Will The Core Be Separated In Chicago?

Note: This article was published after all games were over on November 27, 2023.

Chicago Bulls

The big story to watch is that of the Bulls Rookie Forward Julian Phillips who was sent to the G League a few days ago only to return against the Raptors on Saturday and make his presence felt playing just under 5 minutes. With the impending fire sale of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and potentially Alex Caruso if Phillips is able to get more playing time in the coming weeks that would likely increase the chance of change coming on Chicago’s West Side. It could be too little to late to save the 2023-2024 season though depending when they sell.

Next 3 Games:
at Boston Celtics (Tuesday)
Home vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Thursday)
Home vs. New Orleans Pelicans (Saturday)

Philadelphia 76ers

The hot story to watch in Philly right now is the story of a three team trade that is in the works between the Bulls, 76ers, and Sacramento Kings that would blow the Bulls up leaving only six time All Star DeMar DeRozan in Chicago. If the big three team trade goes down it would send Caruso to Sacramento and in a sperate trade send DeRozan to the Sixers.

Of all the trade possibilities that have been discussed in the media the last couple weeks this one seems the most realistic especially considering LaVine has a massive $40 million contract that will be very hard for the Bulls to find a trade-partner for without eating some of that contract.

Next 3 Games:
at New Orleans Pelicans (Wednesday)
at Boston Celtics (Friday)
Home vs. Washington Wizards (Monday)

Boston Celtics

There are two injury related stories to watch in Boston. Jrue Holiday has missed the last couple games with an ankle sprain and Kristaps Porzingis has been out with a left calf strain for a few games. Here’s the thing folks: these two guys are very important to the Celtics keeping their top spot in the Eastern conference and their injuries could lead to at least one minor trade if they linger into January.

Next 3 Games:
Home vs. Bulls (Tuesday)
Home vs. 76ers (Friday)
Home vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (Tuesday)

Indiana Pacers

In Indianapolis there are two stories to watch. First, the return of Aaron Nesmith who was out for two games dealing with a wrist sprain before Monday’s game against the Trail Blazers. He scored 7 points in his return but they would lose 114-110. The other story to watch is that of Jalen Smith who left the game Tuesday in the middle of the third quarter with a heal contusion. If he misses both games in Miami that could be a small blow to their place in the Eastern conference because without him and Nesmith healthy it will be hard for the Pacers to keep pace without making a couple trades.

Next 3 Games:
at Miami Heat (Thursday and Saturday)
at Detroit Pistons (Monday)

With that… on Tuesday Group Play will end in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

If you cannot play with them, root for them.

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