In just three days, we will find out if the Chicago Bulls indeed pull off a trade prior to the 2021 NBA trade deadline.
The deadline will pass on Thursday (March 25) afternoon, and the Bulls are one team that has been involved in rumors as of late. In fact, the Bulls have long been interested in one particular player.
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball could be dealt before the deadline. But, his recent play has been so good that it will probably take more than teams originally thought just a month or so ago.
His contract runs through this season, but that will leave him a restricted free agent. So, if the Bulls are able to pull off a deal, they will be able to match any offer he receives this summer.
Sunday, it was reported that the Bulls had already made an offer for Ball.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor originally had the scoop, noting that the Bulls and Hawks were both interested in Ball and that Chicago has made an offer.
The Bulls are currently sitting on the outside looking in at the NBA playoff picture out East. However, there are only 2.0 games separating the sixth and tenth seeds. That’s five teams within two games of each other.
Head coach Billy Donovan has switched up his starting lineup as of late, with Thaddeus Young replacing Wendell Carter Jr. and Tomas Satoransky taking Coby White’s place. Since the lineup change, the Bulls have looked a lot better — at least, until the fourth quarter rolls around.
Chicago has had a tough time holding onto fourth quarter leads, but as a whole, the team has looked better since Donovan made the big switch.
White, in particular, functions much better off the bench as the team’s offensive spark plug. Satoransky, meanwhile, is more of a facilitator and has been able to average nearly seven assists per game over his last four.
Acquiring Ball would give the Bulls a similar player, except one who is a better all-around defender, too. Ball has been playing the best basketball of his career this season, and over his last 10 has posted 14.0 points, 6.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and is shooting roughly 37 percent from beyond the arc.
The problem with Chicago’s offer to New Orleans, though, is that O’Connor is reporting that the Pelicans would prefer a solid first-round pick included in the deal for Ball. Also, Atlanta has included Cam Reddish in trade talks.
The Bulls may have to step up their offer from simply a second rounder paired with Satoransky. If they’re serious about landing Ball, the Bulls may want to try a Lonzo for Lauri Markkanen swap, straight up. That’s long been the rumored trade between both teams, but no one has come out and said either club is willing to make it happen.
One thing has been abundantly clear, though, over the last few games. Donovan made the right call switching White to a sixth man role. Now, it’s about finding their point guard of the future. Could it be Ball? It might be.