Woj: "A Lot of Teams" Are Holding Out Hope for the Bulls to Sell Before the Trade Deadline

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Woj: “A Lot of Teams” Are Holding Out Hope for the Bulls to Sell Before the Trade Deadline

Chicago Bulls

ESPN’s Zach Lowe got the ball rolling on his most recent podcast episode.

The long-time NBA reporter and analyst shared word that the Los Angeles Lakers had their eye on the Chicago Bulls. A franchise desperately looking to make the most out of LeBron James’ final few seasons, the Lakers have reportedly had “internal discussions” about targeting DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic later this season.

And we now know they aren’t the only ones.

Ahead of the Bulls meeting with the Golden State Warriors on ESPN this Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski expanded on Lowe’s report. Not only did he reiterate that the Lakers are monitoring the Bulls’ situation, but he suggested that many teams could be rooting for Chicago’s swift demise:

“I think for the Lakers, a lot of teams in this league, they’re going to be watching what happens with one of the teams we have playing tonight,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s pre-game show. “Do the Bulls pivot at some point this season? Do some of their players become available? That’s not the case now. But I think for the Lakers, between now and February 9th, there is some high-end talent that is not available now that becomes available closer to the deadline.”

Of coures, it’s important to emphasize the fact that Wojnarowski said that the Bulls have no plans to change direction right now, and he repeated this as he continued:

“Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, I think those are all players – people in the league – teams are waiting to see will any of them be available by the trade deadline. Right now, this is a Chicago team that wants to make the playoffs, wants to get a healthy Lonzo Ball back, they’re not ready to concede yet.”

Is it true that sometimes reports like these can be the inital sign of what’s to come? Absolutely. But we need to keep in mind that this is all reportedly coming from other teams and not the Bulls. And it’s not hard to see why other teams would be holding out hope for this organization to enter tank mode.

The players that are part of this core – no matter how well they might fit together – are still pretty highly-respected names across the league. Win-now teams would likely line up for a chance to add any of thise guys into the mix, especially one that is struggling as much as the Lakers. Even names like Alex Caruso, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., and Andre Drummond could perk up ears around the league.

With that said, interest means value, and I have to imagine the Bulls still view a handful of these players (likely not all) as valuable pieces to a winning puzzle. They also just signed Billy Donovan and Zach LaVine to contract extensions, which certaintly doens’t imply that tanking is the prefered path forward.

Look, I can’t rule anything out right now. The Bulls are obviously off to an extremely discouraging start to the year, and it’s clear that some kind of change will have to be made. My guess, however, would be that whatever changes the Bulls pursue will still be with short-term winning in mind. Even if that means taking a small step back this year, I don’t forsee a full-blown multi-year tank in the cards for now.

The rest of the league hopes I’m wrong.



Author: Elias Schuster

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