Trade Season Starts Early, Derrick Jones Jr., Game 6, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Trade Season Starts Early, Derrick Jones Jr., Game 6, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The temperature outside recently has been almost as hot as me, right?

  • The Mavericks and Rockets decided to start the offseason fun a little early last night. Dallas acquired 26-year-old big man Christian Wood in exchange for their No. 26 first-round pick and a pile of borderline rotation players. For the rebuilding Houston Rockets, while opening up a little more breathing room, it mainly got rid of a starter who would have eaten into playing time for their incoming No. 3-overall pick.
  • Still, I was left somewhat surprised by the seemingly inexpensive price tag for Wood. Not only can he theoretically slide into either frontcourt position, but he’s shown increasing signs of improvement in the past few years. Last season, he averaged 17.9 points per game with a career-high 10.1 rebounds. He also shot by far the best he’s ever had behind the arc, knocking down 39.0 percent of his 3-pointers on 4.9 attempts per game. Wood should fit in effortlessly alongside Luka Doncic as a big who can run pick-and-roll almost as well as he can space the floor. And, I don’t know, I guess I just thought that skill set would be a hotter commodity around the league.
  • With that said, Houston probably didn’t want to take on any future salary, and I’m not sure how many teams could have offered that many expendable players in return. The No. 26 pick also feels like a decent grab in a draft that projects to be pretty darn deep (Houston now owns No. 3, No. 17, and No. 26). We too shouldn’t forget that Wood is on an expiring deal. If he puts together a strong campaign for a winning team, you can bet your pants retaining him will not come cheap.
  • So does this trade mean anything for the Bulls? Eh, now directly. Dallas was mentioned early on as a potential suitor for Zach LaVine, and I guess this move could suggest they aren’t planning to go that direction anymore. However, Wood’s $14.0mil salary technically doesn’t mean they can’t still pursue LaVine via sign-and-trade (which would have been the only way for them to add LaVine in the first place). But, regardless, I never viewed Dallas as a legitimate landing spot for the Bulls’ All-Star.
  • The Rockets now have far too many players on their roster to keep around, which means a handful will either hit waivers or end up in another trade. As I said, all have basically been borderline rotation guys in recent years, so I don’t see the Bulls jumping at the opportunity to add anyone. Sterling Brown – a smart player with catch-and-shoot potential and a physical frame – could possibly be the most worthwhile gamble. But, hey, if the Bulls are just looking for #Goodvibes, Boban Marjanovic is sitting right there!
  • If the Bulls had to take anything away from this unexpected trade, it could be that the market is simply ready to get moving. While this may not be the biggest deal, Wood is certainly a key edition for a competitive Mavericks team, and that’s all it can take for other teams to ramp up their own team-building process. So if the rumors start to heat up even more in the coming days (especially with the draft around the corner), I will not be surprised.
  • The Athletic’s John Hollinger has Derrick Jones Jr. as the 7th-best power forward on the free-agent market.
  • I’ve gone on the record saying that I would like to see Derrick Jones Jr. remain in a Bulls uniform. Not only does he still possess some intriguing upside at only 25 years old, but he seems to fit really well with the identity this team is trying to create. He is an athletic freak who is money in transition and can guard multiple positions. I thought Jones also showed some nice flashes as a lob threat roll man this season. Unfortunately, though, I’m not sure potential will be enough for Arturas Karnisovas and Co. to keep him aboard, especially because I envision another team gambling on that potential with a better contract offer.
  • I decided to try a different format for this offseason’s draft profiles. My goal is only to get better at providing more concise and informative evaluations, so I hope it reads as interesting as it was to write.
  • Oof.
  • I can’t believe the number of times I’ve gone back and forth during these NBA Finals. The Celtics have undoubtedly looked like the better team at times, but they can’t seem to do it for more than a couple of quarters. As for Golden State, while the championship pedigree is common knowledge, there is no denying this team is far more vulnerable than the ones that have come before. So, yeah, I truly have no idea what is going to happen tonight.
  • Another day … another anniversary:
  • wesuckagain.gif


Author: Elias Schuster

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