Following another mediocre start to the season, the Chicago Bulls are being eyed by teams around the league as potential sellers with their best players being scouted, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
While appearing on Friday’s episode of NBA Today, Windhorst reported that teams have been keeping a close eye on Bulls’ game over the first couple weeks of the campaign.
“In talking to some people around the league, the scouts are jamming themselves into Bulls games because they realize that at some point, the Bulls may break this team up,” Windhorst said. “And they’re all gathering intelligence like, ‘What’s gonna happen with the Bulls?'”
Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan would be likely targets for any team looking to deal with Chicago. LaVine was linked with the Philadelphia 76ers in the wake of the James Harden trade, while DeRozan and the Bulls are reportedly “far apart” in contract talks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. DeRozan is an expiring contract and is set to hit free agency after this season.
It’s probably a move that’s a bit overdue, but the Bulls still stand to gain quite a bit if they decide to blow things up and part ways with DeRozan, LaVine and Nikola Vucevic and adding to their draft capital.
The franchise has been bordering on mediocrity for the last few seasons, making the postseason just once since 2018. They went 40-42 last year and had plenty of pundits calling for the front office to begin a rebuild.
A notion DeRozan strongly disagrees with.
“I think a lot of people who say that or suggest that really don’t understand basketball at all, in my opinion,” he told Sportskeeda’s Mark Medina in September. “You can think that’s an answer or that’s a route. But there’s no telling how long that route is going to even last. That route doesn’t necessarily always work in a timely fashion that you may think it will take.”
With DeRozan and Vucevic at 34 and 33 years old, respectively, the value Chicago may get for them will be diminished compared to if they had done the trade a few seasons ago.
LaVine, however, is still a valuable asset at 28. The two-time All-Star is averaging 22.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists as the Bulls have gotten off to a 3-6 start.
They sit in 12th in the Eastern Conference.
If things continue to trend down as it gets closer to the trade deadline, the expectation should be that there will be change in the Windy City.