Farewell, Lonzo Ball-to-the-Bulls rumors.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday evening that the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the deal doesn't include a third team.
Monster haul for David Griffin and the Pelicans. They maximized the AD trade without needing a third team. History of Griffin deals typically include strong pick protections, which could made trade even better. And now, LeBron gets his second star in LA. Here we go. https://t.co/Yf6cjlhvv4— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
In exchange for Davis, a six-time All-Star about to enter his prime, the Pelicans recieved Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first round picks, including the No. 4 pick in next week's NBA Draft.
There was some speculation - also reported by Woj - that a third team would need to get involved in order to satisfy what Pelicans GM David Griffin was looking for in a package for Davis.
Though the Bulls were never directly connected in reports as a potential third team, it made sense considering they own the No. 7 pick and have a need at point guard.
There was also some speculation - though, again, never concrete news or reports - that Zach LaVine could have been an option in a deal, with the Bulls acquiring the No. 4 pick.
Alas, the Bulls aren't part of the deal. But it still may have an effect on them.
The Pelicans now own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in next week's draft. They're obviously going to take Duke forward Zion Williamson with the first pick but now have options at No. 4. Whereas the Lakers had been linked to Vanderbilt poing guard Darius Garland, the Pelicans really don't have a need there with Ball and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.
That, in theory, could bump Garland down to No. 6 and the Phoenix Suns, which would then free up the Bulls to take North Carolina's Coby White at No. 7.
Wojnarowski also reported that teams are still inquiring about the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans. It's unlikely the Bulls would depart with LaVine though maybe they could put together some sort of package to move up from No. 7.
Teams are already expressing significant interest in the No. 4 overall pick belonging now to the Pelicans, league sources tell ESPN. Talks are expected to continue over the next few days. This deal could get even bigger for the Pelicans.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
What's more likely is the Bulls keep their assets intact in such a weak draft class and move forward with the best player available on the board at No. 7.
But it's officially Woj Bomb season, so buckle up. As is the case every NBA offseason, anything can and will happen.
The NBA landscape is getting ready to undergo a dramatic makeover this offseason, with the vast number of free agents and the volatility of the 2019 draft class. While the Bulls and Boston Celtics are two teams that could have much different views of success next season, they also could be ideal trade partners. Our partners at NBC Sports Boston laid out an intriguing trade offer that certainly got Celtics fans talking.
The NBC Sports Boston “Trade Bot 3000” came up with a scenario in which Danny Ainge targets Bulls guard Kris Dunn.
This does not come as a huge shock, as GM Danny Ainge has had a liking for Dunn’s game dating back to the 2016 NBA Draft, when he reportedly almost traded then-Celtic Isaiah Thomas fior a lottery pick to select Dunn. Of course since then things have changed quite a bit, as Dunn has failed to develop into a real threat from the perimeter and his great defensive effort has been dragged down by foul troubles (4.3 fouls per 36 minutes).
NBC Sports Boston’s Trade Bot pointed out that Boston would be receiving the New London, Connecticut native with a full season before he is set to hit restricted free agency (2020-21). Dunn’s team-friendly contract would make sense for a Celtics team that is unlikely to have any functional cap space this offseason. And even in the event that the Celtics do create near max cap space, that would likely mean that guards Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving are no longer on the roster.
Dunn would be a solid option as a starter or backup guard for a new-look Celtics squad that would be built around feeding Jayson Tatum plenty of looks, much more than the 13.1 field goal attempts per game that he averaged over the 2018-19 season. Dunn’s usage rate dropped a significant amount last season and his offensive rating improved as a result of him using less possessions. I would expect that trend to continue under Brad Stevens, who would find more creative ways to keep Dunn involved on offense.
It is simple to see how the trade would be appealing from the Bulls perspective. Though incredibly similar prospects, Rozier presents a greater threat from the 3-point line as compared to Dunn.
The Bulls chasing Terry Rozier in free agency would be a complete waste of resources. I’ve posted this before, but so many of his career numbers mirror Kris Dunn’s. What the hell is the point? pic.twitter.com/yOpSy5WI63— Mark K (@mkhoops) May 16, 2019
He is by no means a knockdown shooter, but the fact that “Scary Terry” has taken 6.3 attempts from 3-point range per 36 minutes (for his career per Basketball-Reference) definitely matters.
Defenses will have to account for Rozier when he is on the floor, making him a nice partner for LaVine on the offensive end of the floor. But again, Rozier would not be a savior at the PG position. He has many of the same flaws as Dunn, such as generating a tremendously low amount of free throw attempts. As we all know, a fresh start can do wonders for a young player and a trade of this nature would allow the Bulls to add Rozier, while giving him the true maximum salary that only the Celtics would be able to offer.
To make matters even better for Chicago, the Bulls would be collecting a second round pick as well for swapping a player on a rookie deal for a player who is due for a significant raise. One last interesting nugget on a possible Dunn-for-Rozier trade is that the two guards are actually one day apart age-wise. They are at a similar stage in their careers/development, to the point where it would be tough to say which team won the trade.
Let us know how you would feel about NBC Sports Boston Trade Bot’s Dunn-for-Rozier swap at @BullsTalk!