Bulls

Bulls a part of three-team trade that sends Jerian Grant to the Magic

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USA TODAY

Bulls a part of three-team trade that sends Jerian Grant to the Magic

On Saturday evening, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski announced that the Chicago Bulls were a part of a three-team trade that sent guard Jerian Grant to the Orlando Magic.

In the three-team deal, Bismack Biyombo heads to the Hornets, Julyan Stone to the Bulls and Timofey Mozgov to the Magic along with Grant.

Journeyman Stone has spent most of last season with the Greensboro Swarm of the G-League, and is likely to spend his upcoming year with the Windy City Bulls.

The deal is one that makes sense for Chicago, seeing as the writing was on the wall for Grant to be shipped out of town as early as last season's All-Star break. And the team also had shown belief that Cameron Payne can be a solid backup point guard after his decent end to the year.

The guard rotation is crowded for the Bulls by the fact that the newly re-signed Zach LaVine and Denzel Valentine are both players 6-foot, 5-inch (or taller) who have shown impressive playmaking skills in their time in the league. Undrafted guard Ryan Arcidiacono also played with intensity last season in stints between the G-League and the Bulls. 

On top of the crowded backcourt, Grant was due to become a restricted free agent in the 2019-20 offseason, and this move shows that the Bulls front office likely had no plans to retain the 25-year old guard. So rather than dealing with his upcoming restricted free agency,  the front office chose to get $2.6 million salary off the books. 

This move seems like a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Orlando has been searching for a point guard after deciding to take big man Mo Bamba with the  sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. They had veteran D.J. Augustin as the only point guard on the roster, before signing former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe. They were expected to be major players for free-agent Isaiah Thomas, but apparently talks have died down on that recently. 

And Orlando's trade for Grant makes it even more likely that they move on from the idea of signing Thomas. It could still happen, but giving Grant the lion's share of the playing time could be a great decision for the rebuilding Magic rather than adding a veteran like Thomas. Despite only having a 1.4 percent jump in usage rate, Grant increased his assist percentage to 30.1 percent, an incredible 12.7 percent leap that led to him finishing in the top 20 in the NBA in assist rate, sandwiched between Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic.

Next season is set up to be a big developmental year for Chicago. And getting rid of Grant—who played 22.8 minutes per game—likely means that Lauri Markkanen, LaVine, and Kris Dunn (especially) can all expect to play 30 minutes or more per game. 

Fill out the Bulls Outsiders' Leadership committee application

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Fill out the Bulls Outsiders' Leadership committee application

We need Leadership more than ever. The Bulls are on a seven-game losing streak, the Warriors dropped 149, and Kris Dunn and Robin Lopez reportedly had an altercation at practice.

With OG Leadership Committee member Justin Holiday traded to the Memphis Grizzlies there is now an opening on the Bulls' illustrious Leadership Committee.

The Bulls Outsiders has the application to be on the Bulls' Leadership Committee. If you would like to apply, please fill out this application. Do you have what it takes? 

Watch Bulls Outsiders on NBC Sports Chicago or Facebook Live after Bulls Postgame Live to see if your application gets read on air.

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Kris Dunn, Robin Lopez get into shouting match at Bulls practice

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Kris Dunn, Robin Lopez get into shouting match at Bulls practice

The Bulls have had plenty off the court drama this season and Monday added another incident to that list.

Kris Dunn and Robin Lopez got into it at practice, with the two yelling at each other and Lopez being told to "cool off," according to Teddy Greenstein at the Chicago Tribune. Lopez did not speak to media about the incident, but Dunn said they "just practiced hard."

"We had a very, very competitive practice," Boylen said in an ESPN story by Malika Andrews. "I felt like we had some guys who are sick of not winning games."

Boylen explained to reporters that there were no punches thrown and that everyone "treated each other with respect" when they came back. He also said that Lopez has been frustrated that he is seeing his minutes cut this season.

This isn't high on the list of dramatic incidents for the Bulls this season. This one is fairly tame, but it still is noteworthy.

Lopez may not be with the Bulls for much longer anyway. The Bulls are looking for a trade partner to send Lopez to instead of buying him out of his contract. This may not endear him to potential suitors, but probably isn't significant to scare them away either.

 

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