Should Bulls be Giddey about trade with OKC?

With such a messy roster, it been clear for a while Alex Caruso was the Bulls' most marketable asset.

Since Bulls management is desperate to make some sort of change this summer, he was the most likely to leave.

The actual destination, as first reported Thursday by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, was a bit surprising: Caruso to Oklahoma City straight up for Josh Giddey. There were no reports of any draft picks included in the deal.

FILE - Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso gestures after making a 3-point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, March 31, 2024, in Minneapolis. Josh Giddey has been traded from Oklahoma City to Chicago for Caruso, a person familiar with the situation said. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr, file) AP

Caruso, 30, was obviously one of the Bulls' most valuable players the past three years, making the all-defensive team twice. He's heading into the final season of a four-year deal and will return to where his pro career began. Caruso played for Oklahoma City's G-League team for current head coach Mark Daigneault in 2016-17.

Giddey is much younger at 21. The Australia native is an unusual player, a multiskilled 6-foot-8 wing who fills the stat sheet with rebounds and assists. The Bulls struggled matching up with his quickness, once Caruso took on the assignment of guarding OKC star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

What Giddey doesn't do well is shoot. NBA playoff viewers will remember Giddey watching from the bench during the fourth quarter of the Thunder's second-round loss to Dallas.

Here's the exact breakdown: Giddey averaged 1.1 minute and 0.7 points in the fourth quarter of that playoff series against the Mavs. The Thunder used Cason Wallace ahead of Giddey. The guess here is Caruso will be on the floor during next year's playoffs.

So that aspect makes the deal seem questionable from the Bulls' perspective. Especially if they didn't come away with any draft picks, which Oklahoma City has been stockpiling.

The counterargument is the Bulls can put the ball in Giddey's hands and let him utilize his greatest strengths. And maybe improve his 3-point shot, which isn't awful (33.7% last year).

So it's hard to say exactly what that will look like if Coby White plays more as the shooting guard after excelling as a main guy last season. Plus Lonzo Ball is expected back from two years off with a knee injury, although he doesn't figure to be a long-term piece. The idea is the Bulls now have a promising three-guard attack with Giddey, White and Ayo Dosunmu.

Perhaps this deal makes it less likely the Bulls take a guard with the No. 11 pick in next week's NBA Draft. They have a glaring need for some rim protection anyway.

The rest of the summer will likely be less surprising. The Bulls are trying hard to trade Zach LaVine, which will be challenging because of the $120 million left on his contract. They'll likely re-sign DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams. Anything else would count as a minor move.

As the No. 6 overall pick in 2021, Giddey will be up for an extension next summer.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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