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Bulls rumors: it’s trade deadline time

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we gonna do something?

2020 Chicago Bulls NBA Draft Team Operations Room
hello darkness my old friend...
Photo by Joe Pinchin/NBAE via Getty Images

The Bulls have until 2pm central today to execute their first trade in the Arturas Karnisovas era, a ‘new regime’ that was brought on board nearly a year ago now.

A year is a long time in the NBA. With shorter contracts and so much player movement overall, a lot can happen in that time and the idea of patient deliberation while adding 1-2 players in the draft every summer to develop and evaluate is out of date bordering on malpractice.

So far, Karnisovas has done that bare minimum. Didn’t even address around a half-dozen guys who should’ve been churned out already. And even the obvious moves like firing the worst coach in the league took unnecessarily long.

And like that Boylen fiasco, though ultimately turning out very well, the possible answers to why 85% of the roster hasn’t been addressed yet are not good.

a) Karnisovas, who has a reputation as a great talent evaluator, just so happened to like all these GarPax guys. That must’ve been such convenience in the interview!

b) Karnisovas knows enough to get some new blood in here and actually work ‘player development’, but was told by ownership to sit on his hands (and payroll) for this pandemic year of financial losses. And worse, Karnisovas agreed.

If it was a case where they figured trade value would increase in season, that was dubious logic at the time and indeed didn’t happen. Zach LaVine jumped a level, Thad Young perhaps into a first-round return (in which case: TAKE IT), but everyone else’s only went down.

We’ll see what they do today. There aren’t any fresh hot rumors beyond some interest in Lauri Markkanen mentioned earlier in the week. I would be ‘fine’ even if they do nothing by 2pm but then immediately waive four players who they couldn’t trade.

This is a new, and purportedly tight-lipped, front office. So we don’t really know how Karnisovas even views his team. Is he delusional like he suggested other teams playing for the East play-in are, a bunch of bad teams where the Bulls will likely make it by default regardless? Does he even have a goal of making the play-in (didn’t set any), or is something like a bad loss to the Cavaliers last night immaterial to his supposed ‘strong vision’ on building a contender?

I just want to see the team TRY. GarPax went on an insane 10-year streak of doing no in-season trades beyond salary dumps (ended in the Otto Porter deal two deadlines ago) which was not only depressing in the lack of improvement in the team but also emphasized the total lack of relevance the Chicago NBA franchise had. Trade season is so big it almost dwarfs the regular season, let’s at least participate.