Despite trading for Nikola Vucevic right before the trade deadline, it looks like the Chicago Bulls are going to fall short of the play-in tournament. The only way the Bulls can steal a spot at this point is by winning their last three games (Raptors, Nets, Bucks) and then seeing the Washington Wizards lose their last two (Cavs, Hornets). It’s technically still possible, but very, very unlikely given the opponents.
Ironically enough, it looks like Chicago might want to actually steal more than a play-in spot from Washington. As the Bulls look to retool their roster, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago says there’s early speculation around the NBA that Bradley Beal could be a target to form a Big Three with Vucevic and Zach LaVine.
Johnson makes sure to put the emphasis on speculation:
That’s the thing to remember. I expect plenty of change this offseason. But I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bulls try to work their books so that they have significant cap space in 2022. There already is speculative talk around the league — emphasis on speculative — that Bradley Beal could be a target. I assume that’s largely because of his relationship with Donovan. It’s speculative for many reasons, not the least of which that there’s no guarantee that Beal will be a free agent then. He owns a player option for 2022-23. But he’d be an intriguing piece alongside LaVine and Vučević.
The general consensus is the Bulls could use an upgrade at point guard, with Coby White better in an off-ball role as a spot-up gunner. However, a traditional point guard wouldn’t necessarily be needed if the backcourt featured two All-Star guards in LaVine and Beal to go along with a plus passing big man in Vucevic. That’s a good amount of star power with scoring and playmaking ability.
Beal can hit free agency in 2022 if he declines a player option worth over $36 million. The trade rumors have subsided a bit given the Wizards’ push back up the standings, and it’s unclear just what his future looks like in the nation’s capital.
At the very least, it looks like the Bulls will monitor the situation as they try to add more talent around LaVine and Vucevic.