Will Injuries Lead To New Core?

The NBA Trade deadline is February the 8th. After returning from a foot injury earlier this month Zach LaVine who has publicly asked, through the media, to be traded was back for six games then hurt his ankle in the game on January the 18th against the Toronto Raptors. Now he is expected to return sometime this week or early next week.

This leaves very little time for Bulls President Artūras Karnišovas and Bulls GM Marc Eversley to get a trade done before the deadline that will actually get useful assets especially when we consider the fact that he and his agent have supposedly told the Bulls that he wants to go to Los Angeles and play with LeBron James.

Here’s the thing folks: There was a glimmer of hope a few weeks ago that Lonzo Ball might be able to make it back by next season. However, I read in a few places over the weekend that he still is struggling to do even do a light jog. This means it is time to move on from the entire current core.

Unfortunately, though, LaVine’s injuries this season, injury history throughout his career, and the fact that he is signed through the 2025-2026 season it just does not seem realistic the Bulls will get an offer that makes sense for LaVine until the off-season. DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, or Nikola Vucevic have all spent minimal time injured this season. Also, we can not forget about Patrick Williams who is under team control through next season and Julian Phillips who is under team control through the 2025-2026 season.

They would also be great guys to use in a package deal at the deadline or in the off-season to help get a better return. By sending both of them packing with DeRozan, Caruso, or Vucevic at the trade deadline Karnišovas and Eversley would be jumpstarting a restructuring of the core while also making it official that they are moving on from the big four after this season.

At the end of the day: trading DeRozan, Caruso, or Vucevic in a package deal with one or two others would net the Bulls more and give them a much better chance at getting a play-in spot while also helping them build around Coby White for next season and beyond. This would also give the Bulls options with LaVine in the off-season and possibly allow them to get a better return for him.

With that… it is time for Karnišovas and Eversley to shift focus way from trading injured goods unless they want to become the next iteration of Gar-Pax on Chicago’s West Side.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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