Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
The offseason conversation in Chicago has been dominated by Lonzo Ball and a potential deal to bring him to the Bulls, but what is the likelihood the current New Orleans Pelican actually suits up in the Windy City next season?
Who will be there if and or when he arrives?
Two new reports shed some light on both of those topics.
Lonzo to Bulls Barring “Major Hiccup”
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes (h/t ABC-7’s Mark Schanowksi) reported on NBA TV’s Free Agency Special that unless there is a “major hiccup” in negotiations, Ball is expected to work out a deal to become a member of the Bulls.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported a deal between the two worth four years, $80 million has drawn mutual interest.
Ball recorded his best field goal (41.4), three-point (37.8) and free throw (78.1) percentages last season, and though his stats don’t explode off the sheet, he is a solid defender with an ability to clear space and set up scoring opportunities.
And he may not be the only guard the Bulls bring into the fold.
Fischer also reported there is mutual interest in hometown hero and former league MVP Derrick Rose.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported Chicago as a landing spot for Rose on Woj & Lowe.
The Ball and Rose interest would almost certainly be in an attempt to ensure budding star Zach LaVine makes it to the postseason with a supporting cast better than anything he has had to this point in his career.
Lauri Markkenan Open to Sign-and-Trade Deal
Not content to take a reduced role like the one he had last season, Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is said to be open to a sign-and-trade agreement with the team, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.
That’s despite hitting career-best percentages from the field (48) and beyond the arc (40.2) last season. At age 24.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a favorite to acquire Markkanen’s services, and understandably so. The Finnish player would be an immediate upgrade over the team’s options at the power forward position in Juancho Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt and Jake Layman, none of whom matched Markkanen’s stat line.
Minnesota isn’t the only team with its eyes on the underutilized Bull. Scotto also reported San Antonio and Oklahoma City, both with free cap space, could be interested in dealing for Markkanen.
It will be interesting to see what the Bulls get in return for a young player who, according to his numbers, was peaking despite a lesser role with the team. Will whatever is offered be worth giving away a player who could immediately contribute to another young, hungry and driven team?
From the sound of it, the storied Bulls franchise is about to find out, for better or worse.