Getting inside a week before the trade deadline, the scariest sight for any team is the unknown that awaits on the other side. That area is especially gray for Chicago, sitting at 23-27 through 50 games with plenty of contractual complications to go along with the disappointing record. Zach Lowe, one of the industry’s most respected insiders and podcasters, gave a less-than-stellar update regarding the Bulls from the opposing teams around the league.
No One Has A Clue
Long story short, no one knows what the Chicago Bulls will do as the deadline rapidly approaches. During the last month, there have been dozens of reports that specific players are “good as gone,” that others are “untouchable,” some that “want out,” and ones that are “unhappy.” While some of these have carried more traction than others, and more clarity was thought to have come the closer the February 9th date has gotten, the opposite has happened.
“I don’t thing anyone knows what the Bulls Are going to do around the league, I don’t think teams who have talked to chicago knows what they’re going to do, Having talked to a lot of those teams.”Zach Lowe via The Lowe Post Podcast
After a hot stretch at the end of 2022 spanning into early 2023, the Bulls have returned to mediocrity, losing three of their last four and sitting outside the play-in tournament entirely. They still own a record of 8-2 this season against the last three Eastern Conference winners, proving that the capability for an elite team is still within the currently constructed roster.
“One Or None” Will Be Traded
Lowe continues on his podcast to say that his best guess after speaking with the league’s front offices is that Chicago may open their ears to one of their ‘Big Three’ if they get the right offer. With things spiraling downwards in the Windy City, that’s the most likely scenario.
Nikola Vucevic’s contract expires after this season, DeMar DeRozan is seeking a max extension this offseason, and Zach Lavine is not playing up to his recently inked max deal this past summer. Those three things combined make for one major headache if this season does not go according to plan, which is making a deep postseason run. Currently sitting out of the playoff picture certainly doesn’t indicate that things will go smoothly as the season closes.
“The closest thing to a concensus read on the Bulls is that they’ll either trade one of the three, or none of the three (DeMar, Vucevic, Lavine),”..”They don’t seem to have an appetite for the full-scale, trade everybody.”Zach Lowe via The Lowe Post Podcast
There’s been no shortage of mock trades drawn up for each of the three candidates mentioned, Vucevic and Lavine being the most popular of them. Barring bringing in surrounding talent, Chicago should pull the trigger on sending one of these guys elsewhere while their value is hot. Vucevic is playing arguably the best basketball of his career this past month, and Lavine’s youth and outside shooting are two heavily sought-after qualities when bolstering a playoff-ready roster.
Realism sets in on this news when accepting that silence from the phones in the Windy City most likely means that Chicago will remain stagnant at the deadline and not budge. There have been murmurs that the front office believes this roster has enough talent to win, and that the early struggles can be attributed to a spur of injuries and various other uncontrollable factors that can be salvaged in the second half of the 2022-23′ season. This could quickly turn into a silent deadline from the Bulls and a do-or-die situation for everyone in the organization, including the front office, players, and coaching staff. Is it time to hit the trading block, or put all the chips in the current basket?
After 39 years I think I’m ready to jump ship on both the Bulls and White Sox if some moves arent made. Not going to root for teams that don’t try
Awesome! Another front office that stubbornly thinks that the players they drafted or traded for are the right guys to get it all done and win a championship once everything magically falls into place. To be on the outside looking in at both championship contenders and rebuilders with an eye for the future! Ahh, mediocrity.