FanPost

Under-the-Radar Trade Targets: PJ Washington & Brandon Clarke


It seems like most of the trade discussion lately has focused on a handful of names: Jerami Grant, Harrison Barnes, Christian Wood, and sometimes the Pacers or Blazers frontcourt guys -- Sabonis, Turner, Nance, and Covington. But who else might be available that could make the difference in a playoff series and help this team be a legitimate contender?

A couple players who really intrigue me both for this season and as the long-term starting 4 are PJ Washington and Brandon Clarke. I think each of them has some untapped potential and would be more valuable to the Bulls in a starting role than coming off the bench in Charlotte or Memphis. As an added bonus, they won't become unrestricted free agents in the next year and a half like just about all of those other trade targets mentioned above. Adding either one would strike a balance between being good and useful now, unlike Patrick Williams, and also being around for the long term.

I've written a lot more about these players elsewhere (link at the bottom), but in a nutshell here's what they'd add:

PJ Washington

  • high-volume, high-efficiency outside shooter (including from several feet beyond the arc) joining a team that’s 29th in 3-point attempt rate, which should open up the court for DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic more than someone who can only shoot when unguarded in the corner like the team’s current options at the 4
  • excellent ball-handler relative to his position, enabling the Bulls to run all the sets they use with Vucevic and perhaps more
  • length and lateral quickness make him an extremely versatile defender in terms of switching and executing different schemes and coverages, which is especially useful in the playoffs

Brandon Clarke

  • elite finisher around the rim -- bouncy and strong with tremendous body control, allowing him to adjust in mid-air and finish through, over, or around opposing rim protectors
  • smart and sure-handed passer and ball-handler, another guy who you can use as a hub like Vucevic
  • high motor: a willing and active screener + offensive rebounder + shot-blocker as a help defender
They of course have weaknesses as well. PJ isn't much of a leaper and isn't an efficient scorer inside the arc. Clarke's jumper is broken and he's a somewhat limited defender given his short arms and mediocre lateral movement.

But all the rumored targets also have significant weaknesses, and the others typically mentioned have much higher salaries, requiring the Bulls to send more in exchange. Instead of dealing Patrick Williams plus a significant rotation player for Jerami Grant or Harrison Barnes, perhaps the Bulls could deal for PJ Washington or Brandon Clarke while adding another useful player along with him.

I like the Bulls' bench, but I still think it could use another player who brings value on both ends of the court, preferably a relatively high-usage scorer who can defend multiple positions like Alec Burks.

Here is my full write-up on PJ Washington and Brandon Clarke, plus Alec Burks as well, including their strengths, weaknesses, fit, and potential trades.

What do you think? Would you be in favor of the Bulls dealing for PJ Washington or Brandon Clarke? Any other under-the-radar trade targets worth exploring?

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.