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Bulls reportedly are looking at this deadline to...marginally improve themselves, for some reason


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NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Per usual, while the rest of the league is active in the rumor slop mill, the Bulls have been quiet.

But maybe there are reports out there, we just don’t want to believe them...

As there was late Friday rumoring from The Athletic’s Shams Charania on local radio that the Bulls have been looking to add?

“I’ve heard they’re trying to go get guard help in the trade market … they’re holding out on that hope (Lonzo Ball), but they have been active in the market place, trying to go get a guard out there and see if they can get some help for this group. I’ve heard that more that than I’ve heard ‘hey, they’re shopping Zach or shopping DeMar.’

“From everything I’m told about the Bulls, their full intention and full goal right now is to keep trying to win. They’re trying to be a team that’s going to compete and contend for the playoffs.”

Presumably, that means a playmaker upgrade over starter Ayo Dosunmu (who’s not really a traditional lead playmaker) and Goran Dragic (who’s ancient, though giving more than we could have reasonably expected).

Other reporters on the ground, including Charania’s colleague Darnell Mayberry hear that the Bulls are asking for the moon in potential trade return, and thus expect the team to make marginal changes, if any, at the deadline. Mayberry reported that Chicago has proven so stubborn that it’s even continuing to reject overtures for reserve combo guard Coby White.

This Bulls team is just going to have trouble competing for much, but sure, if we’re going to try harder to get the tenth seed in the East, it makes sense to improve the end of the rotation. Motivations aside, if Chicago’s actually looking to improve, it may also want to find a cheap-ish rim-rolling/rim-protecting center (one would assume that Mo Bamba is readily available) and another three-point shooter along the wing. Oh, and another perimeter defender.

Given the effort level of our front office, we’ll be lucky to get even one of these very real needs addressed. It’ll be a half-measure or nothing at all, ultimately the only guarantee being that at the end of the day $20 million stays with Jerry Reinsdorf.

The Bulls are like that perennial slacker C/D-student in high school, who skated through class on a modicum of effort while doing just enough to not flunk out. It’s clear they could try a whole lot harder (in the Bulls’ case, that means actually committing to a direction that would set the team up for long-term success as an actual contender, not perpetually punting for play-in tournament cameos), but they’re keenly aware that they don’t have to.

Would a teardown make more sense than making the kinds of slight personnel changes that could help Chicago become, at best, first round playoff fodder? Probably. Would Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley be comfortable blowing up the roster that they just put together in the summer of 2021 so soon? Probably not.