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If you’re a Chicago Bulls fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard every trade rumor and speculation deal that has Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas parting ways with Patrick Williams and/or Coby White.
While many are inclined to hold onto both young players, some would ship the two young and promising Bulls out of town for the right power forward. While those concepts can’t be entirely dismissed, there are some potential deals out there that might not require the Bulls to part ways with such valuable assets.
Bulls-Nuggets Trade Proposal
Karnisovas built his resume as a basketball executive with the Denver Nuggets organization. He’s chiefly responsible for bringing reigning MVP Nikola Jokic to the NBA and adding some of the other pieces to Denver’s talented, though injury-mangled squad.
How realistic is it for Karnisovas to call up his old team about this deal?
- Bulls Get: Jeff Green (2 years at $4.5 million)
- Nuggets Get: Troy Brown Jr. (1 year at $5.1 million) and Future Second-Round Pick swap
What Would the Nuggets Get Out of This Deal?
Denver is without point guard Jamal Murray and small forward Michael Porter Jr. If the team hopes to make any noise in the postseason they need both on the floor along with Jokic. A recent report from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post suggests the Nuggets expect both men back by April 1.
While that is just in time for the NBA Playoffs, there isn’t a lot of time for Murray and Porter Jr. to get reacclimated to things. Murray hasn’t played since April 12, 2021 when he tore his ACL against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s bubble.
Porter Jr. had back surgery in December. Considering both men’s youth (Murray 24, Porter Jr. 23) there is every reason to believe the Nuggets will be very cautious with them when they do return to the team.
Denver is currently in sixth place in the Western Conference at 22-20. If we’re being honest, there isn’t much hope for them to rise into contention this season, even if Murray and Porter Jr. return. Neither player should be realistically counted on to provide too much assistance with Jokic until the 2022-23 season.
That said, the Nuggets could create some cap space for the upcoming offseason by getting from under Green’s deal one year earlier. They would also get the opportunity to swap places with the Bulls on a future second-round pick if Chicago has a higher selection. It’s a seemingly small gain, but for a 35-year-old veteran like Green, playing on a team with no chance to play deep into the playoffs is a waste for him and his current team.
What Would the Bulls Get Out of the Deal?
Chicago desperately needs a versatile defender who can play the 4 and maybe even some small-ball 5 who can also shoot the three and occasionally attack the basket. Green fits the bill on every front.
He is still a very capable low-post defender. Opponents are shooting just 25% from the field in post-ups against Green this year. At 6’8″ 235 pounds, he’s big enough to defend with some length, but not so long that he’s unable to defend on the perimeter. Green is shooting 34% from the three-point line, but he made 41% of his long-range attempts with the Brooklyn Nets last season.
If you’re wondering if Green can still attack the basket, the man known for his sneaky poster slams still has some ups. Check out this slam against the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this season.
Green also brings a veteran presence that should fit in nicely with this Bulls team that is as much built on character as it is scoring and interchangeable defensive parts. This isn’t the kind of deal that would be described as a blockbuster, but it does make the Bulls better now and gives the Nuggets a little more flexibility during the offseason and beyond.
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