With the improvements made by Lauri Markannen and Zach LaVine this summer, the Chicago Bulls were at least expected to battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as they expected at the start of the 2019-20 NBA season as they struggled to become consistent on both ends of the floor. Based on their performance in the previous games, the Bulls would still be needing to address some of the major issues on their roster in order to have a realistic chance of ending their playoff drought.
In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report mentioned several trade ideas that could help NBA teams who are off to a slow start. For the Bulls, Buckley believes that they could address their lack of toughness, veteran leadership, and wing depth by trading for Jae Crowder of the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Renting Jae Crowder could address all three concerns. He’s a 29-year-old who’s been a part of five franchises, most of which headed to the postseason. He’s not the only reason for the playoff success, of course, but he helps in most areas related to winning. He can defend multiple positions, he keeps the ball moving on offense, and he’s even capable of hitting big shots when needed. He’s the kind of player who makes life easier on his higher-profile teammates, and it’s clear Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen could use all the assistance they can get.”
Crowder may not be a legitimate NBA superstar, but his potential arrival could still make a huge impact on the Bulls. Aside from providing a veteran presence and toughness, Crowder would also give the Bulls a player who can guard the opposing team’s best player. Crowder would be a reliable contributor on the Bulls’ second unit and while Otto Porter Jr. is recovering from an injury, Coach Jim Boylen could use him as their starting small forward.
To acquire Crowder, Buckley suggested that the Bulls could offer a trade package including Cristiano Felicio, Chandler Hutchison, and a 2021 second-round pick to the Grizzlies. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA trade machine.
The Grizzlies could also receive some benefits from trading Crowder to the Bulls.
Instead of losing him in the 2020 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, the deal would allow the Grizzlies to acquire a young prospect in Hutchinson and a future draft pick that could help them speed up their rebuilding process. With the team currently focused on developing their young players, the Grizzlies shouldn’t mind absorbing the two years left on Felicio’s contract.