With over a quarter of the season over, the NBA trade season is in full swing, and multiple names have already surfaced.
In the latest of a series of trade rumors, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report proposed one three-team deal involving Lonzo Ball and Victor Oladipo.
Chicago Bulls Receive: Lonzo Ball
Houston Rockets Receive: Lauri Markkanen, JJ Redick, 2021 L.A. Lakers first-round pick (protected Nos. 8-30; unprotected in 2022), New Orleans' 2022 first-round pick (lottery protection)
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Victor Oladipo, P.J. Tucker
For the Pelicans, the acquisition of Oladipo and Tucker gives the team depth and a major boost on both ends of the floor. Oladipo, a 2x All-Star, could be a nice complimentary piece next to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
Does a Brandon Ingram-Victor Oladipo-Zion Williamson troika count as a Big Three? We're going to say yes. Is it one New Orleans should want to forge? Debatable.
Oladipo arms the Pelicans with another body who can attack set defenses and deliver secondary playmaking. He historically isn't the cleanest off-ball fit and has seen his efficiency drop in Houston, but he's converting 42.1 percent of his spot-up triples on the season.
In Chicago, the Bulls could use a defensive, playmaking guard like Lonzo to bolster their backcourt.
Chicago's position comes down to whether it'll flip one restricted-free-agent-to-be for another. It's not an easy decision. Lauri Markkanen has yet to meaningfully deepen his offensive bag, but he's been better than Ball this year.
Still, Lonzo gives the Bulls a third playmaker to monitor alongside Zach LaVine and Coby White. And unlike both, he's a pass-first floor general.
Finally, for the Rockets, the chance to acquire a talented young big man in Markkanen and two first-round picks might be too good to pass up.
Two firsts, Markkanen and an expiring salary should be enough for the Rockets to part with Oladipo. They clearly chose him over Caris LeVert in the James Harden blockbuster for a reason. Maybe it was to keep him. But shelling out near-max money to re-sign him doesn't make much sense when they're miles outside the contender clique.
Since the season is still young, we might not see a trade happen for at least a few more weeks. But when things finally do heat up on the market, it could lead to some big changes.
Depending on where they are, the Pelicans, Bulls, and Rockets could be right in the thick of things.