The Chicago Bulls hold a 22-43 record as the 10th seed in the East. Even with some nice talent on the squad, they lack any real game-changers or impactful players outside of Zach LaVine. They also lack experienced players who play hard on both ends which is a recipe for disaster.
The Bulls need a change in the lineup, and there are a lot of players who are on the list. In order for the Bulls to shake things up, here are the players that could leave the team next season.
6. Otto Porter
11.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 44.3% FG
Otto Porter had had a bit of a down year. He was expected to be the third member of a big three in Washington alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal, but obviously, that didn’t work out. Porter is an average player with the Chicago Bulls, who are not able to impact the game on either end of the floor right now.
Porter has a player option, which he will likely accept, So the Bulls have a player to trade in Porter if the GM wants to shake things up next year. Otto Porter is not a player that you can build around, and he isn’t getting any younger. Porter would fit as a role player for a very good team, so he might be moved although his contract is atrocious.
5. Denzel Valentine
6.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 40.9% FG
Valentine was supposed to be a gem in the 2016 NBA Draft since he seemed to have the potential to play on both sides of the floor. A player who can nail the outside shot and also defend is very valuable in today’s NBA. Unfortunately for Valentine, he has not been able to have a great start to his career.
With a career average of only 7.8 PPG, Valentine has not been an impactful player so far. A change of scenery would be welcomed for both of Chicago Bulls and Denzel Valentine since the former would start getting rid of unproductive players while the ladder could find a revival in his career elsewhere. He has a qualifying contract offer this year, so he is a pretty valuable trade asset.
4. Thaddeus Young
10.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 44.8% FG
Thad Young is a very athletic power forward who has had quite a nice career. He has played on a few teams, but his production for the Chicago Bulls has not gone according to planned. Young was expected to have an immediate impact as a veteran for the young Chicago Bulls, but clearly, he has not been that productive on either end of the floor and has not helped their putrid record.
Young is 32 years old and aging, but he still has at least two more years of being productive in a good basketball system. His experience and veteran leadership might be interesting for some teams looking for some depth off the bench, so the Bulls should try his trade value.
3. Kris Dunn
7.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.4 APG, 44.4% FG
Kris Dunn has had an interesting career so far, to say the least. He was drafted with the 5th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and was expected to be the Bulls point guard of the future. This has not happened at all. Dunn has struggled to be a consistent performer and does not possess a good enough outside shot nor the pure playmaking skills of a pure point guard.
As such, his days seem to be numbered in Chicago. The Bulls have too many unproductive players in their system right now, and Kris Dunn is the headliner for that. He clearly has some talent, especially on the defensive end, so the Bulls should cash in on him immediately to prevent losing more value.
2. Lauri Markkanen
14.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, 42.5% FG
Markkanen is one of the few players who have actually been productive on the court. He has a very high ceiling as a modern big man who can shoot and defend. While Markkanen has not taken off to be an All-Star just yet, he will get there soon. For the sake of his own career, he might be looking elsewhere.
The Bulls don’t want a scenario where one of their best players requests a trade. If Markkanen does request a move elsewhere, the Bulls can cash in on him immediately. He is too talented to be wasting his years at the bottom of the East, and there will be many teams offering a mix of picks and players for the big man.
1. Zach LaVine
25.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 45.0% FG
LaVine is the final player that could be moved by the Chicago Bulls. He is their best player, best scorer, and the most consistent performer for the team. LaVine has all the tools of an All-Star player, and every team to leave would love to add him to their lineup. Unfortunately for LaVine, he’s playing on a very bad team right now.
If the Bulls want a massive shake-up or if LaVine asks for a trade, he might be out the door. Of course, his shooting and scoring ability is needed in Chicago but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. The Bulls can ask for some high-quality draft picks to replace LaVine, and possibly some productive players. The writing might be on the wall for LaVine in Chicago.