Monday, October 3, 2022

Bulls May Explore Trades for All-Star Wing: Report

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The Chicago Bulls are taking a huge risk walking back with essentially the same roster as last season. And there are teams ready to pounce when things get out of hand early on, amid what appears to be a hard slate at the gates.

In addition to a difficult schedule, the Bulls are expected to be without starting point guard Lonzo Ball early or in the regular season.

Without him last season, they were hardly a .500 team at 24-23.

The wheels came off on the track, and the Bulls won just eight games after the All-Star break. They took a game in the first round of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks. But the series was a referendum on how far they are from a title contender. If they start this season the way they ended the last, the sharks in the NBA could smell blood in the water.

During his exit interview, Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said he would investigate anything to improve the roster this offseason. He finally settled on making minor changes around the edges and believing in the same core. But would his open-mindedness extend to a mid-season pivot?

An Eastern Conference executive believes so, although they express extreme reservations as to what would be required.

“If this season starts the way last season ended,” says Heavy manager Sean Deveney, “there’s a chance the Bulls are looking at all options. And you would get some good deals. Teams like the Knicks or Dallas or Portland, certainly Miami, they would give up figures and picks for a player like DeRozan.”

That’s an interesting mix of potential applicants.

There are two competing teams in Dallas and Miami, one that’s in the play-in tournament mix in New York and another trying to rebuild on the fly in Portland.

We’ve already seen ties to the Heat in packages that would reunite him with former teammate Kyle Lowry. But there were very few ties, if any, to either the Heat or the Knicks. And it begs the question, what would the Mavericks and Trail Blazers even have to offer to pique the Bulls’ interest?

As for the caveat, what would it take to even get the cops to entertain this?

“He was an MVP candidate for most of last year … It would have to be a one-season disaster for that to happen.”

The Bulls could fight without the ball at the start of the season. But they should be alert enough not to fall into the catastrophe category.

One team DeRozan is unlikely to land is the Los Angeles Lakers. DeRozan, a native of Compton, Calif., was poised to join the Lakers last offseason before their front office took a different direction — similar to Alex Caruso.

“The fact that the Lakers wanted him and screwed it up, that’s been talked about a lot. If there was a way for the Lakers to get him, of course they would. But this ship sailed. The cops won’t take back [Russell] Westbrook for DeRozan and the Lakers aren’t sending you Anthony Davis and that’s the only way a deal would work.”

This is sort of a double whammy for Lakers and Bulls fans who might have had their sights set on either DeRozan or Davis.

Bulls players have made their way back to training at the team’s facilities in recent days. DeRozan was not among the bevy of still images and video clips shared by the The Bulls social media team.

But he recently teamed up with and Nike for a special event at his alma mater Compton High School.

The Bulls drew heavily on the kind of culture builder DeRozan is, as evidenced by the time he devotes to giving back. It’s certainly far-fetched to think they have plans to transfer him, and there has even been speculation that he could see another deal in Chicago.

But he’s 33 and has just two years left on his contract, including this season.

With the Bulls still appearing like a middle-tier playoff team to most, anything is possible when the season goes awry.

This is sort of a double whammy for Lakers and Bulls fans who might have had their sights set on either DeRozan or Davis.

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