Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (2024)

Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (1)

I’ve been scribbling sports words and sports sentences and sports paragraphs on the interwebs since the US Robotics Sportster 14.4k Modem was a thing. The biggest takeaway, at least analytically speaking, is that trade speculation articles get clicks galore.

Not that Chicago Sports Stuff is out for clicks or anything. But if they come our way, who are we to refuse?

In this week’s mailbag, I received a heap of requests for fake trade spitballing. Most asked for some Chicago Bears nonsense, but I went contrarian and opted to talk hoops and diamonds.

Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (2)

Most of what I’ve been reading about the Bulls this week is stuff like, will they be able to find a trade partner for a Zach Lavine deal, or can they sign-and-trade DeMar DeRozan or will he walk with the Bulls coming away empty-handed? Over the last few days, I’ve seen that they’re trying to move Nikola Vucevic. Should they dump Vooch, and if they do, what do you think they can get in return?

-Diana, Chicago, IL

I’m thrilled with the Bulls newfound interest in getting young. Yeah, Deebo and Zach are legit All-Stars and great locker room dudes, but that iteration of this Chicago team wasn’t going anywhere. This youth movement won’t move the needle in 2024-25 — and that’s cool; it should be tank time — so they may as well try to find a new home for Vooch.

That, however, won’t be easy.

If you carefully run down the entire NBA’s depth charts, one of the revelations is that few teams are in need of a starting center. There are three squads, however, who should very much consider upgrading in the middle:

Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (3)

Over in North Carolina, Williams is possibly a workable player, the key word being possibly, as in his two-year career, the former Dookie played in a mere 62 games, and of those 62, only 36 were starts. He’s racked up modest averages of 10 points and 8 boards, but has flashed potential. But is his potential enough to keep Charlotte from considering an upgrade?

He’s 22, so maybe. Or maybe not.

Like the Bulls, Charlotte is a team in need of direction; does that direction include bringing in a 33-year-old middleman? Frankly, I don’t care, because it’s my job to construct fake trades like this…

CHARLOTTE RECEIVES:

  • Nikola Vucevic

CHICAGO RECEIVES:

  • Davis Bertans

  • Cody Martin

For Chicago, this is mostly a money move. The 31-year-old Bertans — who would be of little use to the Bulls — has one year and $16 million on his plate, and thus can be shipped elsewhere, or bought out after the trade deadline, or straight-up waived.

The 28-year-old Martin — who has two years left on a reasonable deal — would be useful as a backup SF or PF, which is why it’s mostly a money move.

Over in Memphis, rookie Zach Edey is going to be a beast — but it’ll take about two years for him to get there…the exact amount of time left on Vucevic’s contract.

Bringing in Vooch to spell and/or mentor the Purdue product makes great sense for the Grizz, so…

MEMPHIS RECEIVES:

  • Nikola Vucevic

CHICAGO RECEIVES

  • Luke Kennard

  • Ziaire Williams

Kennard and Williams both have a year left on their respective deals, so come the summer of 2025, if they so choose, Chicago can let them go and knock almost $21 million off the books. But the 22-year-old Williams has proven to be a solid defender, and based on the Bulls’ current roster, defense is something they’ll badly need — we’re talking to you, Josh Giddey — so he might be worth keeping around.

As for the Pellies, nobody outside of the New Orleans front office has heard of Yves Missi, so they’d likely welcome Vucevic with open arms.

NEW ORLEANS RECEIVES

  • Jevon Carter

  • Dalen Terry

  • Nikola Vucevic

CHICAGO RECEIVES

  • Brandon Ingram

This would be the Bulls’ dream scenario: Vooch moves on, bequeathing the middle to second-year man Adama Sanogo (love Sanogo) and/or newcomer Jalen Smith; Carter’s stupid contract is no longer Chicago’s problem; and they don’t have to worry about whether or not Terry can crack the rotation (he can’t).

In return, they’ll get a somewhat injury-prone, somewhat underachieving former All-Star (sounds like a certain player whose name rhymes with Mack Mamean, doesn’t it?). Ingram is in the final year of his contract, so if he balls out, maybe the Bulls’ cap-ologists can figure out a way re-sign him —- he’s only 26, so a four-year deal wouldn’t be unreasonable — and if he stinks, they can either let him walk or work a sign-and-trade.

Finally, FWIW, the financials on this deal work:

LOS ANGELES LAKERS RECEIVE:

  • Zach Lavine

  • Nikola Vucevic

CHICAGO RECEIVES

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (4)

Not sure if you heard, but the Chicago White Sox suck. (Can I say suck on here?) Lots of writers are saying they should clean house, and that includes getting rid of Garrett Crochet. It seems like he’s the only guy on that team who can play professional baseball, so that idea seems ridiculous to me. What do you think?

-Ryan, Chicago, IL

Yes, you can say suck.

Let’s stipulate that what with his 3.02 ERA, .093 WHIP, and 141 strikeouts in 101 innings, Crochet is a stud. (The fact that he’s managed to rack up 6 of the White Sox’ 24 wins should be considered heroic.) The University of Tennessee product stands 6’6”, and he’s 25-years-old, and his fastball regularly hits 96 MPH, and in a normal world, he’d would be an untouchable building block.

But Guaranteed Rate Field isn’t a normal world.

As of this writing, the White Sox’ winning percentage is .286, which keeps them well on track to break the 1962 New York Mets record for futility; the Metsies WP in ‘62 was .250, so I’m feeling pretty good about their chances.

The Sox’ season is a lost cause…as is next season…as is the following…as is the following, all of which brings us to 2028, at which point Crochet will be pushing 30, so selling high before this season’s trade deadline is logical af.

I suck at concocting fake baseball trades (see, you can say suck!), so I’ll leave the honors to Just Baseball’s Elijah Evans, who dropped these five nifty fake moves:

SAN DIEGO RECEIVES

  • LHP Garrett Crochet

CHICAGO WHITE SOX RECEIVE

  • LHP Robby Snelling (JB MLB No. 37)

  • SS Leodalis De Vries (MLB No. 56)

  • OF Homer Bush Jr. (JB Padres No. 7)

BALTIMORE RECEIVES

  • LHP Garrett Crochet

CHICAGO WHITE SOX RECEIVE

  • C Samuel Basallo (JB MLB No. 7)

  • 2B Connor Norby (JB Orioles No. 6)

  • LHP Luis De Leon (JB Orioles HM)

PHILADELPHIA RECEIVES

  • LHP Garrett Crochet

CHICAGO WHITE SOX RECEIVE

  • SS/3B Aidan Miller (JB MLB No. 57)

  • SS Starlyn Caba (JB MLB No. 71)

  • RHP George Klassen

LOS ANGELES DODGERS RECEIVE

  • LHP Garrett Crochet

CHICAGO WHITE SOX RECEIVE

  • OF Josue De Paula (JB MLB No. 24)

  • OF Zyhir Hope (JB MLB No. 86)

  • LHP Justin Wrobleski (JB Dodgers No. 10)

  • INF Alexander Albertus

MILWAUKEE RECEIVES

  • LHP Garrett Crochet

CHICAGO WHITE SOX RECEIVE

  • INF Tyler Black (JB MLB No. 61)

  • OF Luis Lara (JB MLB No. 91)

  • OF Yophery Rodriguez (JB Brewers No. 5)

  • SS Cooper Pratt (JB Brewers No. 9)

It’s tank time on the South Side, so I am 100% cool with any of the above. Because nary a one of those deals suck.

Chicago Sports Stuff Mailbag: Bulls and White Sox Trade Talk (2024)
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