, the Lakers sent an equally bad contract in Timofey Mozgov along with an exciting young player in D’Angelo Russell to the Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Russell is a talented player, but the Lakers were willing to part with him to get rid of Mozgov’s terrible long-term deal. Lopez is also due a lot of money next season, but he comes off of the books next summer, making him attractive to a team with big plans.

Lakers have big plans

The Lakers are all but guaranteed to make a big offer at Paul George next offseason. Putting George with Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball gives the Lakers an exciting young team to build around. However, there have also been whispers of the Lakers as a possible destination for LeBron James, if he opts out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers next offseason.

If the Lakers can add James and George to Ball and Ingram, they will immediately become legitimate contenders to the Golden State Warriors in the West. However, in order for this to happen, they need to come up with a way to get rid of Deng’s contract. I think that I have a solution involving the Chicago Bulls.

Proposed trade

I ran it through the NBA Trade Machine and it works. Basically, this deal all comes down to the money. The Lakers exchange Deng’s terrible long-term contract for Dwyane Wade‘s $23.8 million in 2017/18. With Wade (and Lopez from the Nets’ deal) coming off of the books next summer, the Lakers would have the room to add to max players like James and George to the mix. In Jerian Grant, they also get an interesting backup point guard who the Bulls have no need for.

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Also, having Wade in Los Angeles would be another reason for LeBron to come to the Lakers. If James signs with the Lakers, it would be natural for Wade to stick around as a cheap veteran piece for L.A.

Why does this make sense for Chicago?

The Bulls may insist on some sort of protected first-round pick in order to make this deal. Deng’s contract is a bad one, but they are not going to be competitive anytime soon anyway. They get an interesting young player in Julius Randle and a potentially valuable asset down the line. Taking on Deng’s contract is tough, but he is the kind of veteran player who would be perfect to mentor their young core.

As long as the Chicago Bulls are serious about rebuilding, this is a trade that makes sense for both sides. Randle has run into some tough luck in his first few years in the NBA, but he is still a talented big man who would instantly become one of the most interesting players on the Bulls’ roster. He does hit restricted free agency next summer, but the Bulls would have the right to match any contract offer that would come his way.

Next: Can Zach LaVine become face of Bulls' franchise?

What do you think? Is this a trade that makes sense for the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers? Let us know in the comments section below.