Trade talk has taken over the 4-8 Chicago Bulls just one month into the 2023 season, and although Zach LaVine’s name has been the most popular, another player is seen as more valuable on the trade block. LaVine’s value comes with baggage, including a lack of playoff success, an expensive and long-term contract, a proven lack of versatility and consistency, and a weak overall resume to this point in his career. At 34 years old, DeMar DeRozan’s value is worsened, and the fact that he’ll be a free agent this summer, coupled with his ineffectiveness without the ball in his hands, makes him a tough sell on the market. One Bull would be the perfect addition to any playoff team with his grit, proven defensive record, shot-making ability, cheap contract, and versatility. Who are general managers around the NBA honing in on, and what’ll it take to pull him out of Chicago?
Caruso’s Steep Price Tag
Alex Caruso is the perfect addition to any postseason team. His ability to effectively eliminate the opposition’s top-scoring or playmaking guard, his knack for turnovers, and his high basketball IQ make for the final piece to a championship run. At the 2022 trade deadline, Arturas Karnisovas said that the Bulls were asking for two first-round picks in exchange for the 29-year-old defensive pest, a price that teams were unwilling to pay then.
Bulls Should Start The Rebuild
As hard as it is to admit, this Chicago Bulls roster is not getting the job done. By any account, Zach LaVine’s tenure with the team has been nothing short of a failure. Even though he blossomed into a two-time All-Star selection and max-contract player, he’s brought one lone playoff victory to the city in seven years. Chicago should pounce on the opportunity to dump his salary, move on from DeRozan before he hits unrestricted free agency this summer, and deal Caruso to a contender before they’re all worth significantly less over the offseason. Bidding wars are expected around the trade deadline as a flurry of franchises try to catch one another before the heated postseason race begins.
Starting 2023 at 4-8 in the bottom third of the league in three-point percentage and shots attempted, Chicago is experiencing the same woes as the past two seasons. They’re also a bottom-five team in offensive rating and have the fourth-worst record in the Eastern Conference. With only Patrick Williams, 22 years old, and Coby White, 23 years old, as a future core to build on, there’s no distinct direction for the franchise. Both players have been wildly inconsistent and have not proven worthy of handing the keys to the clubhouse at this point in their careers. The 2023-24 trade deadline could be the last chance for Karnisovas and company to save the future of the Chicago Bulls and their jobs moving forward.
How far into a fire sale should the Chicago Bulls go, and how long before they pull the trigger on opening the floodgates of a full-blown roster reconstruction? Expect Caruso, LaVine, and DeRozan to be headed elsewhere at a minimum if the ship doesn’t turn around soon in the Windy City.