Happy for Ayo, Smart Raptors, A Super Annoying Zach LaVine Trade Idea, and Other Bulls Bullets

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  • The Chicago Bulls made the Ayo Dosunmu signing officially official on Sunday morning. While we talked about some of the concerns about the hometown kid’s return on Saturday, I do want to make absolutely clear that I believe the best possible outcome was for Dosunmu to stay in Chicago. The Bulls have such a lack of young, high-upside talent on their roster. And, say what you will about Dosunmu’s sophomore season, but he has shown enough early in his career to suggest the Bulls got a steal with the No. 38 pick in the draft.
  • I’m also just remarkably happy for Dosunmu. As I’ve stated before, I used to cover Illini athletics closely, and I was in Champaign during his freshman season with the program. I can’t underscore (1) how professional he was from a young age and (2) how dedicated he was to becoming the best possible player he could be from Day 1. If you wanted to find him, he would be at the Ubben Basketball Complex and nowhere near Green Street. While I didn’t spend much time interviewing him during his Year 1, the times I did left an impression. The fact he’s worked his way into a three-year, $21 million deal is no surprise. And I know for a fact the work isn’t stopping here.
  • NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson clarified on Twitter and in an article that the Chicago Bulls did look at ways to keep Javon Freeman-Liberty around. If they were handing him a full-time roster spot, though, they clearly punted on the idea when signing Onuralp Bitim this week.
  • The fact the Toronto Raptors were the organization to take a chance on Freeman-Liberty scares the crap out of me. They have a keen eye for adding the kind of under-the-radar players that can quickly turn into impact guys. Not to mention, they’re just remarkably good at developing young talent. So, yeah, I’m now fully expecting for Freeman-Liberty to get an opportunity later this year in their short-handed backcourt and for Bulls fans to explode the moment he drops 20/5/5.
  • There are few trade ideas I’ve hated more this offseason than the Tobias Harris-Zach LaVine swap. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey is the latest to pitch the idea, having the 76ers add a 2029 pick swap and a 2030 first-round pick for LaVine’s services. I don’t know about you, but I would find that to be a truly awful return for Chicago. This is basically salary-dumping LaVine to Philly for a 2030 first-rounder. And, yes, I get that Philly might be in the dumps by the time 2030 rolls around … but they also might not be!
  • I try to be realistic when it comes to the trade market. I get that Chicago likely wouldn’t receive their ideal package of a high-end young talent AND multiple draft picks for LaVine’s services right now. But I also think that’s why they don’t appear ready to trade him this summer. They are in a position where they can wait for the market to turn back in their favor. Regardless of where the market is at, though, the Harris trade idea simply isn’t good enough. LaVine isn’t the kind of player you basically beg someone to take off your hands (at least, not yet). He remains one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA, and his contract honestly isn’t as bad as some make it out to seem.
  • The Bradley Beal trade was a one-time thing, folks. He also had a freakin’ no-trade clause AND LaVine has happened to be the better player the past few years. Teams aren’t going to just start throwing away that kind of talent. Now, can I see a world where the Bulls want to begin a rebuild soon? Sure. But then they are going to try to get something in return for LaVine that can help them in that process. One guaranteed first-rounder seven years from now isn’t enough.
  • The FIBA World Cup is set to start in about a month. While there will be some big-name talent from the NBA competing around the world, recent champion Nikola Jokic will NOT be one of those names. Also, new OKC guard and former EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic will sit out. If you need a look at the complete Team USA roster, I wrote up a little post here.
  • Kahleah Copper was just a pure bucket-getter last night …
  • Luis had fun with this one …
  • As he should be!
  • 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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