For many NBA seasons, the Chicago Bulls have been searching for answers in their backcourt and while they have found success with Zach LaVine and Coby White the last couple of seasons, Chicago has hit yet another roadblock in the way of their potential success.
On June 10, Coby White underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum and has been ruled out in a 4-6 month timespan. Four months from the time he had the surgery put us at the middle of October, which is pushing things for White to be available to begin the 2021-22 season and 6 months pushes White back to a mid-December, early January possible return.
All-in-all, it seems like the Bulls will be without Coby White to begin the 2021-22 season, which is a big loss since he was expected to take on the reins as the Bulls’ starting point guard. Now, Chicago will have to look elsewhere for backcourt production, which is why they could be busy both in free agency and in the trade market.
It is no secret that GM Marc Eversley and the Bulls’ front-office want to add an impactful point guard to their rotation, so could they possibly consider Kendrick Nunn? The soon-to-be 26-year-old guard has spent the first two seasons of his career in Miami and is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.
Miami could have their attention on other high-level talents this offseason, which leaves Nunn as an interesting free agent that could be on the Bulls radar given his athleticism and scoring abilities from the point guard position. Will Chicago look to pull off a sign-and-trade for Kendrick Nunn this offseason?
Chicago Bulls Receive: G Kendrick Nunn (via sign-and-trade), MIA 2026 1st Round Pick (unprotected)
Miami Heat Receive: F Lauri Markkanen (via sign-and-trade), CHI 2024 1st Round Pick (Top-5 Protected)
Both the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have a lot of question marks about their rosters this offseason because other than their star talents, they have a lot of unknowns and pending free agents to sort out. Neither team really has the assets to pull off a big-time trade, but they could both benefit from sign-and-trades revolving around Kendrick Nunn and Lauri Markkanen.
We talked a little bit about Kendrick Nunn’s situation earlier, but Larui Makkanen is also in an interesting situation as a restricted free agent this offseason. The Bulls do have the rights to Markkanen and control free agent negotiations with him, but they could look to leverage him in a trade should they be able to get a reliable guard like Nunn. Both Markannen and Nunn will be names to watch in NBA rumors this offseason.
Are the Miami Heat interested in adding a stretch forward like Lauri Markkanen to their rotations though? Entering free agency, if the Heat feel like they are not in the running for guys like Kawhi Leonard or even a trade for Damian Lillard, they could definitely be intrigued by the idea of adding a player like Markkanen.
Chicago and Lauri Markkanen were unable to come to terms on a long-term extension prior to the start of the 2020-21 season and with them having Nikola Vucevic, there is no immediate need for the Bulls to keep Markkanen. He’s become a name to watch in trade rumors as NBA free agency approaches as a potential sign-and-trade candidate.
Executing a sign-and-trade between Markkanen and Nunn could definitely prove useful for both teams because they get a player that fits an immediate need, but the contract situations could put both teams in trouble should Nunn and Markkanen sign long-term, high-value deals with their respective teams before being trading.
All the details of a sign-and-trade can get very confusing from a financial perspective and with two players being involved in sign-and-trade scenarios, this could be too much for the Bulls and Heat to figure out. Nonetheless though, there is value for both teams to be had in this deal, so let’s take a look at if this trade truly makes sense for both the Bulls and Heat.