NBA Rumors: Bulls Could Acquire Kyle Kuzma For Package Centered On Lauri Markkanen, Per ‘Fansided’

Lauri Markkanen (R) of the Chicago Bulls drives against Kyle Kuzma (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

With their 4-10 record placing them in a tie for 13th place in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls have yet to fully reap the benefits of their ongoing rebuilding effort. And while the Los Angeles Lakers’ long rebuild finally appears to be paying off as they lead the Western Conference with an 11-2 record, some observers believe the team still has some room for improvement at certain positions. With both of those things in mind, a new report suggested that the Bulls and Lakers could take part in a midseason trade centered on their respective young forwards — Lauri Markkanen and Kyle Kuzma.

In a list of three midseason trade suggestions, Fansided’s Bulls-centric blog Pippen Ain’t Easy wrote on Monday that Chicago could “rejuvenate” its frontcourt rotation by trading Markkanen, a third-year forward/center who is currently struggling with averages of 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds and a 37.7 percent shooting clip from the field, per Basketball-Reference. As pointed out, the Bulls might be able to get more out of Kuzma, who has posted decent shooting percentages since returning from a foot injury that kept him out of the first few games of the season.

Talking about the specifics of the recommended trade, Pippen Ain’t Easy explained that the deal would send Kuzma and reserve wingmen Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker to the Bulls, with the Lakers receiving Markkanen, combo guard Tomas Satoransky, and backup center Luke Kornet in return. According to the publication, the deal could make “a lot of sense” for Chicago, considering that Kuzma, in particular, is playing well for a championship-caliber team, while Satoransky and Kornet are, much like Markkanen, having a hard time finding their form.

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Although Pippen Ain’t Easy didn’t go into depth about the potential implications of the deal on the Lakers, the outlet noted that Satoransky could give Los Angeles the capable floor leader it currently needs. There was no mention made of how Markkanen might mesh with the Lakers if he gets traded to the team, given the fact he plays the same positions as the team’s recently acquired superstar big man, Anthony Davis.

While it’s unclear whether Chicago or Los Angeles would be interested in actually making such a trade, the theoretical Markkanen-for-Kuzma deal is not the only one that’s been suggested for the Bulls in recent days. A previous report from The Inquisitr looked at a potential midseason trade that would send starting small forward Otto Porter Jr. to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for their erstwhile top scorer, combo guard D’Angelo Russell.