I was listening to the latest episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast last night while I was at my daughter’s hitting lesson.
K.C. Johnson, Rob Schaefer, and Tony Gill were answering mailbag questions, one of which was a thought exercise on whether or not the Bulls could get fair value back in a Zach LaVine sign and trade if that ends up being the route LaVine choses to take. I don’t think that will be the end result here, but it was an interesting discussion.
• All three hosts essentially agreed that if LaVine wanted to leave Chicago and the Bulls facilitated such a move with a sign and trade, there’s no way the Bulls could get back equal value for LaVine. As K.C. pointed out, the Bulls could demand draft capital as the primary return, but what would the fair value be? A first-rounder? Two first-rounders? If a contender comes calling, their first-rounders will likely be outside of the lottery, so the value of even two first-rounders might not parlay into one player as good as Zach LaVine, so there’s that to consider when asking yourself whether or not the Bulls can acquire fair value in a LaVine deal.
• I honestly don’t have the answer, but what I do know is this, this Bulls team was built around Zach LaVine. If LaVine wants out, the Bulls are hitting the reset switch once again after snapping a playoff drought this season. You can listen to the discussion between the NBC Sports Chicago Bulls crew here:
• What would Bulls' season have looked like with healthy Lonzo?
• Which players should Bulls target this offseason?
• Would it be possible to return fair value in a LaVine S+T?
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) May 31, 2022
• Filipino big man Kai Soto is reportedly set to work out for the Chicago Bulls later this week. Adam Zagoria of the New York Times reported that the seven-foot-three center worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday and had previously worked out for the Knicks and Magic.
7-foot-3 Kai Sotto worked out today for the Cavaliers and has Chicago and Atlanta later this week, per league sources https://t.co/CNeC7WYABo
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 31, 2022
• Soto wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine last month and played in the NBL last season for the Adelaide 36ers. In an interview with Gretchen Ho, Soto said that he has a lot of work to do to get his body ready for the physicality of the NBA and said that he would like to model his game after Giannis Antetokounmpo or Nikola Jokić. Some project the 20-year-old to be a second-rounder, and as we know, Nikola Jokić was selected in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft and has transformed into a two-time MVP in the NBA. Of course, the Bulls don’t have a second-rounder due to the Lonzo Ball tampering investigation, so they would have to trade into the second round if they wanted to take Soto there. You can check out the interview with Soto and Gretchen Ho below.
EXCLUSIVE with KAI SOTTO @kzsottolive
Which NBA team would he like to get into? How does he feel now that he is at the cusp of realizing his BIG DREAM? Sotto also tells us about his new TATTOOS!
— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) May 29, 2022
• Let’s take a spin around the NBA. Former Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton is joining the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
ESPN story on Luke Walton joining the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach: https://t.co/LYMZdEz9Oq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 31, 2022
• Another disappointing early exit from the playoffs has the Utah Jazz doing some soul-searching this summer. Adrian Wojnarowski says that head coach Quin Snyder’s future with the team is very much up in the air at this point after eight seasons in Utah:
ESPN reporting with @ESPN_MacMahon: After weeks of conversations with ownership and management, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s future remains unclear and a possibility exists that he could decide to end his eight-year tenure with franchise: https://t.co/MFfns6fVqj
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2022
• Joel Embiid underwent surgery on Monday to repair a sprained right thumb he injured during the playoffs. Tim Bontemps reported that Embiid also had a procedure done to repair an injury to his left index finger:
The Sixers say Joel Embiid underwent surgery yesterday to repair his sprained right thumb that he injured during the playoffs, and that he also has a procedure done to repair an injury to his left index finger.
He’s expected to be ready for training camp.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 31, 2022
• Sham Charania reported on Tuesday that Gary Payton II is “trending towards a game-time decision for Game 1 of the NBA Finals” after fracturing his left elbow during Game 2 of the Warriors’ second-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies:
Warriors guard Gary Payton II is trending toward a game-time decision for Game 1 of the NBA Finals vs. Celtics on Thursday, sources say. Reporting now on the @Stadium Finals preview show: https://t.co/OcjSd1S9AI
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 31, 2022
• Speaking of the NBA Finals, here’s the full schedule:
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) June 1, 2022
• Luis does a great job of fleshing out some less obvious free-agent fits for the Chicago Bears:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 31, 2022
• Tab put together an excellent primer for the NHL’s Western Conference Finals, and if you missed last night’s Game 1 between Edmonton and Colorado, you missed a doozie of a game. The rest of the series should be fantastic.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 31, 2022