Bulls set astronomical asking price for Caruso on trade block

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers
Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As we creep closer to the NBA's February 8 trade deadline, eyes all over the league are carefully watching the Chicago Bulls to see if they'll blow things up or stay the course. Zach LaVine in particular is a likely candidate to be moved, as it seems the star shooting guard's time in the Windy City will be coming to an eventual end sooner rather than later.

If the Bulls do decide to make a trade, however, LaVine likely wouldn't be the player who could pull in the biggest haul in return. That title goes to another guard on the roster, as teams would likely value a two-way threat over a ball-dominant guard being paid an exorbitant amount to be a third option like LaVine.

The two-way threat I'm referring to is none other than Alex Caruso, who could be available for the right price. The veteran guard is in the midst of the best season of his career and has a championship pedigree that could make several contenders around the league salivate at the thought of adding him to their ranks.

That being said, the "right price" might be more than any contenders are willing to stomach, if recent reports are to be believed.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports, "Alex Caruso would mark a dream outcome for the Bucks, but Chicago has indicated the Bulls would need multiple first-round picks to even consider parting with Caruso, according to league sources, if Chicago even truly considers moving him at all."

The Bulls won't be accepting any discounts on Alex Caruso ahead of February's trade deadline.

If the Bulls were to initiate a rebuild and transition toward building around youth, trading away Caruso, LaVine, and DeMar DeRozan would be the quickest route toward accumulating assets for the future. Handing the keys over to the likes of Coby White and Patrick Williams likely wouldn't result in winning basketball, but it could help the Bulls stock up their war chest of draft capital in search of a true franchise cornerstone.

That being said, I'm not so sure Chicago will be so hasty to deal their best trade asset away before this year's trade deadline. The Bulls are finally playing winning basketball and steadily climbing back to .500 territory, and that simply wouldn't be possible without Caruso's incredible two-way talent.

Currently shooting 42% from beyond the arc while posting the highest career BPM of his career at 2.9, Caruso's value has simply never been higher. That doesn't mean the Bulls need to deal now, however, as his contract is currently among the league's most friendly. Caruso is still on contract for just under $10 million next season and will hold just as much value to contenders over the summer and ahead of next year's deadline.

With the momentum this Bulls team is building, I see no reason to not let things play out. If Chicago can return to the playoffs and make some noise, then perhaps the front office can look to extend him on a longer deal. If Chicago limps to the finish line once again, however, then the Bulls could still move Caruso (and LaVine) over the summer.

If a team comes along and is willing to pay a king's ransom to acquire Caruso, fair enough. But until then, I'm more than happy to see Caruso continue the red, white, and black.

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