The primary objective for the Chicago Bulls is to explore trade options for their two-time All-Star, Zach LaVine, as reported by K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Other potential roster moves are likely on hold until the front office assesses the aftermath of a possible LaVine trade. However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicates that there is currently no active trade market for the high-scoring guard.
In contemplating a LaVine trade, Johnson introduces a challenging scenario in which the Bulls might need to include Alex Caruso. According to Johnson, Caruso is viewed as a significant success story under the current regime and embodies the culture the franchise aims to project. Trading Caruso would be a painful decision for the management team, given his first-team All-Defensive selection last season and championship experience with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
Caruso, described by Matt Moore of Action Network as the “hardest” guard to acquire before the previous season’s trade deadline, holds additional appeal due to his modest four-year, $36.9 million contract. Johnson acknowledges the front office’s reluctance to entertain offers for Caruso, emphasizing that he could be a valuable asset for championship-contending teams.
While the Lakers have been linked to LaVine in trade rumors, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reports that their primary focus is on acquiring Caruso and DeMar DeRozan rather than LaVine. Including Caruso in a potential deal might serve as an incentive, but as of now, the Lakers are not ready to engage in negotiations, potentially delaying other trade possibilities for the Bulls.
In response to questions about the team’s priorities, Johnson notes that rival teams assume the Bulls’ management is primarily focused on the LaVine situation. The chances of Nikola Vucevic being traded are deemed minimal, given his recent three-year, $60 million contract extension. Bulls general manager Marc Eversley emphasizes the importance of retaining Vucevic, a two-time All-Star big man.
Despite mutual interest in an extension for DeMar DeRozan, talks have stalled. DeRozan, in the final year of a three-year, $81.9 million contract, is keen on evaluating the team’s direction before making a decision. The Bulls, facing the possibility of DeRozan walking in free agency, are considering their options.
DeRozan is reportedly interested in the New York Knicks and Miami Heat as potential landing spots if traded, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. The recent back-to-back wins for the Bulls may provide temporary relief, but sustained success remains uncertain, prompting the front office to explore various roster possibilities.