Would the Chicago Bulls consider trading for Kyrie Irving?
In wake of the Kevin Durant trade demand, it looks like the Brooklyn Nets may be headed for a rebuild if they decide to follow through with his request. A backcourt of Simmons and Irving may would be a strange fit and would likely have a tough time making the play-in games. Irving may soon be on his way out of Brooklyn. With a good core of players and plenty of trade assets, the Chicago Bulls are well positioned to make a trade for the all-NBA guard.
Due to the Gobert trade, it looks like the price for trading for a star player is a bit steeper than many anticipated. The Bulls will certainly have to give up some future assets in any trade, even if trading a star player in the process.
As a preface to the trade packages, the number of picks mentioned in each trade below is more of an indication of market value/precedent set by the Gobert trade– they’re definitely not set in stone and I could see the number of picks swing 1-2 1st rounders in either direction. With that being said, here are some trade packages the Bulls could put together for former all-NBA guard Kyrie Irving:
Contend now: Vucevic Package
Bulls Receive: Kyrie Irving
Nets Receive: Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, 2 future 1st-round picks
This is the most likely package in my mind. Nets get better by adding some much-needed defense, outside shooting, and interior offense to take a load off of Durant. The trade machine says -8 wins for the Bulls, but I can’t see how a lineup of Ball, Irving, LaVine, DeRozan, Drummond is worse than last year.
While 3 of those players are score-first guys and don’t rack up a lot of assists in the box score, they are all craft veteran players who know how to move the ball in an offensive system. This lineup could lead the league in scoring by a wide margin. Imagine the 3rd best defender on a team has to guard LaVine– that’s a crazy thought.
Contend now: DeRozan Package
Bulls Receive: Kyrie Irving
Nets Receive: DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, 1 future 1st-round pick
I would hate to see DeRozan leave after having such a great season last year (and the fact that he will have been involved with 2 blockbuster trades for a mercenary player trying to win a ring). However, this trade would make a lot of sense. For the Bulls, they would add
Nets young talent acquisition package
Bulls Receive: Kyrie Irving, 2 future 2nd-round picks
Nets Receive: Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, Coby White, Dalen Terry, Tony Bradley, Ayo Dosunmu, 1 future 1st-round pick
The Bulls mortgage their future to try for a championship now. This would be a package centered around the idea that Irving is a rental and has no commitment to resigning with Chicago when his contract expires. I can’t see Chicago adding more than one first-round pick to this given that they are giving away all their young talent through this trade.
This would have to be a scenario where Brooklyn is willing to accept 50 cents on the dollar for Irving. However, if it went through, Ball, Irving, LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic is a serious lineup for any team to contend with.
Blow it up package
Bulls Receive: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
Nets Receive: DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, 4 1st-round picks
With this trade, the Bulls become the premier threat in the east with a terrifying starting lineup of Ball, Irving, LaVine, Durant, and Drummond, but sacrifice most of their bench unit in the process. The Nets gather a core of solid role players that should work well around Simmons, along with DeRozen still serving as the primary bucket-getter. A lineup of Simmons, Caruso, DeRozan, Warren (or Williams), and Vucevic would definitely make some noise in the east.
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