Will Zach LaVine be traded? What about DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso? Latest Chicago Bulls news about the NBA trade deadline. – Boston Herald
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching — and the Chicago Bulls will be sellers.
Free-agency rules prohibit players from being traded until Dec. 15 or three months after the date of their contract signing, whichever comes later. Because of this latter clause, some players will not be available until January.
It looks most realistic to expect the Bulls to execute a trade around the Feb. 8 deadline. That would give executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas enough time to leverage a variety of trade options.
Here’s what to know about the Bulls, including the likeliest players to be traded — and where they might land.
What are the Bulls saying?
The three-plus years since Karnišovas took over the executive vice president role in April 2020 have been riddled with more frustration than success. The Bulls have made the playoffs once in his tenure. None of his draft selections has made a meaningful impact. And Karnišovas’ first attempt at a rebuild began to implode the moment starting point guard Lonzo Ball was injured in January 2022.
“We see what everyone is seeing and are just as frustrated,” Karnišovas said in November of a 5-14 start. “We’re disappointed, but I’m not running from it. It’s my responsibility.”
Trade target: Zach LaVine
The Bulls entered this season’s trade window as sellers with one main focus: Zach LaVine.
This has been the dominant storyline for more than a month since reports first surfaced that LaVine would be interested in a trade away from Chicago.
It’s unclear what market exists for LaVine throughout the league. Trade chatter has centered mostly on the Los Angeles Lakers, an ideal destination with ties to his agency, plenty of tradable assets and a clear shot at competing in the postseason. Another report mentioned the Sacramento Kings as a possibility. But LaVine’s $215 million maximum contract makes him a harder sell.
Karnišovas will want to move LaVine before making any other changes to the roster, which means the entirety of the Bulls’ movement ahead of the deadline relies on his ability to find a taker for the two-time All-Star guard.
The trade window has been complicated for LaVine, who was shut down until January with a foot injury after struggling through one of the worst starts to the season in his career.
Trade target: DeMar DeRozan
The Bulls are nearing a crossroads with DeMar DeRozan, who will become a free agent this summer if he does not sign a contract extension.
DeRozan has fully delivered on his three-year, $81.9 million contract, earning back-to-back All-Star selections while leading the Bulls offensively and commanding the locker room as a veteran leader. And DeRozan has been vocal about his eagerness to return — and perhaps retire as a Bull.
But the Bulls have not been able to reach terms with DeRozan on an extension. The 34-year-old is eligible for a four-year, $179 million extension.
If the Bulls don’t reach an agreement with DeRozan by the trade deadline, they would need to either deal him or risk allowing him to walk for free this summer.
Trade target: Alex Caruso
Despite often coming off the bench for the Bulls, Alex Caruso is one of the most desirable trade targets on the roster. His smothering defense — and affordable $9.25 million average annual salary — make him attractive to any team looking to stock up for a deep playoff run.
Caruso has struggled to stay on the court, missing five games and exiting three others early with left foot and ankle injuries. But the frequency of his injuries has done little to deter interest from teams in the past.
As of now, the Bulls are reportedly uninterested in hearing any offers for Caruso. But that could change once they get a better sense of how the roster works without LaVine — which of course would rely on the team moving him well before the deadline.
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