3. The Bulls commit to a rebuild at the 2024 NBA trade deadline
This leads us to the most realistic scenario, the Bulls breaking up the “Big Three” to build towards their future. Accumulating draft capital and young players to pair with the developing Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, Julian Phillips, Dalen Terry, and Patrick Williams seems to be the route least likely to result in impending disaster for the Bulls.
Starting with Zach LaVine, the Bulls have been rumored to give him an “unrealistic” price tag, but they’d be wise to lower their expectations in potential negotiations. A team like the Orlando Magic are itching for a star and have a log jam of guards on their roster. A trade of Zach LaVine to Orlando could bring in a return of Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs or Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz, either scenario also giving the Bulls a top 10 protected pick.
DeMar DeRozan is in a contract year, which hurts his value, but he could still fetch a handsome return of a young player and a pick. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team who could find themselves in “win now” mode, making them willing to give up a lightly protected first round pick alongside Lu Dort and Victor Oladipo for DeRozan. This would allow OKC to get the midrange monster himself to pair with their rapidly growing young core.
Rebuilding at the 2024 trade deadline might be the Bulls’ best option if they wish to return to relevance.
Nikola Vucevic could soon find himself playing for a team like Brooklyn, as the Nets are in need of a big man who can stretch the floor to capitalize on Ben Simmons’ passing skills. A trade with the Nets would have the Bulls sending Vucevic to Brooklyn for a package of Nic Claxton and an unprotected first round pick. By trading for Vucevic, the Nets would let Simmons play the power forward position without clogging the lane alongside Claxton.
This hypothetical scenario would allow the Bulls to bring in the young talent of Lu Dort, Nic Claxton, Jalen Suggs and either Cole Anthony or Markelle Fultz, as well as bringing in three first-round picks to prepare for the future. The Bulls would have to make other smaller moves on the side to free up roster space to accommodate for these transactions but they would be less impactful long-term.
Unless there is a hot start to the season, a trip into the luxury tax or a complete roster makeover is certainly up to the front office and ownership but if history tells us anything, neither is likely. Bulls fans can only hope the front office makes due on their promise to do everything in their power to remain competitive.