February 21, 2021
NBA Rumors: Bulls Could Acquire Kristaps Porzingis For Markkanen, Carter, Porter & A Future 1st-Rounder
Kristaps Porzingis leading the Mavs' offense
Gettyimages | Ronald Martinez
Basketball

The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams that need to make a major upgrade on their roster before the 2021 trade deadline. They may only be one win behind the Eastern Conference No. 8 seed New York Knicks, but they obviously need more star power around Zach LaVine in order to have a realistic chance of ending their playoff drought in the 2020-21 NBA season. In the past months, the Bulls have already been linked to several big names who are rumored to be available on the trading block, including Kristaps Porzingis of the Dallas Mavericks.

Kristaps Porzingis To Bulls
Kristaps Porzingis celebrates after shooting the ball
Gettyimages | Chris Graythen

In a recent article, Greg Patuto of NBA Analysis Network discussed a hypothetical blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Bulls to pair LaVine with Porzingis before the 2021 trade deadline. In the proposed trade scenario, the Bulls would be sending a package that includes Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and a 2021 first-round pick to the Mavericks in exchange for Porzingis and Willie Cauley-Stein. If the deal becomes a reality, Patuto believes that it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.

Bulls Should Bet On Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis taking a free throw
Gettyimages | Mike Ehrmann

With his injury history and lucrative contract, the Bulls would definitely think twice before giving up all those assets in exchange for the Latvian center. However, if he could stay healthy and manage to regain his All-Star form, Patuto believes that Porzingis would be a worthy gamble for Chicago.

"At 7-foot-3, Porzingis can shoot like a guard and defends well inside the paint," Patuto wrote. "He was originally brought to Dallas to form this duo with Luka Doncic but it could ultimately be the Bulls who benefit. Zach LaVine has taken his offensive game up a level in each of the years he has been in Chicago. This is something that could continue if Kristaps Porzingis came to take some pressure away. The Bulls have the assets to make a big-splash deal and it would not be a surprise to see them pull the trigger."

Kristaps Porzingis-Zach LaVine Duo Would Be Dangerous
Kristaps Porzingis showcasing his floor-spacing ability
Gettyimages | Pool

When healthy, Porzingis would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Bulls. He would give them a very reliable second scoring option behind LaVine, as well as a great rebounder and a quality rim protector. This season, the 25-year-old center is averaging 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Having an All-Star caliber big man like Porzingis would greatly benefit LaVine since he could lessen the burden on his shoulders on the offensive end of the floor. Also, with his ability to shoot the ball from the three-point range, it would be easier for LaVine to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he's trapped by the opposing team's defense.

Why The Mavericks Would Push Through With The Trade
Kristaps Porzingis high fives Luka Doncic
Gettyimages | Katharine Lotze

Though they haven't shown a strong indication that they are planning to trade Porzingis before the 2021 trade deadline, the proposed scenario would also make a lot of sense for the Mavericks. If they are concerned about Porzingis' ability to remain healthy, trading him to Bulls for Markkanen, Carter Jr., Porter Jr., and a future first-rounder would be a good move. Markkanen and Carter Jr. may not be as good as Porzingis right now, but they could fill the huge hole that he would be leaving in the Mavericks' frontcourt. Porter Jr. would improve Dallas' wing depth, while the future first-round selection would enable them to replenish their war chest of draft assets.