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#pounditThursday, February 9, 2023

Bulls could make big blockbuster trade this offseason?

Billy Donovan in a suit

Feb 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan looks on during the first half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls still have not made it past the second round in over a decade now, but that may not be the case for long if their offseason goes according to plan.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on Monday that the Bulls are interested in acquiring Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

Gobert, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is still owed $170 million over the next four years. That means that it would take a blockbuster trade for Chicago to land him, possibly starting with sending big man Nikola Vucevic, who will make $22 million next season, to Utah. Bulls unrestricted free agent guard Zach LaVine might also be a candidate for a sign-and-trade with the Jazz in that scenario.

The 29-year-old Gobert would immediately transform Chicago’s defense. The Bulls were weak on that end this season, especially since Vucevic is a poor interior defender while top perimeter stoppers Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso missed time with injury. Additionally, Gobert is an efficient pick-and-roll player, giving him value in a DeMar DeRozan-led offense.

Nobody knows what will happen in Utah this summer, especially with this week’s surprise departure of coach Quin Snyder. If Gobert is next to pack his bags, the Bulls and other East playoff teams figure to be in the mix for him.

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