Unless the three-team trade that sent Bryn Forbes to Denver, Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier to Boston, and a second-rounder with Juancho Hernangomez to San Antonio made you drool earlier this month, I think it’s safe to say we’re still waiting for the NBA trade season to heat up.
However, only 15 days remain for buyers to buy and sellers to sell, and the rumors coming down the grapevine this week reflect an antsy league. So … let’s take a look at some of the hottest tidbits!
Talk of the Town
Thanks to the still fresh implementation of a play-in tournament, there is no question we have seen more and more teams look for improvements at the deadline, which means there is no question the Bulls will only have more competition in their pursuit for almost any target.
With that in mind, we have to keep tabs on the market for Jerami Grant. While I’m surely not sold that acquiring Grant is the right move (especially given the reported price tag), we can’t simply ignore the idea. The Bulls have been linked to the versatile forward numerous times, with the latest rumor suggesting they are trying to add Grant *without* giving up Patrick Williams, per Bleacher Reports’ Jake Fischer. I don’t know about you, but that seems far too difficult to pull off, especially when we consider the other teams interested around the league.
According to Fischer, Atlanta and Sacramento have become “strong suitors” for Grant’s services, with Portland, New York, Philadelphia, Utah, and Minnesota also throwing their hat in the ring. If the Bulls decide Grant is the way to go, they can likely outbid those teams with Williams involved (mainly because we know the Pistons LOVE Williams), but I don’t think we can say the same if he’s off the table.
SO. MANY. NAMES.
Jerami Grant might be this deadline’s shiny new toy, but sometimes a good old tub of Play-Doh can do the trick. We recently talked about a handful of under-the-radar names for the Chicago Bulls to pursue at this trade deadline, and some of those names are starting to pick up steam.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 20, 2022
Michael Scotto spoke about the Portland Trail Blazers’ Robert Covington on the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast, naming Minnesota, Cleveland, and Utah as three teams that have inquired about a Covington deal. While Chicago was not specifically mentioned, he did add the very important “among others” alongside those three organizations, meaning it’s certainly possible the Bulls have sniffed around the idea.
The Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith was another name we discussed in our post from last week, and Scotto joined Bleacher Reports’ Jake Fischer in naming the Mavs swingman as a player to keep an eye on. Once again, the Bulls were not specifically named as a suitor, but it’s hard not to see a fit for his 3-and-D talent on the roster. Finney-Smith, who is on an expiring deal, also has a former relationship with Billy Donovan, who served as his head coach while playing for the Florida Gators.
Now, one place the Bulls were specifically attached to numerous players is in Keith Smith’s latest work for Spotrac. While these appear to be more loose connections than anything, picturing the organization having an interest in any of the players named isn’t too hard to do. Take a look …
I know the last three names are a bit odd, but I can envision a role for each veteran off the bench, especially in the wake of recent injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.
You can never have enough shooting, and Eric Gordon could provide just that with some comfortably above-average defense on the other end. Ross would provide the discounted version of that (he’s not considered as strong of a defense), but he would provide much better size at 6’6.” As for Schroder, I think this would be the weirdest fit, but he is a pesky perimeter defender who can score in bunches and is only owed $5.8 million.
Sill, considering the team already has an improving Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu on the roster, I have to imagine Arturas Karnisovas steers away from adding anything to the backcourt. Frontcourt should be the priority, but we’ve also learned never to rule anything out for this front office.
How About a Former-Bull?
Justin Holiday has now been named as a potential trade target for teams around the league by both Scotto and ESPN’s Kevin Pelton. Bulls fans are plenty familiar with Holiday, who played in two separate stints in Chicago (2015-16, 2018-19) before they traded him to Memphis and he later signed with Indiana.
A smart and experienced defender with a 3-point percentage that sits at 38.6 percent over the previous three seasons (5.7 attempts per game), Holiday feels like a player who will be snatched up by a contender in the coming weeks (owed $6.0 this year and $6.2 million next year). According to Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pacers are seeking nothing more than two second-round picks for the swingman.
Again, I think the Bulls need to prioritize frontcourt depth, but Holiday seems to check the kind of boxes this front office looks for. We also all know Donovan likes to play small, and Holiday can theoretically clock minutes at either forward position. I don’t know, considering how cheap the asking price appears to be, it’s at least something to think about if the Bulls begin to shuffle pieces around.
Wrote about some under-the-radar trade options who could help contending teams: https://t.co/MypPv9qRw7 (ESPN+)
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) January 26, 2022
Odds and Ends
• The Nets situation continues to get all kinds of crazy. James Harden reportedly plans to play out this season in Brooklyn, but he could already have the 76ers on his radar for this summer.
Ever-important behind Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons trade talks, James Harden has recently told several confidants—including former teammates and coaches—of his growing interest to explore other opportunities outside of Brooklyn this summer. More at @BR_NBA: https://t.co/zy5dEwPSfP
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) January 25, 2022
• Get used to it, Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook are stuck inside their own grand experiment. The answers either lie within, or there are none. https://t.co/dieAREiGNj
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 25, 2022
— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) January 26, 2022
• When will the Ben Simmons drama end?
"The 76ers have asked the Kings for guard Tyrese Haliburton and multiple first-round picks, and asked for a package around John Collins and multiple first-round picks from the Hawks along with Atlanta taking on Tobias Harris, multiple sources tell The Athletic." https://t.co/FFCZrA0gUl
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) January 24, 2022