REPORT(S): Bulls Working on a Three-Team Trade Involving Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkannen

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REPORT(S): Bulls Working on a Three-Team Trade Involving Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkannen

Chicago Bulls

Reports have suggested that Lonzo Ball is ready to commit to the Chicago Bulls, but the question has remained … how?

Will Ball look to sign an offer sheet that the Pelicans could end up matching, or will the Bulls and Pelicans be able to land on a sign-and-trade deal when free agency opens at 5:00 p.m.? Well, the latter has been the talk of the Twitterverse lately, with The Athletic’s John Hollinger first reporting of a potential three-team deal between the Hornets, Bulls, and Pelicans.

The New York Daily News’ Kristian Winfield has now added details to this potential deal, reporting this could be the way we see the Chicago Bulls move on from Lauri Markkanen.

All three players would go to the other team via sign-and-trade, so there is no question this could be a challenging deal to give the green light. After all, the financial side of things can always get tricky, and each organization can always back out to maintain control of their restricted free agent.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is the third party to provide input on this potential deal, though he included Tomas Satoransky (and potentially draft capital) over Markkanen as Chicago’s moving piece.

There seems to be legitimate traction on a three-team sign-and-trade framework between Chicago, New Orleans and Charlotte that would likely nullify any of the Bulls’ fears of losing out on their preferred point guard target. From conversations with multiple league sources, the framework that would be discussed appears to focus on landing Ball in Chicago, Devonte’ Graham in New Orleans and Tomas Satoransky, Josh Hart and draft capital to Charlotte.

This idea of a Satornasky for Ball sign-and-trade has gained steam throughout the day, with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson referencing the idea earlier this morning. I don’t think anyone would be surprised to learn New Orleans has more interest in a guard like Devonte’ Graham, however, who is the younger player that has offered far more on the offensive side of the ball in recent years. And perhaps Satoransky is not enough for the Pelicans to part ways with Graham, which is why we have seen the 23-year-old former lottery pick enter the mix.

Either way, I have to imagine the Bulls would be fine with either Satoransky or Markkanen sent out, as long as it meant they could avoid sending Ball an offer sheet which could potentially be matched. The only hold-up I could imagine is if either team starts to ask about draft capital, which the Bulls would surely be hesitant to give up after sending two first-round picks off in the Nikola Vucevic trade. We’ll keep an eye on this.

I’m getting excited!!!



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.