clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bulls trade rumors: well, it’s deadline day. There’s no legit reason they can’t do something

let’s talk about the rest of the league, at least?

Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In the game that is the NBA, the Bulls are a non-playable character.

Last night on trade deadline eve, the latest superstar trade occurred while the Bulls were sleeping, with Kevin Durant heading to the Phoenix Suns.

Now is the reaction to the front office something along the lines of “dang, we need to get in position to land a superstar”, or “wow, maybe we can leap the Nets for 8th place!”

It isn’t technically true that the Bulls will do nothing today. But based off of the past three transaction cycles, and the lack of communication, it’s all but assumed.

The speculated - again, we’re forced to speculate because they never say anything - plan is that the Bulls still want to see what they have and evaluate heading into the stretch run of the season. There’s a glaring problem with that philosophy: this is a deadline. Waiting and seeing is a luxury they don’t have, they need to do some unfinished evaluation and projection now.

And if the Bulls really wanted to support the current team, they’d look to add. This team still has gaping weaknesses in point guard play, outside shooting, and rim protection. But to do that, they realistically can’t triple-down by sending out more assets, and they won’t spend any more money. So that’s why you get the basement-level rumors of additions like signing a bought-out Russell Westbrook.

It doesn’t have to be this way! And it doesn’t have to be “blow it up”, either. Zach Lowe has a good line on this when discussing the Bulls this season: they don’t need to choose a direction, they just chose the direction 2 years ago! So I wouldn’t trade DeRozan (because he’s great) or LaVine (because he’s not that great, and nobody else thinks so either)

But there are things they can do that aren’t totally franchise-altering. Forget seeing what they have for this year, think about next year.

  • Figure out with Nikola Vucevic , either trade him or get an extension done while you have exclusive negotiating rights (and threat of a trade)
  • See if you can drive up a bidding war from actual contenders for Alex Caruso
  • Replenish the asset base with minor deals. If the Sixers are legitimately interested in Andre Drummond, trade him, even if it’s just 2nd round picks. The Bulls are not only first round deprived but have very few 2nd rounders to use as well, and as you’ll see today those are used all the time to get deals across the finish line (like AK did with their flurry of moves in the 2021 free agency period)
  • Get a look on some young players either traded or bought out post-deadline. If this is going to continue to be a cheap franchise, they need to do a better job cycling the end of the roster and seeing if anybody sticks.

Instead, we probably will get this:

But try and enjoy today anyway, it’s fun to follow teams that are trying to win, or even trying to build a better future. The Bulls are likely doing neither, but dare to dream.