For months, NBA teams that have been angling for a major upgrade to their roster have been circling the Chicago Bulls like vultures. After all, the Bulls, following a promising 46-win campaign last season, have struggled with inconsistencies for much of the 2022-23 season. Thus, therein lied the possibility that the Bulls were going to be sellers with the trade deadline approaching, with Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic drawing interest on the trade market.

But the Bulls, ever the enigma, have been playing better as of late. And this better level of play, perhaps, could persuade the Bulls brass to ride it out with their current core.

After going 8-3 since their halftime blowup against the Minnesota Timberwolves in mid-December, a Western Conference executive, according to Marc Stein, wondered whether the Bulls’ strong play as of late could shield them from trading away Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.

“The word out there is that every time the Bulls get close to breaking the team up, they get a big win that changes their mind,” the unnamed executive said.

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Furthermore, The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry reports “the expectation is for the Bulls to remain relatively quiet” ahead of the trade deadline, with no expectations for any kind of blowup.

The Bulls still have a record below .500 for the season. However, the presence of the play-in spots gives them hope. Moreover, according to Tankathon, the Bulls will have the third-easiest schedule for the rest of the season, giving them even more hope of climbing the ladder in the bunched-up Eastern Conference.

In addition, Zach LaVine has been playing like his All-Star self as of late, with Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan being the ever-steady presences they are, particularly on offense. Moreover, Patrick Williams, the fourth overall pick in 2020, has played exceptionally on both ends in recent weeks. Other teams could monitor the Bulls’ situation all they want, but circumstances may only get better from here for Chicago.