The Bulls Need A Point Guard
Let’s overreact, get crazy, and pull out our hair in astonishment of just how bad the Bulls point guard situation is. Because, people, it’s that bad.
With little under a quarter of the season over and done with, the Chicago Bulls are still searching for their guy to take the reins of that one spot. Kris Dunn is slowly working his way back from an MCL injury, and the Bulls have been scrambling without their floor general. Dunn’s injury has also underscored a serious lack of depth in the position for the team. Save one start for Dunn, the point guard spot has been manned up by two players, Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono.
Arcidiacono has been solid in relief. He has grit and hustle, and is the type of player whose game doesn’t always translate to the stat sheet. However, despite the things he does well, he shows his deficiencies on the defensive end during switches and and trying to keep pace with the Association's other guards.
In today’s NBA--the golden age of guards--most teams have a solid point. And while Payne has shown flashes, his game is wildly inconsistent, something the Bulls can’t afford. His tick has gone down dramatically since Arcidiacono has been inserted in the lineup. The need for a spark at the position is obvious.
With that all said, here are some options the Bulls should explore to resurrect a position that can change the dynamics of the team’s fortune this year and maybe the future.
Option One: Do Nothing
Simply put, the Bulls losing and losing a lot this season is probably the smartest thing they can do. On pace for 20 wins, that could be enough for a shot at a top-three pick in a loaded upcoming draft.
Yet with the return of Dunn imminent and Lauri Markkanen also returning to action as soon as next week, this Bulls squad will add some more wins than they probably want. So, in a sense, standing pat with the current make-up of the guard position seems like the most logical thing to do and falls in the ideology of the current management.
Option Two: Make a Trade
This is something the Bulls should do but won’t. It is not their M.O.. Never has been. But let’s say we live in a fantasy world where Vice President of Operations John Paxson makes real basketball moves to help improve this squad. Here are some trades the Bulls should explore, that will for-go the season tank and quickly help the team to ascend up a much-improved Eastern Conference.
Trade for Depth:
Despite worries about his health, the Sixers aren't giving up on Markelle Fultz. The Sixers are in a good position to trade their back-up point guard TJ McConnell for a big man.
While the back-court is loaded with talent, acquiring someone like Chicago's Bobby Portis could help solidify the rotation for a deep playoff run the Sixers are planning on. Portis is in his last season and an expiring contract can be something Philly is looking for with money having to be paid Jimmy Butler next year as well Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the next few.
Another team who is loaded with point guard talent is the Boston Celtics. Terry Rozier is a starter in this league. Kyrie Irving isn’t going anywhere unless the Celtics somehow land Anthony Davis. Rozier has been rumored to want starter money and the Bulls with have the cash next season to pay the man. Again, the odd man out on the Bulls would be Portis but a high energy big is being traded to a position-less team like Boston makes ton of sense and could be a rental for a team like the Sixers, looking at a run at the title.
Trade for Instant Gratification:
‘Tis the season of the NBA trade rumors and there have been a few big-time players who have been in the news. Enter Kemba Walker and John Wall.
While both are highly unlikely to be moved. The Bulls making a run at either one would cement another franchise player alongside team friendly contract and soon-to-be All-Stars Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen.
Kemba has been out right special this season. He has made it known to everyone he is a top five-point guard and his game has shown it. To acquire a talent like Kemba, Paxson would have to blow his old teammate Michael Jordan away with pieces that would help the Hornets build for the future. I believe a package of big man Cristiano Felicio, Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis, a protected top-three pick this year and a future first for Kemba Walker and Frank Kaminsky could intrigue Jordan to pull the trigger.
Charlotte would get three young pieces, two who could make an immediate impact in Dunn and Portis, with a good chance of a valuable pick in this loaded upcoming draft. It’s a stretch but Jordan has to start thinking Kemba may not re-sign with the franchise who has yet to make any type of upward jump in the East his entire tenure. At least he would be getting something instead of nothing.
A trade with the ailing Washington Wizards and their super-max player John Wall is a stretch. Yet it could help trigger a needed rebuild for the Wizards.
This would be a similar trade to the Hornets one. The Bulls would take Wall and his eye-popping contract as the Wizards would receive Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday and Cristiano Felicio and a 2020 1st round pick. For Washington to go for this, there would have to be a fire sale for the rest of the rumored players on the Wizards market (Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.).
While a long shot again, the Bulls would be set with a floor general who has been to the playoffs and maybe be in a new city, something he may need more than ever now.
While grandeur and wild in thought, these trades could be moves the Bulls explore. Knowing them like I do, it’s very unlikely but it is fun to speculate. Coach Fred Hoiberg is on the hot seat, he has yet to find a point guard who has been able to successfully run his fast pace offense. Maybe a shake up like this is what they need.