The Chicago Bulls have been very busy during NBA free agency and they have made some monumental upgrades to their roster. Not only were they able to acquire Lonzo Ball via a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, but they were able to sign Alex Caruso to a four-year, $37M deal and bring in DeMar DeRozan as well!
DeRozan has spent the last three seasons in San Antonio with the Spurs, but the Bulls were able to acquire him via a sign-and-trade on Tuesday afternoon. Now, the Bulls have Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic as their core, making them a key threat to watch for in the Eastern Conference during the 2021-22 season.
However, the Bulls still have some unfinished business to attend to in NBA free agency this year as Lauri Markkanen still finds himself as a restricted free agent for Chicago. He is able to sign an offer sheet with any other team in the league, but the Bulls hold all the leverage in contract talks with Markkanen right now and could look to include him in a sign-and-trade deal to salvage some value. He has become a key name to watch in trade rumors as NBA free agency has progressed.
Bringing in Vucevic and now DeRozan basically means the Bulls will not look to re-sign Markkanen, unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut by coming back on the Bulls $9.03M qualifying offer, which is why they could look to find a sign-and-trade partner for him. The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team looking to add more young talents to their roster and they definitely have a need for a guy like Lauri Markkanen.
With Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, the T-Wolves have a young core already and place, but they are lacking overall talent on their roster. Adding Markkanen gives them another big guy who can stretch the floor and score, which is why they could be interested in potentially acquiring him from Chicago.
Let’s take a look at a potential sign-and-trade deal that would result in Lauri Markkanen joining the Minnesota Timberwolves’ young core.