Zach Lavine is not him, and unfortunately, nobody really is so here's what we can do

Surprisingly, the temperature of this Bulls team hasn't changed much despite wins over the Heat and the Hawks. By no means are victories over those squads supposed to be indicative of a huge turnaround, but you'd at least think people would feel a tiny bit different.

Hell, it wasn't even 24 hours and Chris Haynes is already starting rumors of DeMar DeRozan asking out. This feeling of confusion is all too similar. And that probably means it's time to blow this thing up.

Charles Barkley said on Inside recently that it's time for the Bulls to rebuild. You'd typically see that being said about a team that's trapped in mediocrity for 4-5 years.

Meanwhile, we made the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons, we were the hottest team in the NBA within this calendar year, and we're, what, supposed to be packing up for the long haul already? Lonzo discluded, we're not even that ravaged by injury.

And yet, it's 1000% the way to go.

It's no secret that the top-tier best players in NBA history, a subgroup of last year's top 75, are those who can be No.1 guys on a championship team. There's plenty of great sidekicks on that larger list, and then there's the names who are different from the rest because they alone get their teams to that unique level. The Birds, Jordans, Duncans, and most recently shown, Currys (Curries?) who make up that Pantheon of players. Moreover, as NBA seasons continue, you need to have one of "those guys" on your team to actually have a shot at winning at all.

I am fairly convinced Zach Lavine is not one of "those guys". I am almost positive DeMar DeRozan is not one of "those guys". I'm pretty sure Andre Drummond is not one of "those guys".

So what's the f*cking point?

Mediocrity for a few years is worth it if we have players on our team that can recruit a top name in a couple years when salary frees up, but Zach Lavine's own team right now doesn't want to play with him.

It's also worth it if we have some value down the road that we can flip into one of "those guys" to place alongside existing talent. This was done in 2018 when the Raptors upgraded DeMar for Kawhi, but this DeMar can't even get us Kawhi now. And our young talent pool with Ayo and maybe Pat isn't looking like it will be the strongest to leverage either.

However, here's what we do have, talented players at the current moment that teams aren't yet terrified of and the potential to pull in some major draft capital with that.

Danny Ainge saw this in Boston when Pierce and KG were nearing the end, and he used their value at the moment to grab picks that became Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and the latter is looking like one of "those guys".

I don't even think the body was cold yet in Utah and he quickly knew that free agency wasn't going to be their path to getting a game changer because most of the league clowns on Rudy Gobert. And now, he not only has kind of a promising core led by He Who Shall Not Be Named (He's Finnish), but there's a legit chance A-Rod gave them the Wemby pick.

And from looking at this, there's a real key to Ainge's method that more teams should borrow from. We have to strategically trade players to the most likely sh*tshows. Ainge probably had a good feeling Deron Williams will have turned to boxing in the next decade, and he definitely knew there was no chance Anthony Edwards is going to be able to attack the rim with two 7-footers on his team.

I think a great candidate for Lavine and maybe Vooch too is Dallas. Something like Bertans, THJ, Powell, Finney-Smith and some unprotected firsts for Vooch and Zach.

I see Luka wanting out to play with Jokic not too long from now, and you know what's gonna fuel that dumpster fire? Zach Lavine not being as healthy as they thought he was and Vooch standing like 4 feet out of the paint after the ballhandler blows by either of them. The promise is also definitely there for Dallas to see with all the success Jason Kidd had with the 3-guard attack last year and getting Lavine in as a high-flying Brunson replacement. Vooch and Doncic could have a Balkan buddies thing going that could convince Cuban to pull the trigger.

And if all goes terribly, there's a high lottery pick in 2025 or 2027 that can be one of "those guys" for the Bulls.

Now here's the dream scenario. DeRozan and Caruso to the Knicks. Tom Thibodeau might actually fall over and croak if he found out he has the chance to play AC 48 minutes a game.

All jokes aside, we all know it's players like that his teams need to be successful. I also believe DeRozan is a phenomenal player when used the right way and think the Knicks are better in the short-term from this deal.

The Knicks surprisingly have a pretty decent stash of good salary filler, young talent in Toppin, Reddish, and Barrett, and picks to send back the other way. There's actually a kid from Chicago who's not playing and making 14.5 this year that could be cool to have back in town.

The picks are obviously key here because there's no chance this doesn't at least blow up in the Knicks' face a few years from now, but the role players we can get back from both teams like Finney-Smith or Fournier could potentially be flipped again to contenders for more 1sts or maybe... help build a good base of role players for Chosen One 2.0.

Let's see if AK and Eversley have the balls to pull this one, but one thing is for sure, change is very necessary.

Note: this is my first crack at blogging ever so please don't tear me apart here, I probably went way too long on this. Feedback very much welcome in the comments, and Chicagoan-like discussion even more welcome. Thank you for reading.

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