The Chicago Bulls are reportedly looking to acquire James Harden
James Harden is reportedly heading to Chicago if he is not traded to the Clippers.
NBACentral posted the rumor on Twitter.
The Bulls are the favorites to land James Harden if he’s not traded to the Clippers, per @BovadaOfficial
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) October 27, 2023
What is in it for the Bulls?
James Harden wants to play for the Clippers, that is is preferred destination. And he has shown in the past that if he doesn’t like the situation he is in, he completely checks out. Harden’s history as an MVP and potential to be a solid piece on a contending team are what keep teams interested in him.
He hasn’t said anything about wanting to join the Bulls, so why trade for him?
A James Harden trade could be a way for the Bulls to move Zach LaVine. The salary numbers are pretty close on a potential Harden LaVine swap.
Harden is on the last year of his contract and is guaranteed $35.6 million. LaVine is on the second year of his 5 year max deal, he will earn $40 million this season.
Zach LaVine has had documented issues with the Bulls front office. The two parties seem to be at odds, and the Bulls were reportedly taking trade offers for LaVine in the offseason.
DeMar DeRozan could also be moved, he is on the last year of his contract and will be paid $28.6 million. DeRozan has also had issues, negotiating a contract extension with the Bulls front office has proven difficult for the 34-year-old.
If the Bulls land Harden and the Clippers are still interested in him, Chicago would be in a prime position to negotiate a deal that favors the Bulls. Which could help the Bulls secure some much needed draft capital for a potential rebuild.
Another rebuild may be on the way
Talk of the Bulls acquiring James Harden points to one thing, a full roster blow up.
LaVine, DeRozan or both would need to be traded to Philadelphia in order to make the money work. And Harden with his 1 year contract and attitude problems are highly unlikely to stay in Chicago.
A James Harden trade would probably be a 3 team trade. With the Bulls sending off LaVine or DeRozan to Philly and acquiring Harden, then immediately sending him to the Clippers.
The Clippers have 6 players making $20 million to $10 million this season, two players and some draft capital likely gets Harden to Los Angeles.
The Bulls front office invested a lot of capital both financial and draft in order to build the current roster. Trading for Harden would mark the beginning of another long rebuild for the Chicago Bulls.
Take all this trade discussion with a few grains of salt. Everything is speculation right now, even this rumor about Harden to the Bulls.
With all the hoopla Harden is finding himself the epicenter of right now, he may not be traded any time soon if at all.
Once the trade deadline arrives, we will have a better idea of what the Chicago Bulls future looks like.
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