The same guy who traded up for Doug McDermott reportedly just traded McDermott to the Thunder in a package that included Taj Gibson and a draft pick, which makes you wonder about the return that Bulls general manager Gar Forman got.
One player, Cameron Payne, is a point guard averaging two assists a game and is shooting 33.1 percent this season, which makes him a perfect Bulls guard.
Payne, I guess, is the latest to get chance to be the Bulls’ point guard of the future, if the Bulls have a future.
Another player, Anthony Morrow, is a shooting guard who hits less than 30 percent of his three-point tries this season, so, yeah, again, perfect for the Bulls.
Another player, Joffrey Lauvergne, is a 6-foot-11 center who might grow up to be Robin Lopez. The Bulls already have one of those.Getty, AP photos
Center Joffrey Lauvergne, swingman Anthony Morrow and point guard Cameron Payne.
Center Joffrey Lauvergne, swingman Anthony Morrow and point guard Cameron Payne.(Getty, AP photos)
But hey, Lauvergne is French, so at least the Bulls have someone who can prepare Duck L’Orange.
Those players, remember, are coming from a Thunder team that lost Kevin Durant and would seemingly need help from and provide opportunities for a lot more players.
The Bulls lose a terrific pro in Gibson, who was entering free agency. So the Bulls got something for him, which likely turns out to be more playing time for Bobby Portis, who is coming off a 19-point, eight-rebound game. He wasn’t as good the game before that, but he was in double figures the game before that. Before that, not since January.
Photos of Taj Gibson.
McDermott was supposed to be the shooter Forman envisioned as the player who spaced the floor for Fred Hoiberg’s offense. Instead, he seemed to become the player against whom opponents made contract bonuses.
McDermott originally cost the Bulls two first-round picks, and now you can add a second-rounder in the Thunder deal. So, both McDermott and Forman come out of this looking devalued, if Forman’s player and coaching assessments had room to be devalued.
And here’s the thing: McDermott is a better three-point shooter than the guards the Bulls acquired.
We know that McDermott doesn’t have a job with the Bulls anymore. We don’t know why Forman still does.
Jimmy Butler, the biggest trade piece to retool a team struggling hold a playoff spot, wasn’t traded for a lottery pick, a trade that would’ve sent the Bulls tumbling into the lottery, too, thus giving them a couple shots to get younger, more athletic and closer to a title quickly.
Because Indiana passed on trade offers for Paul George, and because George appears headed to the Lakers first chance he gets, the Butler-to-Boston rumors can resume as soon as the lottery determines where the Nets’ first-round pick gets slotted.
But no. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski said the Bulls wanted core players from the Celtics at the deadline, not young players and future assets. Huh?
But wait. There’s more. Wojnarowski said the Celtics put both of the Nets’ first round picks — this year’s and 2018’s — on the table.
If true, I don’t know how everybody still has a job.
What happened Thursday, then, makes you wonder whether the Bulls are trying to trade their way into the lottery without trading Butler.
But that would presume there’s any kind of credible plan.
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