The 2023 NBA trade deadline is just over one month away, and the buyers and sellers are starting to separate in the standings. One of the teams that must be a seller before the end of the day on February 9 is the Chicago Bulls. Despite having four of their projected five 2022-23 starters (DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Patrick Williams) on the court together for all but four games this season, the team had tanked without point guard Lonzo Ball. They now sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 16-21, and without a Bulls trade deadline fire sale, they risk losing Vucevic for nothing, wasting one of DeRozan’s last seasons, squandering another year of LaVine’s prime, and being irrelevant for the next half-decade or more.

The real prize for the Bulls is tanking in order to keep their first-round pick in the deep, talented, and possibly historic 2023 NBA Draft. The Bulls owe one more first-round pick to the Orlando Magic as part of the now-disastrous Vucevic deal. The pick is top-four protected, so if Chicago is going to miss the playoffs anyway, they mind as well try to do it in spectacular fashion to help their chances of keeping their pick.

And that’s the real prize at the 2023 Bulls trade deadline: Picks to help the team rebuild, and maybe even possible franchise-altering French big man Victor Wembanyama.

Zach LaVine to the Knicks for Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish, Evan Fournier

The best Bulls trade that the team can make might be with the New York Knicks. The Knicks are reportedly interested in the 27-year-old two-time All-Star Zach LaVine. And they have an interesting package of young prospects and draft picks that they can send to the Midwest.

The players the Bulls can get back for LaVine include 23-year-old third-year guard Immanuel Quickley and 23-year-old fourth-year wing Cam Reddish. Immanuel is already a solid NBA player who can score consistently coming off the bench, and he could develop into more. Reddish is more of a lottery ticket, but still only 23 he may have the potential in him to become the high-level 3-and-d wing the Atlanta Hawks thought he could be coming out of Duke.

The Bulls would, unfortunately, have to take back Evan Fournier’s $18 million per year (this season and next) in the deal, but the bright side is, that may allow the Bulls to squeeze an extra pick or pick swap out of the Knicks front office.

Also coming to Chicago in the deal would be the Knicks' 2023 unprotected first-rounder, the Dallas Mavericks' top-10 protected 2023 first, and either a 2024 Bulls-Knicks pick swap or the Knicks (say top-10) protected first.

This Bulls trade deadline move restocks the team’s draft pick coffers right away and helps them Tank-O-Rama for Wembanyama, which is the biggest 2023 NBA trade deadline prize of all for sellers.

Nikola Vucevic to the Nets for Joe Harris, plus

After 136 games, plus one playoff appearance (a five-game first-round loss), the Nikola Vucevic trade that sent 2021 and 2023 first-round picks to Orlando along with Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. is officially a disaster.

The only hope the Bulls have of salvaging anything out of this trade is by trading the center at the 2023 NBA trade deadline.

Since Vucevic is now a 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds a game guy, as opposed to the 23-24 and 11-plus a game guy he was in his earlier All-Star seasons, he doesn’t have the value he had three years ago. However, he is still a valuable player to the right team and is a $22 million expiring contract.

The Brooklyn Nets need size and rebound badly now that they’ve turned their season around. And they might see Vucevic as the best/most reasonably priced center on the trade market right now.

The Nets would have to give up a valuable shooter in Harris — who the Bulls could flip for even more — and the rest of the trade package will be up to what the Bulls can work out with the Nets.

One option is 21-year-old, second-year player Cam Thomas. He’s an interesting volume shooter/scorer that could thrive developmentally with a tanking team where he gets to shoot as much as he wants. The other option is a pick. The only problem (if you want to call it that) here is that the Nets don’t have a tradeable pick until Philadelphia’s top-8 protected pick in 2027 or their own in 2028.

That kicks the can down the road a bit, but if the Bulls' trade deadline strategy is to go into full rebuild mode this year by trading Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, that may not be a bad thing at all.