The Chicago Bulls have made tremendous progress this year after acquiring DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso in the offseason. With Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic on the court already, Chicago were expected to be very strong in the East. So far, they absolutely have. Chicago holds an 8-4 record at the moment and have shown glimpses of dominance on both ends of the floor, especially against weaker sides with less talent. There remains a lot to be seen if they can compete with the best teams in the NBA at this point, and how they will look as the season progresses towards the postseason.
But the Bulls have made a tremendous start to the season, ranking 6th in field goal percentage and finding their dynamic duo with DeRozan and LaVine. DeMar is averaging 26.9 PPG and seems back to his best as an All-Star, while LaVine is averaging 26.2 PPG. With these two scorers and athletes, the Bulls are going to be a problem all season long. But there could be some bad news as second-year forward Patrick Williams is out for the regular season with a dislocated wrist. That means Chicago need to search for a way to acquire another player to make them even better, especially without Williams.
There are plenty of below-average teams in the NBA right now, yet they possess some fringe All-Star players that can be effective for any team looking to contend at this time. For Chicago, they need to give up their assets with the hopes of finding their replacement for Patrick Williams and adding more talent to a roster that is already very good. Third-year point guard Coby White averaged 15.1 PPG on 35.9% shooting from three last year and could be an asset dangled in front of teams. He is only 21 years old and is expected to make a return from his injury in November.
Otherwise, Chicago can dangle Troy Brown Jr. (22 years old) and Derrick Jones Jr. (24 years old) along with two first-round picks. These assets could be enough for below-average teams to part ways with their best player because there is a very intriguing draft coming up next year. Here are the 3 stars the Chicago Bulls can acquire to continue to improve their roster with hopes of making the Eastern Conference Finals.
Trade Package: Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr, Troy Brown Jr, 2022 First-Round Pick, 2026 First-Round Pick
Jerami Grant: A Perfect Replacement For Patrick Williams
Jerami Grant is a perfect modern-day forward, due to his versatility as a defender and athlete on the fastbreak. Grant was one of the contenders for the Most Improved Player Award, averaging 22.3 PPG last year after only 12.0 PPG one season prior. Grant brings a lot to the floor including defense and shot-blocking, but he transformed his game entirely last year. This year, Grant is averaging 16.6 PPG in 33.0 minutes of play but is clearly playing on a below-average team in Detroit at the moment.
The 6’8” forward is a strong offensive player right now and can form a very strong partner with the likes of DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic. Grant can easily slot in at the power forward position, allowing DeRozan to assume his natural small forward position and also giving Vucevic the perfect partner next to him. The Bulls can play fast and switch on defense if they acquire Grant, a player who might not fit in the Pistons’ plans going forward.
Collin Sexton: Potential For Death Lineup 2.0
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been surprisingly competitive with Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen forming the core of the team. In possibly a few years’ time, the Cavaliers should be competing for playoff spots for the foreseeable future. But for some reason, Collin Sexton has not been able to make himself invaluable for the Cleveland side. The shooting guard is also, unfortunately, out for the foreseeable future with a torn meniscus in his knee. With Cleveland scrambling for answers at the shooting guard spot, they might have to accept the Bulls offer of Coby White and picks for the time being.
By negotiating a blockbuster deal with the Cavaliers, the Bulls acquire Collin Sexton, a sharpshooting guard who averaged 24.3 PPG last season. Sexton is a much more explosive offensive player than White and is only 22 years of age, meaning the championship window for Chicago is open for at least the next 7 years. The picks also give the Bulls some flexibility in making trades for more stars who can help them win now, while Jones and Brown Jr add some athleticism to the bench. The Bulls want to continue to bolster their offense and acquiring Sexton means they can do that as soon as the guard is back.
Christian Wood: Size And Athleticism In The Post
Christian Wood had a breakout season last year, averaging 21.0 PPG and 9.6 RPG for the Houston Rockets. The big man was a surprise signing by Houston as they signed him to the biggest contract of his career, and he rewarded the franchise with his play. So far this season, Wood is putting up 17.7 PPG and 11.5 RPG for the lowly Houston Rockets. His team are performing terribly and are in clear tanking mode as they try to draft Chet Holmgren or any other top-rated rookie next year. That means, in all instances, a 26-year old Wood might be craving a better team to showcase his talents as a potential All-Star.
With Chicago, Wood can replace Vucevic in the lineup currently (out due to Covid) and also be a long-term partner alongside him when the big man returns. Wood is 6’10” but is rather slim and is perfectly suited to play at the power forward position, especially with his shot-blocking and floor-spacing ability. The Bulls can legitimately have one of the best starting fives in the league with Ball, LaVine, DeRozan, Wood, and Vucevic. This deal will also benefit Houston as they acquire a better point guard than they have right now in Coby White, and draft assets to continue building their stockpile.