So much has already gone down in the NBA throughout what has been a very eventful offseason. This includes the Milwaukee Bucks potentially winning the offseason with their massive Damian Lillard blockbuster deal.
Through it all, however, James Harden still remains a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Milwaukee Bucks Rivals Linked to James Harden Trade
For one reason or another, the Sixers have yet to deal the ex-NBA MVP. This is despite the fact that Harden has already made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of playing another minute for his soon-to-be former team.
According to Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, one potential landing spot for Harden could be one of Milwaukee’s Central Division rivals, the Chicago Bulls.
At this point, the Bulls are pretty much stuck in limbo. Their core trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic have failed to live up to the lofty expectations. With time running out for this group, Bailey suggests that they move on from LaVine and replace him with Harden:
“Building the deal around LaVine might make sense if Chicago is looking for a way out of this core. He could conceivably keep Philadelphia in the title hunt as part of a trio with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey,” Bailey suggested.
This could work. In spite of all the baggage he brings with him, Harden is still an elite offensive weapon. You can see him elevating Chicago’s offense significantly, thereby giving them a real shot at being a legitimate threat in the East.
The Sixers, on the other hand, get a bona fide superstar in Zach LaVine. He’s a completely different player from Harden, which at this point, could be exactly what Philly needs.
Massive Risk for Bulls
It goes without saying, however, that this will be a massive risk for the Bulls. The fact that Harden is going to be a flight risk for them means that Chicago will be going all-in on the upcoming season if they pull the trigger on this trade:
“And for the Bulls, Harden’s contract ends next summer, while LaVine’s is through 2026-27 (assuming he picks up his player option). If a roster led by Harden, DeRozan and Vučević works, great. If not, Chicago can let him and DeRozan walk in free agency and see what it can get for Vučević on the trade market,” Bailey wrote.
Given what the Bucks have done in the offseason, the Bulls will have no other choice but to risk it all if they want to challenge Milwaukee (and the Boston Celtics, among others) in the East. It’s a high price to pay, no doubt, but it’s the type of incredibly bold move that could yield the ultimate reward.
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