Trade Number 3
Finally, the deal would have to get even sweeter for the Bulls to consider trading LaVine. Forget the fact that this front office is already very likely to sit on their laurels and think everything is fine. The fact that LaVine would be traded in the first place, to a team like the Nets, would mean Brooklyn will have to give up much more than the previous two deals.
In this third and final trade, the Nets add big man Nic Claxton to the mix. The 23-year-old center could end up being a centerpiece for the Bulls going forward, especially once Nikola Vucevic’s contract is up after this season. With Claxton in place, there’s no shot the Bulls extend Vucevic. Maybe, if a deal like this got done before the deadline, the Bulls could then flip Vucevic for an asset.
Claxton is averaging 13.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and a league-leading 2.6 blocks per game this season. He doesn’t offer the Bulls any shooting from the outside, like Vucevic does, but he is a phenomenal rim protector and a great defender on the inside.
The Bulls would fully admit rebuilding at this point, especially considering these first-round picks don’t come until 2027 and 2029. But, allowing Vucevic to leave and getting rid of LaVine’s contract opens up a little more cap space.