With their season crashing down before it even truly began and no end in sight, the Chicago Bulls may be heading toward a rebuild of sorts. That could start during the season, with several Bulls veterans potentially hitting the trade market if the losing continues in Chicago.
This begs the question as to what the Bulls will want in return and surely the teams calling them for their players' services will want to have a hint as well. Leading the pack is Zach LaVine who seems to be as certain as any player to get traded this season. He is not alone though, as some or all of DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Alex Caruso could be on the move.
Despite leaning toward trading away players, the Bulls don’t want to go into a full-blown rebuild by adding role players and tons of draft capital. Instead, they want impact players who can help them win now and some picks along the way if Chicago sees value in adding them, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“I think Zach LaVine can get a first back, maybe another first-round pick if it’s in this draft since it’s so weak,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype. “DeMar DeRozan is worth a first in this draft in the 20s since it’s a weak draft, and he’s unrestricted at the end of the season. He can be a third scorer on a winning team. I think he’s got some gas left in the tank. Nikola Vucevic has aged, but he can still shoot and score. If they can get two first-round picks for Alex Caruso, I’d do it.”
Where do the Bulls go from here?
Although the Bulls might entertain offers on all four of the aforementioned players, there's no guarantee they trade any of them. It would be logical to assume they move LaVine and DeRozan – the player they can presumably get the most assets for and an impact scorer who is set to be a free agent after the season – but should be smart and wait for the best offer or a team to get desperate.
As for Vucevic and Caruso, Chicago's stances on them appear to be a little more lax. The pair could end up getting traded if the right offer comes, but the Bulls aren’t showing their hand just yet, at least when it comes to Caruso. The defensive wizard's contract runs through next season and he continues to be a valuable player for the Bulls.
It's hard to see a world where the Bulls trade all four players this season, but stranger things have happened in the NBA. Chicago is a popular team for perhaps the wrong reasons this year, but Bulls fans would likely rather see some change than the same team dishing out mediocre performances every night.
That may not mean a tank is looming, but something has to happen in Chicago sooner rather than later.