12 People who turned their backs on the Bulls

Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls
Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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7. Zach LaVine

The Bulls find themselves in a bit of a jam, as it pertains to their current core. The Zach LaVine/DeMar DeRozan/Nikola Vucevic trio has yet to even win a postseason series, and two of the three have long-term deals.

DeMar DeRozan’s contract expires at the end of the season, Nikola Vucevic has a fully guaranteed deal through 2026 ($41.5 million remaining), and LaVine is owed $88 million through 2026 (with a $48.9 million player option in 2026-27).

Although LaVine is a bucket-getter, he’s approaching 30-years-old and is extremely limited. And he comes with a hefty price tag, as previously noted.

The Bulls’ best bet is undergoing a soft rebuild and getting draft picks to use on young, developmental pieces. At least that’s easier to explain than shelling out wads of cash, only to be a non-contender in the East. Especially when the best player in LaVine has an injury history.

The Bulls’ front office kicked the tires on a LaVine trade this season, as he was heavily linked to the Los Angeles Lakers for much of the season, due in large part to his agency and representation, which is Klutch Sports, the super agency that represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers pulled out, as they made Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray the apple of their eye, although to no avail.

The Detroit Pistons, who are star-hungry, were ready and willing to make a trade for the Bulls star guard, but he ultimately nixed the deal, opting for foot surgery, seemingly as soon as he caught wind of a potential move to the Motor City. Bulls executive Arturas Karnisovas will now have to figure out what to do with LaVine this summer, and could find it even more challenging to find a suitor, as LaVine will be coming off major surgery.

Maybe the Pistons will be interested again. If so, LaVine won’t be able to block it this time.