Chicago Bulls: Potential trades with bad contracts, draft picks

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls, Nicolas Batum
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Trade No. 1

Once upon a time, Nicolas Batum looked like he could be a budding star in this league; not a superstar, but one of those All Star reserve type of players. He was a vital piece to the Portland Trail Blazers’ puzzle a few years back, and Charlotte saw him as their missing piece.

Back in 2016, the now 30-year-old wing signed a 5-year, $120 million deal with Charlotte. Remaining on the contract is still a whopping $52 million over the next two years. The summer of 2020 is where Batum could exercise his player option — and believe me, he better, for $27 million.

The Bulls, meanwhile, could finally move on from a guy the front office once saw lots of potential in, yet has since faded:Point guard Kris Dunn. Along with Dunn, to make sure the Bulls don’t go overboard with salary, the Hornets could snag a young (but oft-injured) wing like Denzel Valentine.

The Hornets could get out of Batum’s deal, which would mean they would have more cash to spend this summer. Why is that significant?

Two words: Kemba Walker.

Charlotte doesn’t want to see Walker go, but with the options available to him, he just might leave. Now, the Hornets can pay him well above what any other team can, but my bet is that he’d like to play for a championship.

If Charlotte can use some extra cash to convince another big name to come to the Hornets, maybe Walker would stay.

Meanwhile, the Bulls may have to endure Batum’s contract, but they also receive another first round selection this year. For a team on the outside looking in at free agency, that may not be too bad of an option.