Executives Could See a Robust and Early Trade Market - Could the Bulls Take Advantage?

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Executives Could See a Robust and Early Trade Market – Could the Bulls Take Advantage?

Chicago Bulls

If you don’t know Victor Wembanyama, you will.

The 7-foot-4 French prospect has every single NBA executive flooding their office with drool. He has a combination of size, shot-making, ball-handling, and overall fluidity that arguably no player has ever flashed before. As far as the term “generational talent” goes, Wembanyama checks that box in pen, which is why it should come as no surprise that he’s already being considered the sure-fire No. 1 pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

If you don’t know the name Scoot Henderson, you will.

While he might not be the prospect Wembanyama is, Henderson has all the makings of a franchise guard. In any other draft, his name would be tossed around for the No. 1 spot, which makes him quite the consolation prize for the organization that ends up falling just shy of the Wembanyama sweepstakes.

With that in mind, there seems to be a belief around the league that more teams could activate tank mode this year than in quite some time. The Play-In Tournament mixed with the NBA’s new lottery odds system has successfully discouraged this in recent seasons, but it’s sounding like that won’t stop teams from going all-in on the ping-pong balls this offseason.

Indeed, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony have already started to report about the impact this upcoming draft could have on basically every team across the league. Not only do they believe that more teams will try to stack up losses, but they even think winning teams could benefit from an increased number of available players on the trade market.

“This year, teams starting slowly could decide to go in the other direction, unloading rotational players and sitting out others for long stretches,” Wojnarowski and Givony wrote.

“There won’t only be a race to the bottom, but an opportunity for playoff and championship contenders to have more impactful players available to acquire in deals. Executives believe that could include more players available far sooner than the February trade deadline.”

You have my attention!

I think we can all agree the Chicago Bulls do not plan on being a part of the Wembanyama raffle. But might they be a team that takes advantage of those who are?

The fact of the matter is that Arturas Karnisovas put this franchise in win-now mode. He also made more than clear at Media Day that the goal is to improve on last season’s first-round playoff appearance. With that being the case, if the Bulls begin to have the kind of backward-trending season that many have projected, perhaps Karnisovas will quickly look to course-correct.

As much as this front office has preached continuity this summer, they have also been one of the more aggressive and unpredictable organizations of the past few seasons. Mixing up the complementary pieces around this core could still very much be in the cards, especially in a year where more win-ready role players hit the trade market than normal.

Karnisovas already spoke about mid-season moves in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Amin and Stacey King during their broadcast of the first preseason game. Live on air, he re-iterated that showing improvement this season was key, and the Bulls will do whatever it takes to ensure that happens:

“Any opportunities we’ll have to improve this team we will, and we’re not going to be afraid to do so. Ownership has been really good to us, and they have been tremendous communicating to us that whatever we think, in terms of moves, signing, team make-up, we have freedom to do so.”  

Look, I don’t know if I completely believe this after an offseason where the team evaded the luxury tax and made minimal roster improvements. But it is at least the right thing to say, and it is at least encouraging to hear in the context of a potentially fruitful trade market.

Even looking at this roster right now it’s easy to see where improvements can be made. Not only is the need for more 3-point shooting obvious, but so is the need for more lengthy wing defenders. Those are the kind of areas the front office should look to upgrade regardless of the team’s record, and it’s reassuring to know they could have several options to consider throughout the year.

At the end of the day, this just feels like an important topic to have on our radar as the season inches closer. I know it can sound silly to already start conversations about the potential for in-season trades, but it feels necessary when we consider the ferocious nature of this current Eastern Conference. The Bulls need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to stay alive.


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Author: Elias Schuster

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