NBA Rumors: Bulls Should Trade Zach Lavine Or Lauri Markkanen For ‘Athletic, Talented Wing Player’ This Summer

Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen share the court with veteran center Robin Lopez.
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Since the 2017 NBA offseason, the Chicago Bulls have been patiently rebuilding their team, hoping to form a roster that could legitimately contend for the NBA championship title. However, though some of their players have already shown improvements with their game, there is no clear sign that the Bulls would become a title contender in the near future. In his recent article, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times discussed what is wrong with the Bulls and shared some suggestions on how Chicago could find the right path to title contention.

According to Cowley, one of the philosophies that hurt the Bulls is thinking that the best way to build a title-contending team is with an elite backcourt. Cowley believes that Bulls General Manager Gar Forman and Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson should seriously consider using either Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen as a trade chip to acquire an “athletic, talented wing player” to build around this summer.

“Markkanen is unhappy about how he has been used and with the structure of the organization, and LaVine is a talented scorer who seemingly has reached his ceiling,” Cowley wrote. “They have shown no signs of being able to coexist successfully, let alone thrive. Free agents aren’t exactly lining up to play for the Bulls, so they must think about trading one of them. There has to be a new way of thinking at the Advocate Center. The old way wasn’t necessarily broken, it just never was going to work.”

As Cowley noted, in the post-Michael Jordan era, teams who were being led by athletic and talented wing players have found more success than those who relied on guards. This was proved by Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Andre Iguodala. Trading LaVine or Markkanen would undeniably be a tough decision for the Bulls, but it would definitely be worth it if it means acquiring a wingman of the same caliber as Leonard, James, and Durant.

Cowley didn’t mention any specific targets for the Bulls in the deal involving LaVine or Markkanen. However, there are indeed some athletic and talented wingmen who could be available on the trade market in the 2020 NBA offseason. These include Caris LeVert of the Brooklyn Nets, Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic, Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors.

Though they are yet considered legitimate NBA superstars in the league, LeVert, Gordon, Kuzma, and Wiggins have shown great potential. Their current teams might be in a much better situation than the Bulls, but they would definitely be intrigued by the idea of playing for an NBA team where they would be considered the main man.