It wasn’t long ago when the Chicago Bulls were 27-11 and in firm control of the top of the Eastern Conference. But some ugly losses and brutal injuries later, and now the Bulls have fallen back to the pack to sit at 29-17. While that’s still second in the East, extended absences for Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and Derrick Jones Jr. could see Chicago fall even further down the standings.
When the Bulls were rolling on top of the conference, the idea of making an all-in trade involving young forward Patrick Williams, who’s currently recovering from wrist surgery, was especially intriguing. While Williams still has a lot of potential, cashing him in for a win-now player like Jerami Grant who would help this current core in a wide-open Eastern Conference made a lot of sense.
However, the calculus has changed a bit. The Bulls don’t look nearly as formidable thanks to all their health woes. It becomes more of a gamble to trade Williams now that it looks like they don’t have as good a chance to win the title, even with the injured players all expected back this season.
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On the latest episode of Blue Wire’s Cash Considerations pod, Ricky O’Donnell looked at both sides of this situation:
“I’ve been totally pro-Jerami Grant throughout this. Now with Caruso and Ball hurt, you wonder, like, maybe it just isn’t the Bulls’ year. Maybe this isn’t the year to cash in your Pat chip. The thing that should concern the Bulls, though, is it’s like, whatever they can get for that package, with the pick, Jones, Pat, is that still going to be on the table in the offseason? … It’s going to be a tough choice for AK. I kind of expect him to make a move just because of how aggressive he has been since last year’s trade deadline, but … you can definitely make a case that AK may be emboldened to see how it plays out and see how good this Bulls team really is before cashing in one of your best young chips. With that being said … I wouldn’t mind them trading Pat for someone who’s more on DeMar and Zach’s timeline.”
For what it’s worth, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer recently reported the Bulls are trying to trade for Grant without using Williams. There’s also a chance Williams is back in the regular season, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, though expectations should be tempered. There are just over two weeks left until the trade deadline, so we’ll see what the Bulls do.
Listen to the full Cash Considerations episode here:
Cash Considerations: A Chicago Bulls Podcast is part of the Blue Wire Podcast Network. The pod can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts.