Speculation Growing About Bulls Star’s Potential Trade Demand

Chicago Bulls

Getty Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls reacts to action on the floor.

The Chicago Bulls couldn’t have gotten that win at a better time. Their 110-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks was redemptive in more than one way. Atlanta had beaten Chicago just nine days earlier on a buzzer-beating play by rookie AJ Griffin.

This time, it was the Bulls who pulled off the last-minute heroics to avoid a repeat of the overtime scenario they experienced in the first meeting.

Had second-year guard Ayo Dosunmu’s shot not gone in, things could have gotten ugly.

A new report states that, amid news of multiple team meetings and a halftime blowup aimed at Zach LaVine, there could be an entirely different star that is looking for a change of scenery in DeMar DeRozan. The veteran is having another good season but is said to be part of LaVine’s frustration.

Deebo Could Want to Go

“If matters don’t improve this season,” writes Bleacher Report NBA insider Chris Haynes, “rival executives believe it could lead star guard DeMar DeRozan to request to be moved in the offseason.”

This is quite the change from the recent rumors of potential discord on behalf of LaVine who some have speculated would rather be elsewhere.

Or, perhaps, with a new group of teammates — whichever comes first.

For what it’s worth, DeRozan acknowledged there is some strain on the relationship between him and LaVine. But he did not sound like he was ready to break it up.

“It’d be a problem if we didn’t have any type of aggressive confrontation someway,” DeRozan countered. “It ain’t like nobody throwing blows or throwing chairs or anything like that.

A trade could still happen, especially if the Bulls are not able to continue building on their current two-game winning streak. Even in losing efforts, they simply cannot go back to the lackadaisical play that has plagued them for most of the season.

DeRozan has been one of the few constants, averaging 25.9 points per game on 60.1% true shooting with 5.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.

He currently ranks third on the team in net rating at plus-8, per Cleaning The Glass.

“DeRozan…has one year remaining on his deal,” Haynes continues. “Playing on an expiring contract is a non-starter for most high-caliber players. The options: Extend after the season or ask for a new location. Chicago has its work cut out.”

There have been no public signs of DeRozan wanting out of Chicago. Still, it is possible he is traded anyway if the season continues off the rails.

Summertime Vibes

At 33 and in his 14th NBA season, DeRozan no doubt would like to compete for a title in earnest once again before he eventually hangs it up. But retirement doesn’t seem to be on DeRozan’s mind and the Bulls might not be as eager to part with the player as some other teams might hope.

Bulls insider K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported that he could see DeRozan getting a second contract in Chicago when his current three-year, $81.9 million deal expires. However, Johnson has since listed DeRozan as the Bulls’ most valuable trade asset.

Meanwhile, the team has also been on the “blow it up” radar since the summer.

The window for this current group is as limited as its apparent ceiling.

Vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has shown supreme patience in the face of that harsh reality. It will be interesting to see how long he can maintain that resolve if these last two wins prove to be exceptions and not the new rule.

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