NBA

Why the latest Houston Rockets trade rumors should interest the Chicago Bulls

ADVERTISEMENT

If the past two years have shown me anything, it’s that I don’t expect the Chicago Bulls to be hasty in their decision-making unless the front office is confident that a decision will immediately benefit to the team and will be perceived as a clear victory. Even so, I think Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley should be paying close attention to the situation unfolding in Houston right now.

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto provides an update stating that teams are “monitoring” the status of up-and-coming Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. and that he has “excited interest” from suitors looking to add a talented young wing. This news comes directly on the heels of The Athletic’s initial report that Martin Jr. was on the trading block in late June.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kenyon joins teammate Eric Gordon as a potential trade chip who could be a particularly good addition for multiple teams in the league. As the Rockets look to fit the youth movement of Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun and Tari Eason into their base rotation, now is the perfect opportunity for the Bulls to strike that roster flow moment in Houston. .

Despite being selected 52nd overall in 2021, Martin Jr. has proven he has the ability to shoot the 3-ball, use his athleticism to defend himself and serve as a dangerous running threat on rim. For a team like the Chicago Bulls, that makes Kenyon worth its weight in gold.

Following the 2022 NBA Draft, Kelly Iko writes about the nature of Martin Jr. asking Houston for The Athletic.

“With the reality of the incoming pick No. 3 and possibly more, second-year forward Kenyon Martin Jr. recently approached Rockets management to discuss the possibility of a franchise trade, sources said. The nature of the conversation was candid With the potential moves after Thursday’s draft, the sudden reality is that there is no such clear path to minutes for Martin in the rotation. There is no hard feelings between the two parties. After taking Martin to the second round of the 2020 draft and helping him achieve his NBA dream, there will always be a lot of love and respect for each other. But Martin is at a point in his career where he needs a few minutes to continue developing, which may not be so clear anymore in Houston There are a number of teams – including playoff contenders — who have shown interest in Martin in the past, said sources, with his combination of age, athleticism and untapped potential deemed attractive.

If the Houston Rockets are really looking to take down Kenyon Martin Jr., the Chicago Bulls would make a perfect potential trade partner.

It wouldn’t be the first time in recent memory that I’ve advocated for the Bulls to resume talks with Houston about Martin’s availability. In July, I highlighted Kenyon as a high-value player worth trading for recording meaningful minutes behind Patrick Williams in place of the power forward.

Best of all, I believe it could be had for a relatively small package in return. Houston has its key developmental pieces in place and shouldn’t be too caught up in receiving a haul for a player who won’t crack his rotation and likely would have gone to free agency after the 2023-24 season anyway.

Even if Chicago sent a player of Coby White’s caliber back, it might still be possible to get additional assets besides Martin to balance out the roster. It’s complete guesswork here on my part, but I could definitely support a deal involving Martin Jr. and Garrison Matthews, for example. Even if Chicago was unwilling to sell Coby, I’m confident there are still several avenues to explore a trade for KMJ if the Bulls want it.

The fact that he is under the control of a cheap team would make him a hugely desirable asset to an ownership scheme that is desperate to cut costs, while also being a good young player with high potential and room to manoeuvre. perceived to continue to grow. That fact in particular is why I believe he’s a realistic trade target for the Chicago Bulls; Martin Jr.’s situation in Houston will be worth watching in the weeks to come.

ADVERTISEMENT