LaVine vs. DeRozan at All-Star Weekend, a Quiet Deadline, Injury Updates, and Other Bulls Bullets

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LaVine vs. DeRozan at All-Star Weekend, a Quiet Deadline, Injury Updates, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Trade deadline content has dominated my life for the last 48 hours and fried my brain, so let’s to start these bullets off when something different!

•   Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan will be mortal enemies on February 20th! Why? Because LeBron James took DeRozan off the board with his third pick in All-Star Game draft (right after selecting Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry, respectively). Then, once all the starters were off the board, Kevin Durant was the one to eventually snag his Team USA teammate and fello Olympic Gold medalist. Not only am I excited to see these two try to guard each other, but I look forward to having Bulls representation on both sides of the floor. Next thing we know, Durant is demanding a trade to Chicago and Jokic is signing back with AK in 2023. It’ll be elite tampering.

•   LaVine was asked about teaming up against his on-court pal, and his response is a mood:

•   I also have to share this clip from the All-Star Game draft last night. James Harden and Rudy Gobert were the final two players left on the board, and it was Durant’s turn to make a selection. After seeing his former teammate force his way to Philly earlier that day, I think you can guess who he picked. The TNT crew nor James could keep it together.

•   Ok, break time over, time to talk about the trade deadline again. The Chicago Bulls did a whole lot of nothing on Thursday, sitting painfully quiet as the rest of the eastern conference searched for improvements. In case you missed exactly what happened, I’ll list the deals by some of the east’s playoff teams below. Link to our individual posts on the trades will be included:

Celtics: Add Daniel Theis and Derrick White
Hornets: Add Montrezl Harrell
Nets: Add Ben Simmons and Seth Curry
76ers: Add James Harden
Raptors: Add Thaddeus Young
Bucks: Add Serge Ibaka
Cavaliers: Add Caris LeVert

•   Those teams collectively represent the seven squads that currently sit below the Bulls in seeds 3-9. And while some of the names listed are more impactful than others, they will still fill an area of need for their respective team. Yes, the Bulls are lucky enough that they can begin to fill their areas of need with players who are already on the roster. As guys return from injury, I still do see a fully-healthy Bulls team as capable of beating nearly anyone in this conference. Seeding and size matter, though. The Bulls’ lack of immediate improvement could put them in a vulnerable position as they try to maintain a spot in the East’s top-3. Not to mention, even when they are fully healthy, we all know this team lacks size. I felt like – if anything – Karnisovas would look to bolster the frontcourt via trade, especially after we saw teams like the Celtics, Hornets, Raptors, and Bucks bolster their own.

•   Anyway, I talked much more about my feelings on the Bulls decision below, so check that out if ya want:

•   Half the battle is constructing a self-assured and mentally strong team. The Bulls’ top two players – DeRozan and LaVine – have been clear about the fact that they don’t believe any re-enforcements were needed. Again, I might believe otherwise, but it actually does make me more comfortable to hear them speak so confidently.

•   The Bulls decision not to upgrade the power forward position could speak volumes about where they think Patrick Williams is at. Rumor has been for a while that he will make his return this season, but Arturas Karnisovas basically confirmed as much when speaking with reporters after the deadline on Thursday. The fact this is coming all the way from the top should make us the most confident we’ve been in a full Williams return before the playoffs.

•   Lonzo Ball had his surgery late last month, and NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer shared a clip of his rehab.

•   Ayo Dosunmu could be back on the floor tonight, which is good new for a Bulls team that is about to face one of the best young backcourt scorers in the league (aka Anthony Edwards).

•   You guys can hire AK and have him on offdays.

Author: Elias Schuster

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