Bulls trade deadline fiasco casts serious doubt on current regime

Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors / Andrew Lahodynskyj/GettyImages

This year, the Chicago Bulls unfortunately took the most 'Chicago Bulls' approach they could at this season's trade deadline, which means they did nothing. 30 months and 3 seasons since the front office traded for Nikola Vucevic to assist Zach LaVine with their playoff hunt in the 2020-2021 season, and we still have the same team constructed around them.

Arturas Karnisovas not only opted to forego a major roster shake-up, but he even refused to make any small changes at the margins. Even with the green light from ownership to trade everyone and start a new rebuild, he chose to stick with this core and live with the results. No matter how poorly he performs, I suppose Karnisovas can hold onto his "get out jail free card" by leaving the door open for a rebuild.

But the funny thing here is that a rebuild and new era of Chicago basketball would be welcomed with open arms by Bulls fans. This current core isn't getting the job done, and the Bulls lack a true two-way superstar for the fans to rally behind. All roads lead back to the hopes of Lonzo Ball making a return to revitalize the team, but putting all your eggs in that basket is a risky strategy to say the least.

Simply put, it just doesn't make sense to go three years without trying to improve the team. Although Karnisovas' initial vision may have been a solid plan on paper, he deserves all the blame for failing to make adjustments when things began falling apart.

The Bulls will have a tough time justifying another wasted trade deadline if they miss the postseason yet again.

It's possible — unlikely, but possible — that Karnisovas knows something we don't know. We all witnessed the result of the 2021-2022 season when Lonzo was healthy. A very potent offense with a stifling defense was the result of our roster's chemistry. All of our offensive weapons made sense when Lonzo Ball was orchestrating the offense.

Alex Caruso was more effective defensively when he wasn't the one tasked with guarding the best perimeter player every game. DeMar DeRozan's mid-range offense was more effective when we had Lonzo and Zach to stretch the defense and open those lanes for Demar to slither in and execute in the clutch. Vucevic had the right type of defenders to funnel players into the post where they would get sandwiched. Plus, Lonzo and Caruso would create chaos on the perimeter, which resulted in fastbreak opportunities.

There is hope on the horizon, but it's very disappointing to see the team not make a move. We'll head into the last two months of the season with Coby White riding his potential MIP award-winning wave, Vucevic being the double-double machine he is, and Demar carrying us in the clutch. Caruso will lead the charge on defense and hopefully, that's enough for this team to make some noise in the playoffs.

It'll give our guys some time to recover from their surgeries and hopefully, return as a surprise for the playoffs. The team's trajectory looks better than the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference. We have the talent to compete at a high level, but is this a championship-level team? I believe we all know the answer to that, and it's a dark place to be.

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