NBA Rumors: What's Up With the Bulls? Pacers Could Add, Barton

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NBA Rumors: Bulls Staying Put? Pacers Could Add, Barton on the Block, Guards to Watch, More

Chicago Bulls

The trade deadline is less than a month away, so you know what that means …. Time to round up some NBA rumors!

*grabs lasso, puts cowboy hat on, mounts horse that I definitely own* YEEHAW!!

Bulls Staying Put?

After initially dominating headlines with big trades and free agent signings, the Chicago Bulls front office has gone into hiding. The few times Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have shown face over the past season and a half, they’ve preached stability and continuity. This quiet and close-to-the-vest mentality has led to minimal rumors … and this current trade deadline doesn’t look like it will be any different.

If the Bulls do something over the next month, it will likely be a blindside. All recent reports have suggested that this franchise will stay the course and perhaps target only minor deals.

Indeed, NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson recently restated this on the HoopsHype’s Podcast with Michael Scotto. The long-time Bulls insider said he would be “surprised if they move any of their big three.” Scotto then followed that up with an interesting comment about two role players, stating that executives have indicated that both Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso are not for sale.

The only path to a potential deal right now seems to go through Coby White, per Johnson. And we talked a lot more about that in a solo post earlier this week:

I’ll just say this: No move at all would only sound more alarm bells for me. I’ve been extremely disappointed with this front office’s lack of aggression since two offseasons ago. You simply can not pick an aggressive route and only go halfway. Targeting upgrades to the supporting cast – especially in the 3-point shooting and rim-protection departments – should have been a priority. The fact they have refused to plug holes is undoubtedly concerning when we evaluate the long-term potential of this front office regime.

Pacers Could be Active

Indiana is off to a 23-19 start and sits 7th in the Eastern Conference. In other words, this rebuilding team seems to be way ahead of schedule, and it sure sounds like it could impact their trade deadline philosophy.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, rival teams do believe that Indiana could seek improvements over the next few weeks. The team is particularly interested in adding at the power forward position and could be interested in Atlanta’s John Collins. The Athletic’s Sam Amick reports that the Hawks’ asking price for the athletic big man has “declined significantly” and that a return could be just a “quality player” (as opposed to a good young player and draft compensation).

Fischer also expressed recently that second-year guard Chris Durate could be on the table, as well. The 25-year-old has struggled to carve out a role on this new-look Pacers team after a very successful rookie year. A guard with good size and two-way potential, I have to imagine there will be a handful of teams interested in giving Durate a fresh start.

The other big name who could be on the move is Myles Turner. While he’s been in trade conversations for years now, this might finally be the deadline when he and the Pacers are forced to part ways. Currently extension eligible, the two sides have reportedly discussed what keeping Turner in Indiana could look like. However, if a deal can not come together soon, they might have no choice but to get something in return for his career year before he walks in unrestricted free agency for nothing this summer.

Will Barton on the Block?

Kyle Kuzma would undoubtedly be the Wizards’ best trade asset this season, but they have a forgotten man who I could envision generating his fair share of interest.

According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Washington has received calls about veteran Will Barton. The Wizards traded for both Barton and starting point guard Monte Morris during the offseason to round out their depth. However, Barton has slipped out of the rotation in recent weeks, only averaging about 6.7 minutes over his last five games played.

As someone who gained his fair share of playoff experience in Denver, Barton could be a worthwhile addition to a contending team. He’s shot 36.5 percent from downtown over his past seven seasons to go along with 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. While he has struggled to stay healthy at times, Barton has proven to be an effective and hard-working role player.

Guards to Keep an Eye On

Two other guards have recently come up in conversations around the league: Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell and Detroit’s Alec Burks.

Russell has long been a potential trade candidate due to his less-than-stellar fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is also headed toward unrestricted free agency after failing to reach a contract extension with the organization this past summer. Finding a take for him, however, could be difficult. He’s currently making $31.3 million this season and finding someone to take on that salary while also getting something in return that would help the T-Wolves complete this season sounds unrealistic.

Jake Fischer recently said as much for Yahoo Sports:

In general, there is little market around the league for point guards making that range of salary. League executives are monitoring the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns as teams in search of backcourt improvements before the deadline.

As for Burks, Fischer wrote in a separate article that the Pistons intend to keep him around if they can’t find a “tremendous return.” I’ll believe that when I see it.

While his veteran experience is undoubtedly nice to have on that young roster, I wouldn’t be shocked if the 31-year-old Burks would also like to end up elsewhere. Not to mention, with his level of 3-point shotmaking, it’s very possible the Pistons are offered something that’s (1) pretty darn intriguing and (2) fits better with their current timeline.

If I’m the Bulls, I at least call Detroit about Burks.

And Ones …

  • The Jazz could also be in on the Hawks’ forward …

  • The Suns really want Jalen McDaniels …



Author: Elias Schuster

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