Only one day from the trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls have some serious decisions to make. Last night they were one-quarter away from their first .500 record since the five-game mark of the season but only scored 14 points in the final period against the Grizzlies, leading to a 15-point loss without their “King of the Fourth” DeMar DeRozan. Now sitting at 26-28, their next contest could feature some new names or faces and may be missing others that have been there all season. Let’s run down the roster and give a percentage chance that they’ll be traded before tomorrow’s deadline based on what’s been made public to this point.
Ayo Dosunmu, Patrick Williams, Dalen Terry: 0-5%
The youngest of the bunch, these three have little to no chance of being traded before this year’s deadline. While Patrick Williams was all the buzz around this time last year, all three have shown too much potential to be dealt by AK and crew in the front office this year. Dosunmu has had his best week of the year the past seven days and has solidified his roster spot despite the team actively looking for a point guard.
Barring a blockbuster deal where any of these three could bolster the package coming out of Chicago, it’s very safe to say they’ll be around for the second half of this year and beyond and possibly be parts of the next potent trio in the Windy City if more than one of DeRozan, LaVine, or Vucevic is gone after this season.
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine: 0-10%
This slight increase in the chance that they’re dealt shouldn’t alarm anyone and only comes because of the interest these two have drawn from outside teams, not Chicago having any signs of wanting them gone. DeRozan’s chances are lower than LaVine’s because of his recent success in the past two seasons. He’d come with a costly price tag should someone want to trade for the back-to-back All-Star and NBA’s leader in fourth-quarter scoring the last two seasons.
LaVine’s chances are closer to 10% to account for last-second desperation from around the league that drives someone to pick up the phone. The Lakers have proven not to have a package, and Brooklyn doesn’t have one either unless Kevin Durant or virtually the rest of the roster would be in the deal, so this percentage is a crutch in the case that multiple dominos fall unexpectedly, forcing a borderline contender to make a late and aggressive push for the Bulls’ 27-year-old star. That said, there’s an extremely slim chance he’s going anywhere.
Nikola Vucevic: 15-20%
Vucevic is the curious case for Chicago; having not heard definitive answers in either direction and rumors both ways, he’s got the highest chance so far to be dealt. With an expiring contract after this season and no guarantee he will resign, the Bulls may pull the trigger on sending him to a contender for assets rather than letting him walk without anything in return this offseason. The front office has said they’re confident they can resign him this summer.
While the prospect remains, this would also mean the Bulls would need to bring in center help since he is the team’s leader in paint points, blocks, rebounds, and minutes from the center position. With the limited time left and roster work needed after his departure, he’s likely not going anywhere.
Alex Caruso: 20%
Caruso would drive a steep price as one of the game’s best perimeter defenders. His chances are higher only because several teams have been vocal about wanting his services to help aid their championship run, but after this news, there’s been nothing but silence from suitors. Barring any domino moves where a contending team feels they need a defensive bolster at the expense of young talent or multiple draft picks; the Carushow will remain in the Windy City.
Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Coby White: 20%
These three haven’t had much buzz around them nearing the trade deadline. All role players off the bench, and some having better seasons than others; Coby White‘s been the name of interest in the bunch. Green has been hurt for the past month, and Jones Jr. has not generated much trade talk playing well for the smaller second unit the Bulls run off the bench.
The most likely scenario that one of these would be traded is one where they’re add-ons to a bigger deal or a one-for-one swap with some draft capital for either a guard or center off the bench. It’s not likely they trade them just for future assets and only move one if it benefits their team to win now.
Andre Drummond: 80%
Don’t be surprised if Drummond is not in Chicago when the dust settles following Thursday’s deadline. The Bulls have already made it known that they’re “actively shopping” the reserve big man, and until about a week ago, he’d been removed from the rotation entirely. While his last week has been an incredible and historic tear off the bench, it’ll likely only drive his asking price up rather than earn him a roster spot in Chicago for the second half of the season. It’s also surfaced that he may just be bought out and hit the open market if no deal is done in the next day.
Given that five players above were given around a 20% chance of being traded, the best guess is that one of them will be gone before the deadline. Coby White is the popular name, but any of them can be an add-on to a deal for a more prominent name or a direct swap for a facilitating point guard or reserve center following Drummond’s almost certain departure.
With the news that Chicago will more than likely stand pat, anyone under a 20% chance of being traded is safe aside from a massive blockbuster where AK and the front office feels it’s both too good to pass up and gives this year’s team a better chance at a deep playoff run. He and Donovan have both been very vocal this year that the issue does not lie within the roster and that the season can be salvaged with the current locker room of players. Chicago will visit the hottest player in the NBA, Cam Thomas, and the Brooklyn Nets just hours after the deadline has passed.
Will they bring the same roster they have now, or will a few of them miss the trip and be headed elsewhere around the NBA?
Does anyone really care anymore?