The Chicago Bulls are 11-17, which places them 11th in the Eastern Conference standings. Factoring their struggles this season, and what they may potentially have to give up to the Orlando Magic, the Bulls are looking at what their options are going forward, according to Brett Siegel of Sports Illustrated.
“Many around the league have their eyes on the Chicago Bulls right now as a team that could potentially look to ‘sell’ ahead of the trade deadline and league sources told Fastbreak on FanNation that the Bulls are currently evaluating all of their options,” Siegel said.
A source told Siegel that there is validity to the rumors that the Bulls may start over as they evaluate where they are currently at as a team.
“I’ll say this, those so-called ‘rumors’ out there talking about the Bulls potentially tearing everything apart. There is movement to these talks, and the Bulls are actively evaluating themselves and all of their options both to add and move talent ahead of the deadline.”
The 2023 first-round pick the Bulls sent the Magic is top-4 protected, as they agreed to when they acquired Nikola Vucevic, so if they finish outside of the top four, that pick goes to Orlando.
Nikola Vucevic Listed Among Players ‘Most Likely to be Traded’
In a December 15 NBC Sports story, Kurt Helin listed ten NBA players who were the most likely to be traded. Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was ranked no. 6. Helin explained that Vucevic’s abilities on the offensive end make him an appealing trade target while adding which teams are interested in him.
“The most likely Bull to be traded is Vucevic, the veteran, offensive-minded center averaging 16.3 points and 10.6 rebounds a game who can space the floor from 3 (36.1%). The Lakers have tried to talk Russell Westbrook plus a pick for DeRozan and Vucevic, but so far, that has gotten nowhere. Teams from New York to Dallas have been rumored to have interest in Vucevic. Expect those rumors to ramp up as we get closer to the deadline.”
Vucevic is in the last year of his contract. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, there have been no talks about an extension.
“There are no ongoing contract extension conversations between the Bulls and Nikola Vucevic,” Fischer said. “Chicago never truly had significant negotiations to restructure its starting center’s deal. Whether that points to greater trade activity with the Bulls, of course, remains to be seen.”
Lakers Interested in Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan
In Helin’s article, he revealed that front offices expect the Bulls to be sellers and that they are interested in DeMar DeRozan.
“Front offices expect the Bulls to be sellers at the trade deadline — even if the Bulls themselves aren’t there yet — and hope that Zach LaVine becomes available, although league sources told NBC Sports it’s doubtful he gets traded. The Lakers have interest in DeMar DeRozan, but the asking price for the 33-year-old guard will be high.”
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report reported the same while adding that they were interested in Vucevic too, but are undecided on reuniting with former guard Alex Caruso.
“The Lakers have interest in DeMar DeRozan and Vučević, likely for two future first-round picks (and Westbrook). It’s unclear if L.A. would also want to bring back Alex Caruso.”