Evaluating Bulls Trade Rumors Before The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline

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As we approach the upcoming NBA trade deadline, not a day goes by where we don’t see some Chicago Bulls trade rumors. They’re everywhere. No matter where you get your NBA news, whether it’s the Twitter timeline, Instagram feed, or ESPN app, chances are you’ve seen some of the trade scenarios that are out there by now.

So with all the Bulls trade rumors, is it really time for the team to blow things up? We’re no experts at managing NBA franchises, but maybe.

What Bulls Trade Rumors Are Out There?

Where do we even start?

Alex Caruso, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vučević, or even an injured Lonzo Ball. Pretty much any name on the roster has been involved in a Bulls trade rumor these days. With that being said, let’s start with some of the guys who are less likely to be moved at the deadline.

Alex Caruso

Despite what opposing franchises may be hoping for, we just don’t see the Bulls moving on from Alex Caruso at all. Like a few other guys, he’s practically untouchable as the heart of the defense and foundation for the team’s culture. And Billy Donovan seems to echo the same sentiment

When Caruso’s on the floor, the Bulls are one of the top defensive units in the entire NBA with a defensive rating of 110.7. And when you give him a breather? That rating drops dramatically to 116.8. A number that’s one of the worst in the league. To add to all of that, he leads the team in plus/minus with +117 on the year.

So, to put it simply, if you see a Bulls trade rumor involving Alex Caruso before February 9, just chalk it up as some classic clickbait and ignore it entirely.

Lonzo Ball

Another guy we’ve seen named by ESPN in their latest NBA trade deadline column. But for us, it’s not happening.

Given the bleak outlook Billy Donovan recently provided on Lonzo Ball’s recovery, odds are few, if any, teams will pursue him at the deadline. Sure, he could be packaged up with another player or two – which is what ESPN proposed in their blockbuster scenario, but we’ll touch on that later. However, with everything going on with Ball, it’d be a bit of a risk for any franchise. Especially since the Bulls likely wouldn’t let him go for nothing.

So Who’s More Likely To Be Dealt?

Honestly, the last two guys on our list from above: Zach LaVine and Nikola Vučević. 

Zach LaVine

Since he was named in ESPN’s post, we’ll start with Zach first.

It’s not the craziest of Chicago Bulls trade rumors whenever you see LaVine listed nowadays. After agreeing to a 5-year max contract extension worth $215 million over the summer, LaVine’s first year on his new deal likely isn’t 100% of what the Bulls were hoping for. Some fans probably want to see LaVine moved while others aren’t quite there yet. But, given that he’s entering his prime and has a massive contract, moving him is a possibility. 

In ESPN’s proposed trade, the Bulls would send LaVine, Ball, and Javonte Green to the Lakers for Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Max Christie, and two unprotected first round picks in 2027 and 2029. That’s a lot of pieces, and IF it happened, it basically signals that the Bulls are electing to start rebuilding. And it’s not entirely out of the question with all the talk about the strained relationship between LaVine and Donovan.

Nikola Vučević

Between all three guys that make up the Chicago Bulls ‘Big Three’, we see Nikola Vučević as the one most likely to be dealt before the 2023 NBA trade deadline.

For starters, things haven’t really panned out for Vučević on the Bulls. He’s the third scoring option behind DeRozan and LaVine, and excluding the past month, hasn’t seemed to mesh well with the Bulls style of play. Additionally, Vučević is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer when he inevitably doesn’t reach an extension with the Bulls. 

After giving up two first round picks to acquire him, would the Bulls really want to let him walk for nothing? Not likely.

It’s tough to point to any player on our roster and say that they should go. But with Vučević, it might be time. Should it actually happen, there’s a strong chance that he would add immediate value to whatever team he joined. Especially if he continues playing the way he has the past month. 

Only time will tell to see if any such deal occurs. But, if we had to put our money on any Bulls trade rumors this year, it’d be the ones that involve our big guy.

This year’s NBA Trade Deadline is on Thursday, February 9 at 2PM CST, and you can visit the NBA’s website to keep track of all the action.

Featured Image Credit: Chicago Bulls’ Instagram

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