A Trip to Orlando, What Do the Players Think? Give Portland a Call? And Other Bulls Bullets
Lose to the Pacers, shame on you.
Lose to the Hornets, shame on me.
Lose to the Magic, *leaps off cliffs and into a volcano*
- I don’t really care anymore. Fine, that’s a lie. I’m sure I’ll be a ball of rage if the Chicago Bulls lose to the Orlando Magic *again* tonight, but I’ll also surely get over it a lot faster than before. I’m just not certain how to feel about this team anymore. There are still 34 games left this season, and I’m not necessarily wired in a way that will allow me to cheer for them to lose each one. Having said that, I guess I also wouldn’t be a puddle of despair if something like that were to happen. My only plan right now is to ride the wave of whatever happens and keep my fingers crossed for some sort of change. Let’s just hope the trade deadline offers us a bit more clarity.
- It would be a lot easier for me to cheer for the tank if the Chicago Bulls had their first-round pick this season. The fact it belongs in the hands of the Orlando Magic and is only top-4 protected makes this whole situation feel all the more hopeless. With that said, the Bulls are technically just 3.0 games out from having the 5th-best odds at retaining their pick. And, like, it’s hard not to want those increased chances when this very much appears to be a lost season.
- What do the players think about this debacle? Well, Julia Poe shared some thoughts from inside the locker room in her latest at the Chicago Tribune. And I recommend you give it a read here.
- To no surprise, both DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic stood by this pre-existing roster and said it’s all about improving internally. More specifically, DeRozan said the team can’t operate under the assumption that certain fixes will come at the trade deadline:
“I don’t look at it like we need this and that,” DeRozan told Poe. “I just try to figure out every single game, every single day, how we can be better. With what we got, I never think about no trade deadline or anything like that. I just try to go out there and compete every time we play.”
- Here’s the thing: It’s not that I’m totally against keeping any of this pre-existing core. While I do think the organization needs to take a step back to eventually take a leap forward, I do believe certain members of this roster can still be a part of the future equation. Whether it be two of the three staying or one of the three, I think there can be a lot of value in keeping certain guys around. DeRozan, in particular, has proven to be an outstanding locker-room presence and veteran leader. The tough part is that he’s also likely to net one of the most intriguing return packages in the trade market (and up for an extension this offseason).
- I just don’t want my command for change (which you can read here) to come off as only wanting the entire roster torn to shreds. To be sure, I’m not entirely against a massive teardown, but I would accept reshuffling the pieces. If that were to be the approach, though, there is still *a lot* that has to go into doing it successfully. Like, if you keep LaVine and DeRozan, you still need a defensive-minded C, a true PG, lots of shooting, and wing depth. So, yeah, whichever path they choose is still going to require a lot of change.
- Contenders are hungry to get their hands on Alex Caruso, but the Bulls aren’t going to let one of the best defenders in the NBA walk for nothing …
- I’ve seen mixed reactions to the report of this front office demanding two first for Caruso, and I’m not sure why. The Bulls know how valuable of an asset they have, and I’d rather they start discussions with a high bar than the opposite. Not to mention, the guy is just really freakin’ good!
- Speaking of which, shoutout to BBall Index for sharing one of my most recent posts on the Bulls’ best defender!
- The Portland Trail Blazers seem to be in a somewhat similar spot as the Bulls, and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports recently shared some intel on their deadline philosophy:
Portland has given rival teams the impression that it is open to discussing the majority of its players, particularly Josh Hart and Jusuf Nurkic, sources said, as the franchise remains committed to building a playoff contender around Lillard.
- Maybe this deserves a bigger post later this week, but … is there a way that the Bulls and Blazers can help each other out? If I were Chicago, I’d surely have an interest in a 3-and-D wing like Josh Hart. Several other youngsters on that team could be worth further evaluation, too. I don’t know. I would have to do a bit more digging, but this feels like a team that may be able to put together a suitable package for someone like DeRozan or Vucevic.
- COME TO CUBBIES.
- St. Louis is boring.