The NBA trade deadline was a point of discussion before the season even tipped off.
With a generational talent in Victor Wembanyama and a highly-coveted consolation prize in guard Scoot Henderson headlining the 2023 NBA Draft, many teams came into the year on “tank watch.” Coinciding with that has been the belief that more trades than normal could start to pop up. Certain teams with well-respected veterans and/or solid role players might be eager to offload those pieces to improve their chances of adding more lottery balls.
We talked far more about this possibility (and what it could mean for the Bulls) in early October:
Now, right on cue, we have our first cluster of real trade rumors from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. It may be only November, but several well-known names look to already be on the block.
Atlanta’s John Collins – who might as well be the new Myles Turner, when it comes to trade rumor popularity – is arguably the biggest name connected to other teams thus far. According to Charania, the Phoenix Suns have expressed interest in the athletic power forward, while Atlanta has shown interest in Suns’ forward Jae Crowder (who continues to hold out).
On top of that, names like Harrison Barnes, Kyle Kuzma, and KJ Martin were mentioned as players the Suns have an eye on. But with what/whom the organization is willing to depart is unclear.
The other noteworthy names dropped by Charania were Philly’s Tobias Harris and New York’s Derrick Rose. The Knicks are currently dealing with a logjam at the point guard position after the signing of Jalen Brunson. As for the 76ers, they have long shown interest in moving Harris’ hefty contract, and this season may finally present them with an opportunity.
So … should any of these names spark the Bulls’ interest? Eh, not really. While Collins might make some sense on this Bulls team, he’s only in the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract. The money just isn’t going to work. And we can probably say the same thing about adding someone like Harris.
As for the fans salivating over the idea of a Rose reunion, I find it hard to believe that happens when we consider how many freakin’ guards are on this current Bulls roster. The need just isn’t there for him.
Instead, what I think the Bulls must take away from this first batch of rumors is that the calls are being made. Teams aren’t playing it patiently with their rosters or waiting closer to the trade deadline. The conversations are being had right now, which means doors are opening for a team like the Bulls to explore.
For an organization that is trying desperately to avoid moving backward, they need to keep a look out for big and small swings alike. Maybe an avenue opens where a real impact starter can be added, or perhaps a three-team trade can come together where you swap one role player for another. Whatever it may be, the Bulls have to make sure they’re a part of these conversations from the jump or risk getting left behind.