Bulls Star Causes Internet Firestorm Over Viral Video: [WATCH]

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls

Getty Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls reacts to a call.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The Chicago Bulls should be wary of Sun Tzu’s proverb, as it may be coming into play with one of their stars after the team’s 119-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The loss featured a new starting lineup with Ayo Dosunmu and Patrick Williams getting sent to the bench in favor of Alex Caruso and Javonte Green.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, it resulted in a similar outcome as they fell to 9-13 on the year.

That loss is sure to fuel growing speculation over the availability of the Bulls’ star trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic as we draw closer to the trade deadline. But former Bulls guard and current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr might be getting the jump on things amid recent rumors.

BS Strikes Again

Bill Simmons of “The Bill Simmons Show” created waves on with his trio of hypothetical trade proposals aimed at guiding the Bulls to the top of the lottery. Zach Lowe confirmed one of those trades – DeRozan and Vucevic to the Los Angeles Lakers for Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks – has been discussed by the L.A. side on his “Lowe Post Podcast“.

Now, Simmons’ “most interesting” trade could be playing out before our eyes.

There are a lot of layers to this, not the least of which is the possible tampering implications if Kerr did indeed discuss a trade directly with Caruso.

It would be quite a bold strategy considering the NBA’s tougher stance on the matter.

The Bulls and Miami Heat were docked second-round picks for tampering with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, respectively. But the league fined the Philadelphia 76ers a pair of second-rounders for making premature contact with P.J. Tucker.

After the game, Kerr was highly complimentary of the Bulls’ defensive ace who was a critical piece of the Lakers’ championship run in 2020.

Caruso leads the Bulls with a plus-14.1 net rating (94th percentile), per Cleaning The Glass.

He had arguably his worst game of the season against the Dubs going 1-for-4 from the floor and 0-for-3 from beyond the arc finishing with just two points and a game-worst minus-17 plus-minus.

In typical fashion, he impacted the game in other ways with six assists (to one turnover), a steal, and connective plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet like this would-be hockey assist.

A BS Offer

It is important to remember a few things about Simmons’ proposed deal. The first is his objective was to send the Bulls into tank mode. Second, we cannot ignore the Bulls’ limited resources in terms of draft capital or cap space when it comes to making the needed adjustments to this roster.

Bulls Get:

Warriors Get:

  • Alex Caruso

This deal only figures to satisfy one objective: tanking. It is arguably the most important thing but they should be able to get more out of moving Caruso.

“Caruso is getting some interest,” a rival executive tells Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney. “They’re not putting him on the market at this point but when it comes to possible moves down the line, he is the guy to watch. He has value even if he has struggled a little bit and it’s a position of strength for the Bulls.”

Moody was a DNP – Coach’s Decision in this contest, his second straight game being a healthy scratch and his fifth time this season. He has vacillated in and out of the rotation as the Warriors have tried to sort out their bench. DiVincenzo is more of a defensive addition who would serve as a poor man’s version of Caruso with less playmaking ability and leadership but more athleticism.

The former is still on his rookie deal after being selected with the 14th overall pick in 2021 while the latter is in the first year of a two-year, $9 million pact with a player option for Year 2.

Caruso is in the second year of a four-year deal worth nearly $37 million.

Bulls Reaching Breaking Point?

As the losses pile up, and teams show greater interest, Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is going to have to make some tough decisions. Be it moving on from a player or holding onto one in the face of an enticing offer.

He is already under intense scrutiny as previous dealings, perhaps, prove to be short-sighted.

There is still time for things to work out for Karnisova’s plan which is heavily reliant on a return to health for the oft and currently injured Ball.

But the Bulls are also said to have little interest in hitting the reset button right now. What does that mean regarding moving an integral piece and fan-favorite like Caruso and, more importantly, how much longer can it last before Karnisovas has to lean even further into one direction over the other?

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