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Growing belief around NBA that Chicago is open to trading anybody besides Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr.

Bulls, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr.

The Chicago Bulls finished the 2018-19 regular season with a disappointing 22-60 overall record, which left the team out of playoff contention. Exactly what the Bulls have planned for the offseason is not clear, but it sounds like they’re willing to listen to trade offers — except those including Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.

According to a report from Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, the Bulls are willing to trade some of their assets in hopes of improving. However, the team is looking to keep Markkanen and Carter Jr. on the roster:

There’s a growing belief around the league that the Bulls are open to trading anyone and anything not named Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter Jr., according to sources familiar with the team’s offseason objectives.

Markkanen and Carter Jr. have become key pieces for the Bulls, who landed the No. 7 pick in this year’s NBA Draft. It should come as no surprise that the team would like to keep them onboard.

Markkanen made 52 appearances with the Bulls during their 2018-19 regular season campaign (51 starts), racking up averages of 18.7 points on 43.0 percent shooting from the field (36.1 percent from beyond the arc), 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 32.4 minutes per outing.

Carter Jr. enjoyed a fine season as well. The former Duke standout played in 44 games (all starts), averaging 10.3 points on 48.5 percent shooting, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 blocks.

Though this season didn’t go so well, the Bulls have quite a bit to build on. They’re a young team, and they’ll have cap space to bolster their bench rotation. And let’s not forget about that No. 7 pick.

“I think our goal next year has to be to be in the hunt,” Bulls president of basketball operations John Paxson told ESPN shortly after the conclusion of this season. “We want to be in the hunt again. That’s going to take us being healthy. That’s the first thing.”