On this morning’s episode of The Woj Pod, featuring NBA Insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, Chicago was again brought into the fold. This time, with Zach LaVine’s season-ending surgery changing Chicago’s perspective nearing the trade deadline, some potential trades were floated now that the Bulls are operating without their two-time All-Star for the remainder of the season. Does LaVine’s injury change how the front office feels about a firesale this week, or will they remain silent for a third straight NBA trade deadline?
“An OG Anunoby-type deal” For Alex Caruso
OG Anunoby was traded over a month ago for a 24-year-old career 13-point-per-game scorer, a 23-year-old 18-point-per-game scorer, and a second-round draft pick. Anunoby has been at around 15 points per game each of the last three seasons and supplies much better efficiency, outside scoring, and defensive prowess than either of those two younger players. At 26 years old, he’ll be a staple in an NBA rotation for many years.
Alex Caruso’s value goes far beyond his scoring, averaging his career-best 10 points per game this season; his contributions come in a myriad of ways. Defensively, he was named to the NBA’s First Team All-Defense last season and continues to be one of the best and most versatile players on that end of the floor. Offensively, he’s putting up the best season of his seven years in the league, shooting over 40% from three-point land, 48% from the floor, and averaging over 10 points and nearly three assists per contest. He was also the lone Chicago Bull nominated to represent the United States in the Summer Olympics.
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Chicago’s Continued Reluctancy To Trade Caruso
Similar to this time last year, the Bulls are well aware of the level of assets they have on their roster. Caruso’s services bolster any team from good to great and leaves nothing to interpretation, leading his team in plus/minus this season. While they chose to sit on the valuable trade piece through last year’s trade deadline in hopes of making a late playoff push, the failure to reach the postseason and an identical standing 12 months later may sway their opinions this time around. Before the LaVine news, several sources had confirmed that Chicago remains stagnant in their reluctant state to move Caruso.
Since hearing that LaVine would be shut down for the season, most murmurs have been in the direction of Chicago making at least minimal moves to gain some future assets before the season’s end. There will be a story to follow, whether that be Andre Drummond, DeMar DeRozan, or Alex Caruso. Still, if the Bulls remain silent for a third straight trade deadline despite tracking to miss the postseason for a sixth time in seven years and a second consecutive season, the front office’s seats start to warm.
Caruso’s value is undeniable, and Drummond and DeRozan’s expiring contracts could lead them to a contending roster for future draft capital. Does Chicago pull the trigger in the next four days or coast to another Play-In Tournament berth that falls short of a playoff appearance yet again?