Grading the trade for the Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls kept their core together in this trade, so it's already a plus for Bulls' fans, but does this trade really make sense if the Bulls don't decide to go into a rebuild?
Alex Caruso was Chicago's best defender last season, and trading him for a score-first guard doesn't make sense here. The Bulls have three clear score-first players in their starting lineup in Nikola Vucevic, Zach Lavine, and DeMar DeRozan, and adding another score-first player to come off your bench wouldn't be the best move for the Bulls.
Hardy averaged 8.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game during his rookie year in just 14.8 minutes per game. He also improved drastically as the season went on, and turned into one of Dallas' most consistent catch-and-shoot three-point shooters.
This wouldn't be a good move for Chicago as the roster is currently constructed, but it would be a good move if they move Lavine this summer. Hardy would give the Bulls a young player to add to their core and to build around with Patrick Williams, Coby White, and Vucevic. Chicago could also move on from DeRozan after next season and bring in a player who would be more fit for a rebuild.
The Bulls also land a 2025 second-round pick in this deal, giving them a draft pick in a year that they don't have one. Second-round picks are becoming more valuable by the year, and the pick would be a great addition to this trade for the Bulls.
Potential starting lineup: Ayo Dosunmu (if re-signed), Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic
Hardy would come off the bench in this scenario and gives them a great microwave scorer to come in for Lavine or DeRozan. The Bulls get a B for this trade because they lose one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, but gain a good young piece that could develop into one of the best sixth men in the league in Hardy.
Caruso fits in Chicago well, and there isn't much of a reason to move him.