The Trade Deadline Has Arrived, Expect the Unexpected? DeRozan's Dominance, and Other Bulls Bullets

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The Trade Deadline Has Arrived, Expect the Unexpected? DeRozan’s Dominance, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls



•   The Chicago Bulls front office has remained its quiet and secretive self as today’s 2:00 p.m. deadline nears. Indeed, not only have their ties to certain players like Dennis Schroder and Jakob Poeltl loosened in recent days, but we have heard very few Bulls players mentioned in the rumor world at all. We talked a bit more about that in yesterday’s rumor roundup (which you can find here), and NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson has continued to report as much with the deadline less than 24 hours away. After last night’s dominant win over the Charlotte Hornets, Johnson shared some of head coach Billy Donovan’s thoughts on some of the decision-making that rests ahead:

“Obviously, we feel good about Ayo coming back relatively soon. I think we’re optimistic about Patrick. We have some target windows for Lonzo and Caruso. But I think Artūras would be looking at what comes across his plate that he feels would be good for the team? And I think the other piece of it too is what potentially happens in the buyout market?”

•   Coach like executive. Donovan mimicked Karnisovas in many of his comments on the matter, emphasizing the Bulls are very comfortable with a healthy version of this roster. While they might be blowing smoke up where the sun don’t shine, it’s not all that hard to believe. The Bulls have proven to have one of the best trios in basketball, and the supporting cast seems more than comfortable in their respective roles. The team also remains right in the mix for the top seed in the East with the All-Star break on the horizon, which we can all agree is a more than decent place to be. I do expect something to come from this deadline, but it could be either relatively minor or indirect.

•   When I say “indirect,” I’m referring to the buyout market that Donovan made sure to mention above. Certain players who are not packaged in deals over the next handful of hours could very well become free agents in the coming days. The Bulls could also very well be best served to go that route, as it would allow the organization to avoid giving up assets (all of which are significant considering how few they have).

•   We don’t have reason to believe Coby White has been on the trading block, but he still gave the front office a good reminder of what he can do for this team last night. White stepped into the starting point guard role in the absence of Ayo Dosunmu and put up 15 points with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. His 3-point shot may not have fallen at the rate we want to see (3-10), but he walked out of the night with 0 turnovers at a +19 performance in 38 minutes of rock-solid action. What has shown more and more as the season has dragged on is that he’s learned a lot from his variety of roles. He continues to show improvement (especially on the defensive end!) as he fills some needed voids for this team.

•   You would think that 51 games into DeMar DeRozan’s Bulls tenure that my jaw would at least be a couple of inches off the ground. Nope. I remain absolutely amazed by his efficiency and command on a nightly basis. Just when you think he’s due for a cool off after back-to-back games where he combined for 83 points, he hits us with a 36-point performance on 13-19 shooting. He did it all against this struggling Hornets defense, tying a season-high with three 3s and going 7-10 from the charity stripe while elegantly dancing his way to a normal flurry of midrange buckets. On the season, DeRozan is now averaging a career-high 27.4 points per game on 51.0 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from downtown.

•   Just a quick thought: I love the idea of what playing with DeRozan should do for Zach LaVine’s career. Not only does it make life easier on him in the short term, but I think there are a lot of valuable lessons he can pick up from the five-time All-Star. I mean, think about how efficient LaVine already is at all three-levels! DeRozan can teach him how to keep that going by relying less on sheer athleticism and more on reading the game/expert footwork.

•   Offensive rebounding and turnovers remain a problem for the depleted Bulls. I can’t say I’m surprised, but we definitely don’t want to see an undersized and bottom-ranked defense beating the Bulls in both categories. The Hornets beat the Bulls 25-9 in the points off turnover battle, and they also grabbed 12 offensive rebounds to the Bulls 5. That’s how teams stick around.

•   If you are looking for Super Bowl betting promos, we’re gathering them all here. This is basically the biggest time of year to get the promos, so if you’re into it at all, make sure to check it out. For example, the The DraftKings 56 to 1 odds offer Super Bowl 56 will allow new players to wager $5 for a $280 bonus payout.

•   Just do it already. It’s exhausting.

•   Give me as many fresh faces as possible.

•   Chicago got double wins last night!

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.