After entirely reconstructing the roster in 2021 by bringing DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso, and Lonzo Ball aboard, the Chicago Bulls’ front office duo of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have prioritized one thing and one thing only when it comes to their roster construction stratagem: continuity. Even so, there’s only so much time that can be granted to this current core.
If the Bulls fall short of expectations once again this season, even the All-Star talent could be put on the chopping block. Instead of continuing to make moves at the margins, the front office could pull the trigger on another overhaul if necessary.
ESPN’s Bryan Windhorst believes this may not be all too far-fetched from reality, and that the Bulls would be willing to make DeRozan available on the trade market if they struggle out of the gate this season. Windhorst also indicates that DeMar would attract significant interest in the trade market.
"“One guy to keep an eye on, for everybody, the whole league, this year is DeMar DeRozan. If he doesn’t extend with the Bulls, I think he becomes a trade target as the season goes along.”"
The Bulls would start any serious rebuild off by trading away their All-Star duo of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.
If the Bulls are clearly struggling by the trade deadline and unlikely to make any noise in the playoffs, dealing DeMar away seems the logical train of thought. After all, why would he wish to spend the remaining years of his prime wasting away on a Bulls team stuck in no man’s land? Even so, money talks, and I wouldn’t quite write off the possibility Chicago coughs up the money to extend DeRozan this summer, as he and his family seem quite settled in the Windy City.
DeRozan isn’t the only Bulls star catching flak in trade rumors, however, as Zach LaVine could also potentially be on the move. It feels like we see Zach’s name pop up in these rumors every few months, and nothing has come of it yet. At the same time, the fact these rumors are consistently in the rumor mill seems to suggest that there may be some truth to LaVine being on the trade block.
HoopsWire’s Sam Amico claims Chicago is open to moving LaVine this season, especially if the team isn’t gaining much traction in the win column ahead of February’s trade deadline.
"Shooting guard Zach LaVine could also be moved if the Bulls get off to a slow start or are hovering around .500 (or worse) at the February trade deadline, sources said."
When discussing these trade rumors earlier in the month with ESPN’s Jamal Collier, LaVine appeared to be in a good headspace regarding the issue. He speaks like a player who knows his value and what he brings to the city of Chicago, not one who’s insecure and threatened at the prospect of losing his position as the face of the franchise.
"“My camp isn’t putting [the rumors] out. I committed to the Bulls when I signed my five-year deal. So … I’m committed to the Bulls. I’ve always brought professionalism and consistent play, and that’s what I’ll continue to do… I love Chicago; I’ve always wanted to be in a place that wanted me, and Chicago showed me that. But obviously trade rumors are part of the business. Are they wanted? No. But I’m a grown man, I’ve been traded before. I know how to deal with them. You have to take it that way; it’s a business, so I don’t get too upset.”"
If the Bulls are truly failing to meet their goals for the season, shifting gears and moving on from the current stars is a perfectly viable plan. For that reason alone, I do believe it’s worth keeping a close eye on these rumors to see what has some substance and what is little more than conjecture. That being said, I also believe the front office is committed to seeing their vision through here. Don’t be too surprised when both DeMar and Zach are still here a year from now.