Trade rumors are not jelly beans; we can not pick and choose the ones to throw out (black licorice and butter popcorn need to leave and never come back).
Some reports might hold more weight than others depending on the background, but we truly can not rule out any rumor that comes from a well-connected source until the papers are signed. In other words, while ties to players like DeMar DeRozan and Dennis Schroder could ruffle some feathers in the Bulls’ fanbase, we have to at least consider them as possibilities. After all, Chicago is about to embark on a transformative offseason. Several roster spots will be up for grabs, and the trade for Nikola Vucevic sped up the team’s competitive timeline. Moves will be made to add win-now talent. The Bulls also are not going to land every free agent at the top of their priority list, which means certain names that do feel unlikely (or are toward the bottom of the list) could eventually enter the mix.
• I do not think DeMar DeRozan will be a Chicago Bull next season, and I mapped up some of those reasons in the post below. However, again, I also can not entirely rule it out. Not only have previous reports suggested this front office could look to be “big spenders” this summer, but we can not pretend like we know Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. One year is not enough time to get a feel for a new regime’s tendencies. Not to mention, the rather quiet nature of both executives has made it especially hard to get a read.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 26, 2021
• Dennis Schroder is another polarizing player who has increasingly crept into the Bulls point guard conversation. The Lakers guard turned down a four-year $84 million extension earlier this season as he looks for a contract worth over $100 million. I can not imagine the Bulls give Schroder anywhere near that chunk of change, but what if other options begin to sign elsewhere? What if his asking price drops as the market stabilizes? Could they then start to seriously consider him?
• Brian Windhorst mentioned Chicago as a possible destination for Schroder in his latest for ESPN, specifically citing the Billy Donovan connection as the reason why: “Bulls coach Billy Donovan had success with Schroder in Oklahoma City and is believed to be interested in a possible reunion.” He’s not wrong, arguably Schroder’s most effective season came alongside Donovan in 2019-20 (18.9 points and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from downtown). But, at the same time, Schroder started just two of those games and did not have to serve as the team’s No. 1 facilitator (this was Chris Paul’s one season in OKC).
• Meanwhile, as the Bulls scramble to figure out their free agency plan, they will also have to think hard about Thursday night. The organization may not have a first-round pick in their back pocket, but the No. 38 pick could still net them a possible future rotation player. The 2021 class is deep, and we have gone over a couple of intriguing prospects that could be in the Bulls’ range during our Second Round Spotlight series (check it out here and here).
• The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie included two players I touched on, Charles Bassey and Herbert Jones, in his defensive rankings. Vecenie believes Bassey is the third-best rim protector in the class, which is a skillset the Bulls could desperately use after giving up the 10th-most points in the paint per game last season. Daniel Theis is also likely out the door, which opens a clear need in the frontcourt. Jones is then listed as the draft’s best switchable perimeter defender, which we all know could be a welcomed skillset in the frontcourt next to more offensive-minded players like Zach LaVine and Coby White.
• The Timberwolves are apparently open to moving former No. 6-overall draft pick Jarrett Culver. The 22-year-old has struggled immensely to find a role in the NBA over his first two seasons. During the 2019-20 campaign, he only played in 34 games, averaging a dismal 41.1 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from downtown. Adding him for nothing more than a second-round pick could be a solid buy-low move for any team, but I’m also not sure I’d jump to give up the No. 38th pick on Thursday night. I do genuinely like some of the prospects in that range for Chicago, and we also never know if that 2nd could become a tiny sweetener in a bigger deal.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 27, 2021
• The men’s team should take notes.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 27, 2021
• How can you not love Coby?
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 26, 2021