Big Baller Brand in the Windy City?
It was floated as a possibility two years ago when the Bulls were discussing a trade for Jimmy Butler and entering a rebuild. And now, with Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball being at the front of hypothetical trade talks in an Anthony Davis deal, he reportedly has his sights set on Chicago or New York.
L.A. Times reporter Tania Ganguli wrote that Ball is concerned with the "crowded" Pelicans backcourt and if included in a Davis deal would prefer to be re-routed to New York or Chicago in a three-team deal.
Let's begin with the facts: The Pelicans have shown no inclination that they'll trade Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, and when they eventually deal Davis it's not a sure bet that Ball will be in the deal. While the Lakers remain the frontrunners because of Davis' reported desire to join LeBron James in 2020, New Orleans may sell instead to the highest bidder.
The Pelicans are reportedly enamored with Ball, and for good reason. The 21-year-old is averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his second NBA season. His numbers have suffered some playing with James this season but he's an outstanding passer, has elite defensive potential and an improving jump shot. He's lethal in transition and is an excellent playmaker for someone so young, and has excellent size at 6-foot-6.
Also, the report makes no mention of the Bulls having interest in Ball. And, ironically, the Bulls are more crowded in the backcourt than New Orleans. Though Ball is a better player than Kris Dunn is most aspects, the Bulls invested heavily in the 25-year-old and he's still under contract for two more years. The Bulls appear willing to give Dunn time to figure out some of his shortcomings. He's been inconsistent but has battled through multiple injuries in his two seasons in Chicago and has shown flashes, especially on the defensive end.
Plus, the Bulls don't have many assets to include in a Ball deal.
They're building around the trio of Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine, and including draft picks for Ball in any sort of deal doesn't really vibe with where the rebuild is headed. Plus, Dunn doesn't really fit in with L.A. or New Orleans so it's hard to see him being an outgoing piece in a deal.
All told, it's nice that Ball is reportedly interested in coming to Chicago. But even if Dunn isn't the answer at point guard in the Bulls' rebuild it's a little far-fetched to think that Ball would come over in a deal. He'd be an excellent fit but the timing is off and the Bulls couldn't offer much in return. For now it's just a fun headline to click on.