The Chicago Bulls are one of the most interesting teams in the league. They had a players only meeting after their opening night loss to the Thunder—and are currently 3-6 to start the season. Now, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, teams are waiting on the Bulls’ “potential downfall,” hoping to acquire Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, or other key pieces.
NBA Rumors: Teams Monitoring the “Potential Downfall” of the Bulls
Following the Bulls’ rough start, Windhorst appeared on ESPN’s NBA Today to note that “scouts are jamming themselves into Bulls games because they realize that at some point, the Bulls may break this team up.”
DeRozan had dismissed notions of a rebuild in September, telling SportsKeeda’s Mark Medina:
“I think a lot of people who say that or suggest that really don’t understand basketball at all, in my opinion. You can think that’s an answer or that’s a route. But there’s no telling how long that route is going to even last. That route doesn’t necessarily always work in a timely fashion that you may think it will take. With that, it’s hard to find and create talented players like the players that we already have assembled.”
However, with LaVine in a contract year, a 34-year-old Nikola Vucevic not getting any younger, and talks of a DeRozan extension in limbo, the Bulls have key decisions to make in regards to their future.
The Latest on DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine
DeRozan and LaVine would likely be the first ones to go in any major trade, and a plethora of teams could use their services.
This season, DeRozan has averaged 21.4 points while shooting 43.6% from the field and 31.6% from deep. He’s been just as electric in his three years in Chicago: 26 points, five rebounds and five assists on .501/.337/.872 splits. A recent article from Bleacher Report’s Erik Beaston posited the 76ers as a potential destination for DeRozan prior to the James Harden trade. The Sixers—currently leading the East with a 7-1 record—may still be inclined to do a deal with their new assets. Beaston also mentioned the Grizzlies, Hawks, Pistons, Cavaliers and Timberwolves as other teams who could use DeRozan at the wing.
Zach LaVine has averaged 24.5 PPG on .471/.384/.836 splits in seven years as a Bull. He’ll have just as many suitors as DeRozan, but one team he’s often been linked to is the Lakers. The NBA Today hosts discussed whether LA should add a third star, with Mike Wilbon advocating for LaVine to come home. Many Lakers fans may be reluctant to go back to that idea after the catastrophe a couple of seasons ago. However, it’s at least intriguing to pair LaVine’s explosiveness and scoring with the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Key Role Players in Rumors
Aside from those two, teams will also have their eyes on the Bulls’ supporting cast. Nikola Vucevic is a reliable big man who has averaged 16.3 points and 10.7 rebounds through the first nine games of the season. Alex Caruso—whose stellar start has warranted calls for DPOY consideration—could be one of the biggest names to hit the Bulls’ trade market. He has averaged 7.8 points (.591/.440/.636), 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals. Additionally, point guards Coby White and Jevon Carter could also be in the mix given their solid contributions so far. The same goes for young wing Patrick Williams and veteran big man Andre Drummond. Winning teams could always use reliable role players, and some of them could acquire members of the Bulls rotation to put them in better situations.
The Last Word on the Bulls
No matter how you look at it, it’s conceivable that the Bulls could be holding a fire sale in a few months. They’ve made the playoffs only twice in the last seven years, and are coming off of a 40-42 season. Unless things take a drastic turn, expect Chicago to be sellers at the trade deadline—maybe even earlier.