Decoding the Speculation: Is it Time for the Bulls to Embrace a New Chapter without LaVine?

All the signs point to the Chicago Bulls blowing up their roster amid all the trade rumors surrounding Zach LaVine.

It is looking more and more likely that the Chicago Bulls are going to blow up their roster, with Zach LaVine expected to be the first domino to fall in a rebuilding effort for the Windy City franchise.
NBA rumors: Zach LaVine is not interested in getting traded to the Knicks

Many people around the NBA are of the belief that the Bulls have “changed” their stance when it comes to their roster headlined by LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. Before, the team made it clear that they don’t want to enter a rebuild. Now, however, they are expected to try to get back the assets that they lost in building their team, plus more talents that will better fit a possible youth movement.

“For as long as Chicago has petered out of the playoff picture, his [Arturas Karnisovas’] Bulls have resisted league-wide inquiries about trading their veterans, leaving a strong belief around the league that Chicago ownership has never been in favor of taking steps toward any type of rebuild. Various league personnel familiar with the situation now consider that stance to have changed. That the Bulls’ most advantageous path forward is clearly to recoup as many players with upside and as much draft capital as possible after forfeiting a pair of first-round picks to acquire Vucevic, plus another first-round selection and two second-rounders to obtain DeRozan in a sign-and-trade,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports wrote.

Aside from Zach LaVine dominating the trade talks, DeMar DeRozan is widely projected to be moved as well, especially after he failed to reach a contract extension with the team over the summer. As the trade deadline nears, there could be a lot of deals coming out of Chicago.

“DeRozan and the Bulls did not make meaningful progress in contract extension negotiations this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports, which should put the veteran scorer, and six-time All-Star, squarely in trade candidacy as the calendar flips closer to February, as well,” Fischer added.

Zach LaVine could be the first domino to fall

DeMar DeRozan next to Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine has been in several trade rumors as of late, especially after it was reported that the Bulls are open to move him. He remains the team’s best player despite his early-season struggles, and Chicago can still get a significant return if they move him.

Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints confirmed as much in a recent report, emphasizing that LaVine is the player that Chicago is most “open to moving.” The superstar guard, for his part, is not against the idea of a change amid the team’s woes.

“Chicago has shown more of a willingness to evaluate all of their roster options, league sources said, and out of their three stars, LaVine is the player the Bulls are open to moving. LaVine is also open to the idea of change and is keeping an open mind about what the future holds,” Siegel wrote on Thursday.
Chicago Bulls: Ranking NBA's best young cores today

It remains to be seen where the Bulls end up sending LaVine if they end up trading him, though. So far a number of teams have reportedly expressed some level of interest in acquiring the former Slam Dunk Contest winner, such as as Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. The question, however, is if any of them is willing to meet Chicago’s high asking price of multiple first-round picks and young talents that can be difference-makers.

The San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings have been mentioned as potential landing spots for LaVine as well, though it’s unknown how much interest they have.

Fans can only wait and see what the Bulls do from now until November. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t be too surprised if the team really blows it up. At this point, it seems it’s only a matter of “when” and not “if.”

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