Although the front office may try to continually pitch the idea of "continuity" as an important tenet for this team to build around, the truth is that the Chicago Bulls have become stagnant. While other teams in the Eastern Conference have made radical trades to acquire star point guards such as Tyrese Haliburton, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, and Dejounte Murray, the Bulls have tread water and continued spouting hypothetical scenarios where Lonzo Ball is healthy once again.
As a result, the Bulls have posted an incredibly disappointing 83-97 record over their last 180 games. This current regime has proven itself unwilling to make changes in the face of adversity the same way other teams have. It's only going to get more difficult from here on out now, as even the Miami Heat have pulled the trigger to bring another accomplished guard into their ranks.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of Terry Rozier being sent to Miami last night, a spark plug offensively who should help the Heat maintain their position as a perennial playoff contender in the East. In return, the Charlotte Hornets are receiving Kyle Lowry and a 2027 first-round pick.
Owners of a 24-19 record and the 6th seed in the East, this trade should make the Heat an even more dangerous team. The returning NBA Finalists have been this good already even with Jimmy Butler missing long stretches this season, so replacing Lowry with a 23-point-per-game scorer could help them rocket into a top-four seed and home-court advantage in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Hornets make room for promising rookie Brandon Miller to slide into the starting lineup and take his place alongside LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. Once Mark Williams can finally make his return to the court, this Charlotte squad looks to be among the most promising young cores in the league. They'll likely want to continue adding to it as well, as they could acquire additional draft assets by flipping Lowry's expiring contract to a team looking to shed salary and avoid paying the luxury tax.
The Bulls could add an extra veteran piece in Kyle Lowry if the former All-Star clears waivers.
As a result, Lowry will reportedly not be suiting up for the Hornets while they search for an equitable trade in the meantime. In the event the Hornets fail to find a partner willing to dish out draft capital just to take on Lowry's enormous expiring salary, he'll almost certainly be bought out.
This is where the Bulls come in. If they're not going to make aggressive moves of their own, at least they might have the opportunity to take advantage of the moves they've. Should Lowry hit the buyout market, the Bulls are likely to be a team that registers interest in his services.
After all, Chicago has enjoyed great success by scouring the buyout market for a point guard in the past by acquiring Patrick Beverley after the trade deadline last season. The Bulls rattled off a 14-9 record to end the year with Beverley at the point and could try emulating that success with Lowry this time around.
Although the Bulls have enjoyed great guard play from the likes of Coby White, Alex Caruso, and Ayo Dosunmu this season, they still lack a strong playmaker who can run the floor and consistently generate better looks for his teammates.
If the Bulls decide to trade away Zach LaVine before the deadline passes, they'll need to find a way to replace his offensive output. Since they're unlikely to find anyone who could score the ball the way he does, Chicago might be better off looking for someone who can help their current players score at a more efficient rate. When it comes to raw playmaking ability, the Bulls are unlikely to find anyone else as gifted as Lowry on the waiver wire.
if nothing else, a reunion with former teammate DeMar DeRozan could be reason enough to make the rest of this season worth watching. I'd keep a close eye on how this Lowry story develops because I reckon there's at least a reasonably fair chance he's wearing a Bulls uniform by the time the season ends.