Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Arturas Karnisovas’ Comments Hint Towards A Very Busy Offseason


The NBA season isn’t over yet but that doesn’t mean teams that aren’t in the playoffs haven’t started thinking about this offseason. Unfortunately, for Chicago, they haven’t played in over a month. Having that time off has given the Bull’s front office a lot of time to think about how to better this team. Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas has likely used that time to create a plan for the Bulls to become a title contender. Karnisovas was featured in the 9th episode of the Basketball House documentary. The comments that were made in that episode give a glimpse into what Karnsovas wants for the Bulls.

Last year Karnisovas realized the Bulls deserve a better team. While the team last season was successful when looking at the team’s recent history, it wasn’t enough for Karnisovas. That means he is going to have himself a very busy offseason. Along with General Manager Marc Eversley, these two are going to be busy if they want to bring championship basketball back to the Bulls. Karnisovas made it clear with the rest of his comment that what they have just isn’t enough. 

The current situation needs to be improved

The second half of Karnisovas’ quote proves he is going to be making changes this offseason. Karnisovas went on to say,

“The current situation is not enough, and we need to create something better.”

If the current situation is not enough that means the Bulls are going to move pieces around. Whether that be trades, free agency signings, or simply trimming the fat this team will look different next season. There are some pieces that we know won’t be moving. There’s one piece, in particular, the Bulls don’t have control over. Either way, the Bulls will be making additions this offseason.

Zach LaVine will dictate this offseason

It’s no surprise that the Bull’s offseason forecast depends on shooting guard Zach LaVine. If LaVine stays then the Bulls have fewer moves they can make but retain a key player. If LaVine leaves the Bulls will have much more room to make moves but will need to fill a big hole they didn’t have before. Regardless of what LaVine plans to do the Bulls are all in when it comes to LaVine. 

This means the Bulls can’t control the outcome of this situation. LaVine will either stay or he will walk and the Bulls will need to pick up the pieces either way. That makes me believe Karnisovas has a plan either way. He knows what the salary cap will look like either way and he’s prepared to operate accordingly. Karnisovas has a great track record and he will make a splash this offseason regardless of what LaVine decides to do.

Be prepared for movement

If LaVine stays the Bulls will be in a tight position financially. However, the crafty front office will likely find trades that will allow them to offload a big contract or two. One of the contracts that come to mind is center Nikola Vucevic. The big man has $22 million left on his contract and this is the final year of that contract. Packaging Vucevic and someone like guard Coby White who has $7.4 million left on his deal could give the Bulls a lot of room to make deals. White has a potential additional year at the end of his contract per a qualifying offer.

It wouldn’t be out of the question to see a team that isn’t going for the title next year to take on Vucevic and White in exchange for some key pieces that can complete the Bulls. With both players on expiring deals, it leaves the team taking them in a favorable position. Could Arturas already have a trade in mind? If he’s confident LaVine will return it wouldn’t be surprising if Karnisovas already has this trade offer ready and knows exactly who to call. The league offseason won’t officially start until July 1st and that’s when things will start to get moving. The Bulls may even start the party early with a trade on draft night.

No one knows what the Bulls are going to do except the people inside the team’s front office. They do a great job of keeping their plans hidden until they happen. However, we can plan for changes to come based on Karnisovas’ comments. This team isn’t enough currently and he is going to do everything he can to make them title contenders.

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