That’s what Bleacher Report suggests if the Chicago Bulls win tomorrow night’s draft lottery:
The Trade: 2020 No. 1 overall pick, G/F Zach LaVine, PF Lauri Markkanen to Sixers for Ben Simmons
The Bulls’ new front office has already made its first major move by firing head coach Jim Boylen. Making a big offer for All-Star Ben Simmons would certainly send the message that this team is ready to make a serious playoff run.
While the Sixers will likely refuse any trade offers for Simmons, maybe they’d at least consider listening now that the point guard/power forward is out following knee surgery. A strong playoff performance with a team fully led by Joel Embiid could certainly make Simmons more likely to be traded, as well.
LaVine and Markkanen could step in and help Philly right away, with the former averaging 25.5 points per game this season, 11th-highest in the NBA. A lineup of Shake Milton, LaVine, Tobias Harris, Markkanen and Embiid would feature plenty of scoring and would be the best outside-shooting lineup since the Process began.
The Sixers would then have their choice of any prospect on the board, likely leaning toward a playmaker like LaMelo Ball to help make up for the loss of Simmons.
For Chicago, getting Simmons would mean letting him have full control of a team for the first time in his career and unlocking his potential in whatever role the new head coach sees fit. The Bulls wouldn’t have gutted the roster for him, either, filling out a starting lineup with Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White, Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr.
Already playing in a major market, the Bulls would suddenly become a far more attractive free-agent destination and would project to open up max cap space in 2021.