This morning on Run It Back FanDuel TV, Shams Charania of The Athletic updated the Chicago Bulls’ mindset since losing their star player Zach LaVine for the remainder of the season. Things were trending toward LaVine being dealt to Detroit and potentially being the only one on the roster moved before Thursday’s trade deadline, but that has since shifted to a new piece on the roster. Who has he isolated that Chicago will likely move on from, and what return can they expect, given his resume and contract situation?
“The Bulls Are Going To Be Open For Those Calls”
Before hearing that LaVine would miss the remainder of the 2023-24 campaign due to right foot surgery in the ballpark of four to six months recovery time, mostly the entire roster for Chicago was safe from being traded this week. However, in light of not being able to trade the former UCLA Bruin and the outlook of this year dwindling with each passing day, things may have turned a corner. Charania reported this morning that the Bulls will be more likely to be open for discussion regarding the expiring contract of their 34-year-old leading scorer.
This was the first of his three-year tenure in Chicago that DeRozan failed to earn an All-Star game nod, and rightfully so. His production has dipped each year since his arrival, and his age may finally be catching up to him. An All-NBA team selection two seasons ago and an All-Star each of the last two, he’ll surely demand premium money this offseason, and his decision could include factors like playing for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers or trying to compete for an NBA title, something the Bulls will not be in the running for. Having failed to reach an agreement at this stage, they’d be best to move on from their veteran leader before he departs and leaves Chicago empty-handed.
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DeRozan Speaks Up On State Of Bulls’ Roster
While DeRozan’s words may signal that he’s all-in on a potential climb back into the postseason picture, the overbearing sighs and demeanor show something different. Suffering through his worst personal season in the last five years, losing his All-Star running mate for the year, and staring down the barrel of free agency this summer, it’s apparent he’s ready for a new chapter. The young core of Chicago has already shown flashes of excellence in spurts, and with a likely output of a Play-In Tournament berth again this season, there’s little to gain from holding on to the 15-year vet.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that Chicago’s front office is in a blender of their mistakes. Extending Zach LaVine without a proper resume or proof of potential, not selling high on assets despite several opportunities the last two seasons, failing to sign any significant free agents despite continued mediocrity over the past three seasons, and now potentially letting a back-to-back All-Star walk this summer and missing the opportunity to bring in future assets at the expense of a Play-In Tournament berth.
How long do Arturas Karnisovas and the rest of his front office have a job if the antics and losing continue?