Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan Said to be “Untouchable” for the Bulls

Chicago Bulls Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan

With the Chicago Bulls off to a 9-13 start, it hasn’t taken long for the (sad kind) of trade rumors to pick up steam.

Earlier this week, for example, we learned that the Los Angeles Lakers have had “internal discussions” about potentially targeting DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic via trade. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski then poured fuel on the fire, reporting that multiple teams around the league have their eyes on the Bulls with hopes that they’ll soon enter full-blown sell-off mode.

Teams are going to have to keep on hoping, though, at least for their biggest stars.

According to Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher, the Bulls have no plans to listen on deals for Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan this season.

The Heat and Bulls are in a similar predicament, laden with expensive rosters and high expectations and currently on course to miss the postseason,” Bucher wrote. “But with stars that league sources say they’ve deemed untouchable — Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for the Heat, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan for the Bulls — and role players with outsized contracts — Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro for the Heat, Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic for the Bulls — their flexibility to make a meaningful addition appears limited. 

So do we buy it? Actually, yes. I do. For now, anyway.

For however poor this start to the season has been, the front office has remained adamant about fielding a competitive team since they arrived. Reversing course right now – especially after re-inking Billy Donovan and Zach LaVine – might feel a bit premature (and a tad embarrassing).

With that said, I do think the word “untouchable” might be a bit too strong. The Bulls would be wrong to completely ignore calls on someone like DeRozan if things were to continue heading south. Not only has he been one of the NBA’s best scorers over the past two seasons (that’s value), but he has only one more year left on his deal (that’s expiring value). If they don’t plan to extend him, now might be the best opportunity to maximize his value in the marketplace/to the organization.

Again, I don’t foresee them choosing this route at the moment, but we all know how fast things can change in the NBA.

(Michael: There’s also the very real possibility that this is mostly a play for leverage from a team, the Bulls, that knows they may soon find themselves as pretty obvious sellers. You don’t need to help the bargaining position of any potential buyers even more than the Bulls’ record already has).

The last thing we should note here is that Nikola Vucevic isn’t currently considered “untouchable.” While Bucher did imply that his contract could be a bit hard to trade (I don’t how true that is when we consider he’s making a reasonable $22 million), this shouldn’t be some kind of major surprise. If the Bulls were to pivot, but still had their sights set on winning, finding a more defensive-minded center to help counterbalance the scoring ability of LaVine and DeRozan would make sense. Not to mention, Vucevic is in the final year of his contract, so now might be the time to get something in return for his services if he’s no longer part of the future plans.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

The Chicago Bulls’ Assistant Coaching Changes Better Be Just the Beginning …

The Chicago Bulls know that asking Adrian Wojnarowski to tweet out a couple of assistant coaching hires isn't enough, right? Perhaps I've already reached that point in the offseason where I’m overthinking things, but this organization also doesn't deserve the...

Final NBA Awards, Thibs’ Winning Culture, Newest Coaching Hire, and Other Bulls Bullets

Think about the Chicago Bulls' missing the playoffs this way – at least we didn't have to see them lose a Game 7 in crushing fashion at home! The final round of NBA end-of-season honors is coming our way this...

NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Schedule, Odds, Stats, X-Factors, More

We're down to the final four in the NBA Playoffs and a pair of conference finals series that should be a lot of fun. In the East, the Pacers knocked off the Knicks in Game 7 to advance to the...

KAT & Anthony Edwards Had One of the Funniest Press Conference Moments I’ve Seen

I don't feel bad loving everything about this Minnesota Timberwolves. A Western Conference squad with one of the worst playoff resumes of this century, they have never felt like a team that stands in the way of the Chicago Bulls....

NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals Schedule, Odds, Stats, X-Factors, More

After Sunday's pair of Game 7s, we're down to the final four in the NBA Playoffs! The Pacers went into Madison Square Garden and beat the Knicks for the first road win of that series. Their reward for their Game...

Derrick Jones Jr. Bet on Himself, Julian Phillips’ Upside, Sky Get a Win, and Other Bulls Bullets

The Chicago Bulls could have really used Derrick Jones Jr. this season. When we consider the number of injuries this team suffered at the wing position, the springy forward would've filled a big hole. His defensive versatility could've helped take...

The Wes Unseld Jr. Hire, Jarrett Allen’s Availability, Ayo Dosunmu Gets It, and Other Bulls Bullets

Why talk about two huge Game 7s with significant NBA Finals implications when you can talk about the Chicago Bulls' assistant coaches!? We only discuss the important things here at BN Bulls! The Bulls are reportedly set to hire Wes...

Billy Donovan Reportedly Hires Former NBA Head Coach as Lead Assistant

Head coach Billy Donovan has reportedly found his new lead assistant. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wes Unseld Jr. has agreed to become Donovan's new right-hand man. The announcement comes after the Chicago Bulls moved on from several assistant coaches...

You Have to Hear What Anthony Edwards Told a Nuggets Staffer After Game 5 Loss

Anthony Edwards doesn't drip sweat; he drips confidence. After the Denver Nuggets took the series lead in Game 5, Edwards didn't seem phased. The emerging Minnesota Timberwolves superstar knew his team could take care of business on their home floor,...

Trying to Stay Relevant, Finding the Right LaVine Trade, Vucevic’s Vertical, and Other Bulls Bullets

How irrelevant are the Chicago Bulls right now? Take it away, 670 The Score! https://twitter.com/670TheScore/status/1791200934397100092 WOOF. It sure says a lot about your franchise when the radio station that broadcasts your games treats you as an afterthought. Coby White or...

Latest News

Sparks vs Mystics Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – May 21

The Washington Mystics (0-3) will try to stop a three-game losing streak when they visit the Los Angeles Sparks (0-2) at 10:00 PM ET on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Walter Pyramid. The matchup airs on SportsNet LA and Monumental.Sparks...

Aces vs Mercury Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – May 21

A game after putting up 38 points in an 88-85 win over the Dream, Kahleah Copper leads the Phoenix Mercury (1-1) on the road against the Las Vegas Aces (2-0) on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. The matchup begins at 10:00...

Dream vs Wings Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – May 21

The Dallas Wings (1-1) visit the Atlanta Dream (1-1) after Arike Ogunbowale went off for 35 points in the Wings' 83-74 loss to the Sky. The matchup airs on BSSWX and Peachtree TV at 7:30 PM ET on Tuesday, May...

Celtics vs. Pacers Predictions, Best Bets and Odds: Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 – Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Boston Celtics are 9.5-point favorites for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden on Tuesday, tipping off at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN. The matchup has an over/under set at 221 points.Our...

Atlanta Dream vs. Dallas Wings: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

A game after putting up 35 points in an 83-74 loss to the Sky, Arike Ogunbowale leads the Dallas Wings (1-1) on the road against the Atlanta Dream (1-1) on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. The matchup tips off at 7:30...

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Los Angeles Dodgers (33-17), who will give the start to Gavin Stone, host the Arizona Diamondbacks (22-26) with Brandon Pfaadt on the mound, Tuesday at 10:10 PM ET.Keep reading to see how to watch the Los Angeles-Arizona matchup below.When...

Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Series May 21-23: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

The Atlanta Braves are on the road, beginning a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:40 PM ET.Cubs vs. Braves Series Info Braves @ Cubs Time: Tuesday, May 21 at 7:40 PM ET Cubs Starting...

Oakland Athletics vs. Colorado Rockies Series May 21-23: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

The Colorado Rockies will be on the road, opening a three-game set against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, May 21 at 9:40 PM ET.Athletics vs. Rockies Series Info Rockies @ Athletics Time: Tuesday, May 21 at 9:40 PM ET Athletics...

Athletics vs. Rockies: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

In a series opener on Tuesday, Brent Rooker and the Oakland Athletics (19-30) take on Ryan McMahon and the Colorado Rockies (15-31), with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 PM ET at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.If you're trying to watch this game,...

Astros vs. Angels: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Tuesday, Cristian Javier will take the mound for the Houston Astros (21-27) versus Griffin Canning and the Los Angeles Angels (19-29), with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 PM ET at Minute Maid Park.Keep reading to find out how to...

more bulls news