The Milwaukee Bucks just gave the Chicago Bulls all they needed to make a run at the Cleveland Cavaliers for top seed in the Eastern Conference. Sunday morning the Bulls acquired Michael Carter-Williams from the Bucks for Tony Snell in a move that makes the Bulls viable contenders.
Rajon Rondo is still the starter but the Bulls second unit was in question until the trade. Carter-Williams was once thought to be the future of the Philadelphia 76ers when they drafted him in 2013 but the 76ers not believing the ROY could lead them to where they wanted to go shipped him off the Bucks.
Since arriving in Milwaukee his game has suffered under the tutelage of former PG, Jason Kidd when it was thought it should have been the other way around. Now Carter-Williams gets another shot, but this time it’s with a contender.
The loss of Snell will not damage the team as he was in line to watch his minutes and role diminish with the addition of Dwyane Wade and Denzel Valentine this season. What Carter-Williams will add to the team is much-needed depth and a leader who can run the second unit with poise.
Carter-Williams is still capable of putting up a double-double and he will fit with the Bulls much like Shaun Livingston does with the Golden State Warriors.
If Carter-Williams can come in and gel quickly with Doug McDermott, Valentine, or either Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson the Bulls second until will be one of the best in the NBA.
Carter-Williams still has plenty of upside left. He’s only 24 years old and had pers of 12/5/5 last season in 52 games, playing 31 minutes per. He and Rondo are of similar skill set and if the Bulls decide to go small, Carter-Williams provides them with a capable wing defender and another ball handler that can either get to the rim or look for a teammate with a better shot.
If the Bulls decide to play small ball they have the option to throw out a lethal lineup. There are not many teams that can defend a small ball lineup that will feature Rondo, Carter-Williams, Wade, Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez. This was a smart move by the Bulls.
The Bucks may look at this as a roster dump and the trade may fly under the radar, but by season’s end it may very well be the talk of the league.