Things are about to change (hopefully, for the better) for the Bulls, with 55-year-old tactician now set to call the shots.
A possible reunion for Donovan with his former Florida Gators center Joakim Noah has been a hot topic as of late. But if getting an All-Star player familiar with Donovan’s system is a priority for Chicago, they certainly can’t go wrong by trying to trade for OKC point guard Chris Paul.
Acquiring CP3 will definitely be easier said done for the Bulls. The Chicago front office should definitely first weigh the pros and cons of trading for the 10-time All-Star.
Is he still worth it?
Short answer: If they could, they should.
They argued the 35-year-old playmaker was already past his prime and has proven unable to lead a championship-caliber team. Paul proved those naysayers wrong big-time, leading a rag-tag Thunder group to the 5th-seed in the West.
The Bulls shouldn’t make that same mistake of counting Paul out.
While Chicago does have several killers on that current roster, it’s quite evident that they don’t have a proven leader on the floor to steer the ship. This is where Paul comes in.
Fit with Bulls
Zach LaVine is undoubtedly the best Bulls player at the moment. He was a borderline All-Star last February after notching career-highs across the board this season. The 6-foot-6 athletic marvel is indeed a walking bucket capable of creating his own shot.
However, opposing defenses often exploit the Bulls’ lack of a reliable playmaker, making their offensive sets very predictable. Hence, LaVine doesn’t always get the most high-percentage looks.
Imagine the damage he could do not having to worry about finding his own shot. With CP3 around, LaVine just needs to get to his spots and will be rewarded each time. Plus, having Paul adds more pressure to opposing backcourts, allowing LaVine more free reign to do his thing.
Same goes for the Bulls’ second-best scorer, Lauri Markkanen. The Finnish forward’s well-rounded skill set will be perfect alongside Paul. The Chris Paul-David West tandem with the New Orleans Hornets in the mid-2000’s was definitely a problem for the rest of the league.
Billy Donovan ran a lot of pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop plays with the Thunder – something that Paul and Markkanen could definitely complete with ease.
A Paul, LaVine, and Markkanen trio should be more than enough to get the Bulls back to the playoffs next season.
Possible trade packages
Chris Paul’s stock certainly skyrocketed after that that masterful bubble performance for the Thunder. The 6-foot-1 facilitator notched 17.6 points on 48.9 percent shooting from the field and 36.5 percent from past the arc, along with 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.6 steals in 70 regular season games.
Those numbers amped-up come playoff life, helping the Thunder force a Game 7 against the heavily-favored Rockets team in the first round.
Paul still has two years left on that massive $159 million deal, and the Bulls appear willing to absorb such a large contract. However, OKC will certainly have plenty of suitors for Paul’s services, so Chicago better come up with the most enticing trade package to make it happen.
Aside from giving up some of their young players, the Bulls might need to part ways with a couple of future draft picks.
Every player not named LaVine or Markkanen should be on the table. OKC will certainly love a haul which potentially includes the likes of Kris Dunn, Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White, or Otto Porter Jr.
The Thunder will lobby to also receive the Bulls’4th overall pick in this year’s draft, but Chicago must bargain to keep that pick at all costs.
Plus, OKC already has a ton of draft picks in the coming years, so it makes sense if they opt on seeking for already-established players instead.
The Bulls already got the tactician they wanted on the sidelines, and now it’s time to get that extension of the coach on the floor. There’s no better option for the Bulls than Paul right now.