Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Chicago Bulls Reportedly Have Green Light To Blow Up Remaining Roster


The trade of Alex Caruso may not have yielded the return many Chicago Bulls fans hoped for. However, the underlying message was that it occurred at all. For the past two years, it felt like the organization had plateaued. Their roster couldn’t get beyond the play-in tournament as it was constructed. Lonzo Ball wasn’t returning to save the day. Zach Lavine missed most of last season. This core never really got the chance to show what it could do, but for whatever reason, Arturas Karnisovas refused to blow it up, citing the need for continuity.

The truth is never that simple. Recent reports suggest Bulls management didn’t have the green light from owner Jerry Reinsdorf to make sweeping changes. He wanted to keep the roster together in hopes of making a push for one of the final playoff spots. The clunker loss to Miami, who didn’t even have Jimmy Butler, may have finally snapped Reinsdorf out of any illusion this team is going anywhere. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, it appears the Bulls are open for business this off-season.

Nobody is off the table.

The Bulls brought in Giddey to be the starting point guard. They hope he can pick up where Lonzo Ball left off in the 2021-22 season — before three surgeries on his left knee put Ball’s career in jeopardy. That means putting the offense into a sprint up the floor rather than a casual stroll.

That’s why multiple sources have indicated the Bulls are opening the door to all trade possibilities this offseason, not just those involving shooting guard Zach LaVine. They are ready to move on from Ball, which might involve a waive-and-stretch deal that will spread the rest of the money they owe him over a longer period, and will listen to trade offers that involve center Nikola Vucevic and sign-and-trade candidate DeMar DeRozan.

It will have to make sense for Karnisovas, but he finally seems ready to abandon the ‘‘continuity’’ strategy that has failed him the last couple of seasons.

One NBA executive said his feeling is that the Bulls didn’t just trade Caruso for Giddey; it was, in essence, Caruso for Giddey and a first-round pick in the 2025 draft. If the Bulls land in the top 10 of the lottery next season, they will keep their pick; if they don’t, it will go to the Spurs.

The Chicago Bulls appear poised for a titanic shift.

Karnisovas will reveal his hand with whatever he does in tonight’s NBA draft. Many think he may try to move down to accumulate more assets. Such a decision would send a clear signal the Bulls are looking to build for the future. That means guys like Lavin, Vucevic, and DeRozan are on borrowed time. The tricky part is finding decent returns for them all. Save for DeRozan, none of them can be considered highly sought-after pieces. Chicago may have to settle for packages fans may not like.

Still, the overarching goal is clear. Karnisovas hopes to secure a top pick in what should be a stacked 2025 draft. Pairing a top prospect with Josh Giddey, who is still only 21 and has lots of potential, would make for an intriguing starting point in the next phase of Chicago Bulls basketball. If nothing else, it gives fans something they haven’t had the past couple of years: a sense of direction. If management can pull off a minor steal or two, it might finally bring back some optimism.

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Jun 26, 2024 4:50 pm

Coby is better than Giddy, but not one mention of him in this article about the future of the franchise. SMDH

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