Warriors ‘Really Wanted’ to Trade for Bulls Playmaker: Report

Steph Curry

Getty The Golden State Warriors really wanted to add Bulls ace Alex Caruso, Zach Lowe says.

The performance of the Chicago Bulls since the NBA’s trade deadline passed on February 9 has come under scrutiny, and for good reason.

The Bulls have lost four games since not making any moves leading up to the trade deadline, and both fans and analysts alike have lambasted the team for its inaction. Chicago sits in 11th place in the East with a 26-32 record, which wouldn’t even be good enough to get the team a spot in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.

“We have to do better than last year,” Bulls vice president Artūras Karnišovas told NBC Sports in September of 2022. “Yearly improvement is what I’m looking for. Ultimately, winning it. That’s the goal. High expectations.”

As it stands, those expectations are nowhere near being met, and if the Bulls fail to make the playoffs after getting into the postseason last year, expect them to finally make some significant changes — although according to multiple reports, they had their chances to shake things up and decided not to.

Bulls Had Suitors for Andre Drummond & Alex Caruso

NBA insider Marc Stein reported on February 13 that the Bulls had received and subsequently declined trade offers for backup center Andre Drummond, and now another top league insider says the Golden State Warriors were also interested in doing business with Chicago.

On the February 15 episode of his podcast The Lowe Post, NBA insider Zach Lowe spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring about Chicago choosing to cling to its players as opposed to using some as trade chips.

“You had guys that would have had value elsewhere, whether it was (Zach) LaVine — they’d been having serious conversations about him — whether it was Caruso. … You had any number of guys that other teams would have been interested in,” Herring said about the Bulls.

“I know for sure that the Warriors really wanted Alex Caruso,” Lowe said,adding: “I don’t think there was anything close to a deal there.”

“I understand that he’s a good player and that he has value, but what are you gonna do with him?” Herring wondered about Caruso.

Bulls Have Been Losing Ugly of Late

Self-destruction has been the name of the game for the Bulls in recent weeks, so it’s fair to wonder about the assemblage of players currently on the roster when changes could have been made. Caruso has certainly provided a spark on both sides of the ball, shooting 44.2% from the floor and 38.1% from downtown in 24.3 minutes a game (stats via ESPN) but if the team isn’t winning, why not entertain offers that could add future draft capital?

There were rumors the Bulls were asking for a ridiculously high price for Caruso, which made some teams balk at the idea of getting into a bidding war. Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported in late January that Chicago was asking for two first-round picks in exchange for Caruso, an extremely high sum for a defensive ace who has started just 19 games all year.

Karnišovas was insistent on keeping this group together, but the team has played wholly uninspiring ball highlighted by an inability to close out games within its reach.

The Bulls were up 39-15 in the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers on February 15 before getting outscored every quarter after that, ultimately losing, 117-113. Three-point shooting has also been an issue for Chicago. The Bulls went 5-of-21 from beyond the arc in their February 11 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they went just 3-of-21 (14.3%) from downtown in their February 13 loss to the Orlando Magic.

The more the Bulls lose, the louder the calls for change will become. We’ll see if Karnišovas listens.

Read More