A Patrick Williams Trade? Not Unless it’s for “The Piece” that Wins the Bulls a Championship

Chicago Bulls’ trade rumors are far and few between. We learned during the first season under Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley that these two basically do business from an underground bunker. Lonzo Ball aside, any move this organization has made thus far has pretty much blindsided fans and executives alike. And, with the trade deadline now a week away, nothing has seemed to change when it comes to the Bulls’ tight lips.

The Bulls have only been connected to a select few names in recent weeks, the biggest of which has been Pistons forward Jerami Grant. However, the Bulls’ ties to Grant have only loosened the closer the deadline has become. This could be exactly what the organization wants as they prepare for a big move, but it also could very well be due to the Pistons’ high-asking price.

It’s no secret GM Troy Weaver is infatuated with former No. 4-overall pick Patrick Williams, and most hypothetical deals center around the high-upside talent heading to Detroit in exchange for Grant’s services. But if the Bulls weren’t as equally in love with Williams’ potential, they wouldn’t have taken him off the board back in 2020, right? With that in mind, the Bulls seemingly distancing themselves from the Grant discussion – or any Williams discussion for that matter – makes plenty of sense.

Indeed, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, all he’s heard as the deadline inches closer is that the Bulls are being extremely picky when it comes to Williams’ trade value.

“From the people I’ve talked to in Chicago, it’s been made very clear to me that they are not going to consider moving him unless it’s for the piece. Not a piece. The piece that will push them to that championship,” Fischer told Chad Ford on the latest episode of Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board.

I guess we can’t completely rule out the possibility that the Bulls view Grant as “the piece” to turn them into a championship team. But I do feel comfortable assuming that is not the case. While Grant has plenty of redeeming qualities – and he theoretically fits the kind of player this team needs on paper – there are enough concerns about his desired role/extension to be wary of his long-term impact.

Look elsewhere on the market, and it’s not easy to find the kind of player that clearly pushes this Bulls team over the championship hump, especially when we factor in the current injuries. Even if everyone on the injury report is in a position to return before the playoffs, we don’t know whether or not that will actually happen. Likewise, who knows how their departure over the next couple of months will impact playoff seeding. The injuries just create so much unknown, and when that is the case, it’s hard to feel confident that any particular move can be the championship-defining move.

Also, the mere fact the Bulls are only willing to deal Williams under these circumstances could tell us they view him as that exact championship-defining move. Williams might still be incredibly raw at only 20 years old, but he was the No. 4 pick in the draft for a reason. He also has a “mountain of trade value” for a reason. Williams has the two-way ability to be a star in this league, and the Bulls front office clearly built this current roster with that in mind.

So now doesn’t quite feel like the right time to give up on Williams, especially if the existing roster has already been good enough to push the team into first place. I understand the goal might always be to jump through a championship window, but the Bulls know it’s only best to do that if you can land on your feet.

Check out Ford’s full conversation with Fischer below … 

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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