3 Bulls players named among NBA's most likely to be traded

Chicago Bulls Media Day
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As if missing the 2023 NBA Playoffs wasn't bad enough, the pressure for the Chicago Bulls to win games with this current core is reaching an all-time high after starting the 2023-24 season off to a miserable 5-14 record. If this team doesn't have the tools necessary to be a winner, I wouldn't be surprised to see Chicago's front office initiate a fire sale and begin making moves to patch up the holes in this sinking ship.

The pressure to do something, anything at all is especially strong considering the Bulls have failed to make any significant moves for quite some time. The Bulls have made one trade over the last two and a half seasons, with their lone acquisition being a second-round draft pick this past summer. To put it softly, this current core of players has had more than enough chances to prove themselves. Things need to change.

That being said, it's far too easy to make wide-sweeping and over-arching statements like this without actually offering a plan to repair the damage. Keeping that in mind, it's worth asking ourselves, which players on this roster are the most likely to be moved in any potential trades this season once we finally reach the boiling point?

HoopsHype's Michael Scotto dissects the landscape of the trade block around the league, with the Bulls seen as prime candidates to facilitate a great deal of activity ahead of the trade deadline. Scotto starts by addressing the situation with Zach LaVine, whom the Bulls are rumored to be looking to trade first before making any other moves.

If the Bulls blow it all up and rebuild, these three players are likely to be the first ones booted out the front door.

"Time appears to be running out for Chicago’s core to figure it out. Two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine has been the hottest name in trade rumors, with both he and the Bulls open to a potential trade," says Scotto, "The Knicks also called to express exploratory interest in LaVine, league sources told HoopsHype, but his camp was not interested in a trade to New York."

Scotto also shared an interesting nugget of information regarding LaVine's perceived trade value according to an anonymous league executive:

""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.""

Anonymous NBA executive

LaVine isn't the only Bulls All-Star who could be on the move this year, as DeMar DeRozan is sure to pique the interest of a few contenders around the league. DeRozan's value has vastly depreciated since his All-NBA performance in 2021-22, but his expiring contract might make him a low-risk investment worth gambling on for another interested party.

"“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.""

Anonymous NBA executive

As for Chicago's third player likely to hit the trade block, it's not their third former All-Star Nikola Vucevic. No, it's Alex Caruso who is instead the most likely to attract suitors at the trade deadline. Caruso is a piece the Bulls would certainly like to keep, but his value is at the highest point of his career to date, and trading him now could be instrumental in executing a timely rebuild.

"Alex Caruso holds significant trade interest around the league," says Scotto, "but Chicago has yet to show a willingness to move the All-Defensive guard."

As much as I might love seeing Caruso play in Chicago, he has perhaps the highest current value of any Bulls player and deserves to play for a title contender rather than wasting his prime for a lottery-bound team. Between these three players, it would be possible for the Bulls to net a haul of at least four first-round picks and perhaps a few quality role players or intriguing prospects.

Couple that package with the fact the Bulls would be in prime position to increase their draft lottery odds by selling their assets off, and it's a difficult proposition to argue against. Unfortunately, Chicago's front office has so far proven to be as stubborn as they come. All that's standing between us and a new era of Chicago Bulls basketball now is Arturas Karnisovas' willingness to pick up the phone and get the ball rolling on this rebuild.

Next. Next Article. Bulls targeting Lakers' duo in potential LaVine trade. dark