The Bulls have reached nearly the quarter-way mark of the NBA season. While they are in the top half of the East, there are still needs for the roster. Chicago Bulls' trade options have been a hot discussion around the league. An additional big man would help the Bulls short frontcourt. Today, rumors out of Portland indicate Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic are available for trade. While this sounds like a great opportunity for the Bulls, it may be too aggressive of a move.
Bulls Trade Compensation
Robert Covington is owed just under $13 million this season. In the summer of 2022, he will become a free agent. The Bulls' trade package would likely include Coby White and a draft pick.
White has two years left on his deal. While he has struggled this year, White hasn't had a fair shot to find his rhythm. He started the year on the injured list. He then returned for a few games before COVID-19 sidelined him. Given White is assuming a new role for the Bulls, it will take some learning. But he now has guys like Lonzo Ball to learn from. If White figures it out, he will be more important to the Bulls' long-term outlook than a half-season of Covington.
Outside of White, a draft pick would enter the equation since the salaries of Covington and White do not match. The Bulls were extra lucky when the Lonzo Ball tampering punishment only dinged them a second-round pick. Additionally, the Bulls are depleted when it comes to picks due to the Nikola Vucevic trade. The front office should have no interest in trading picks unless the return has value for multiple years. Again, Covington is would only be a Bull for a half year. The Bulls would then have two spots to fill in free agency.
With a Coby White and draft pick trade likely not in the cards, that leaves only one other tradable option: Derrick Jones Jr. This also wouldn't work since the Chicago Bulls acquired Jones Jr. from the Blazers in the Lauri Markkanen trade.
Bulls' Alternative Options
The Bulls should stand pat for now. Teams are still trying to figure out if they are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, which is still several weeks away. There are also potential cut options available. This category includes former Bull, Thad Young.
The Bulls need to remember they rank in the top 10 in both offense and defense. A frontcourt addition won't greatly change the Bulls' course from being a contender. It's not worth giving up future years for this season when the team is still meshing. Hopefully, the right opportunity presents itself to the Bulls.