Despite middling success over the past two seasons, the Chicago Bulls seem determined to win with the current core. Arturas Karnisovas is intent on keeping the team together despite rumblings of a potential rebuild. However, if that’s the plan, he will need to make serious adjustments to the roster.
Lonzo Ball‘s injury has been a dark cloud over the team for the past two years, and if the Bulls want to compete at a high level, they need a point guard to pair with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Eric Koreen of The Athletic suggested a trade that would see Chicago flip Ball for a new point guard.
Chicago Bulls mock trade flips Lonzo Ball: The trade
Here’s the full outline of the trade:
Bulls receive: Fred VanVleet
Raptors receive: Lonzo Ball, Patrick Williams, 2026 second-round pick
Koreen also clarified that the Raptors would sign VanVleet to a four-year, $124.9 million contract before trading him to Chicago.
Chicago Bulls mock trade flips Lonzo Ball for Fred VanVleet: Bulls perspective
Koreen admitted that he wouldn’t make this trade if he were the Bulls. However, VanVleet would get the chance to play for a more competitive team.
“We’re in a different reality here, though, and the deadline penance continues, to a degree, in the form of the two years left on Lonzo Ball’s contract,” Koreen wrote. “It’s possible he might never play again. However, the Bulls have no cap room and an obvious need for an organizer and shooter. The front office said it has no intention to rebuild. If I’m Chicago, I probably wouldn’t do this trade, but I can see the Bulls seeing VanVleet as a good fit with their starters. The cost is Williams, who has one year left on his rookie deal and still hasn’t proven he’s anything more than a solid rotation player, and a pick. VanVleet, who would have to agree to this, gets to go home (or close enough), and play for a team that is trying to be competitive instead of a lesser team with cap money to spend.”
Chicago Bulls mock trade flips Lonzo Ball for Fred VanVleet: Raptors perspective
Koreen stated that barring a trade that would see them land Scoot Henderson, Toronto should keep VanVleet.
“First of all, if the Raptors do not trade up and get Henderson, I believe they should retain VanVleet,” Koreen wrote. “For starters, he is a good player and a good leader. Secondly, I don’t want to lose him for no return.”
However, he does like the fit of Williams in Toronto.
“For the Raptors, I like Williams,” Koreen wrote. “He is another tall forward, but he has shot 41.4 percent on 444 career 3s. That has come at a low volume, but it gives me hope. It also means I am no longer dependent on the inconsistent Precious Achiuwa. He is going to have to earn his minutes.”
Chicago Bulls mock trade flips Lonzo Ball for Fred VanVleet: Should Bulls do this trade?
All in all, this wouldn’t be the worst trade for the Bulls, but it’s probably not one they should be interested in.
At this point, depending on Ball is a terrible idea. They should act under the assumption that he’ll never be back. In turn, adding VanVleet would give them a new point guard to lead the way.
However, if they are trading Williams in a package, they would probably aim to get a bit more in return.