The Chicago Bulls have been a mess to begin the 2023-24 season, as they currently find themselves with a 5-13 record. To make matters worse, the Bulls have been eliminated from the NBA In-Season Tournament with an 0-3 record and will be on the road against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night in their final group play game. Going up against the best team in the league right now, the Bulls may wind up having to play against Jayson Tatum and Co. without Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso.
LaVine has missed just one game this season and is in danger of missing his second game due to right foot soreness. As for Caruso, he is dealing with a left toe strain and is also questionable to play. The All-Defensive guard missed Chicago's previous game against the Brooklyn Nets due to the same injury. Chicago went on to lose 118-109 in Brooklyn.
Both LaVine and Caruso currently find themselves on the Bulls' injury report ahead of Tuesday night's game, leaving their status in doubt.
While Caruso makes a big impact defensively, LaVine has continued to be one of the focal points for the Bulls offensively. In 17 games this season, the two-time All-Star has averaged 22.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor. Even with his production, the Bulls have been unable to be competitive in the Eastern Conference due to their overall lack of roster balance.
LaVine and fellow All-Star DeMar DeRozan are the only players on Chicago's roster averaging above 20 points per game early on this season.
Amid the Bulls slow start to the season, LaVine has found his name at the center of trade discussions around the league. It is no secret that he has been frustrated with the Bulls in recent years, plus he contemplated leaving the team as a free agent in 2022 before signing a five-year, $215 million contract. Many around the league are anticipating the Bulls moving on from LaVine in the near future.
Caruso has also heard his name in trade rumors, as numerous playoff contending teams could utilize his defensive skillset right away in their second unit. At this time, the Bulls have not made it clear whether or not they will tear a part their roster or try and make another push with the talent they have.
Whatever the case may be, the Bulls are definitely in danger of falling to 5-14 overall in Boston on Tuesday night, especially if LaVine and Caruso are unable to go.