Future Trade Value, Buyout Market Watch, AK Talks Vucevic, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Future Trade Value, Buyout Market Watch, AK Talks Vucevic, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

At least the Raptors exist!

As bad as the Bulls’ decision to sit out the trade deadline looked, the Toronto Raptors’ decision not to enter sell mode may prove even worse by the end of the year. In their first game after acquiring big man Jakob Poeltl, they lost to the Utah Jazz 122-116 on their home floor and remain outside the Play-In Tournament picture.

Of course, there is time for them to still creep back up the standings, but there may not be time for them to add the kind of future assets that they missed out on at this deadline. Both Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. will have the opportunity to walk this summer. Meanwhile, OG Anunoby – whose rumored return included up to three first-rounders – is bound to turn down his player option in 2024-25 and hit unrestricted free agency after next season. Oh, and that’s the same summer Pascal Siakam will be up for a new deal.

At the end of the day, I understand why they value each of those players, but there was arguably an even greater sense of urgency for them to capitalize on their trade value than the Bulls.

  • Speaking of trade value, this seems to be a big reason why Arturas Karnisovas still believes there is a path for the Bulls to successfully recreate their roster. While they may lack the kind of draft capital and financial flexibility to get things done – especially this offseason when they will have to make decisions on Nikola Vucevic, Javonte Green, and Ayo Dosunmu – they should continue to have the kind of talent necessary to pull off some big trades.

“We’ll have ways to do it,” Karnisovas said of tweaking this roster. “This trade deadline showed us that we have a lot of good players and we have a lot of value around the league. I think there are ways to do it. We’ll look at how to improve it based on the next 27 games and how we finished the season. And we’ll go from there.”

  • He’s right, and this is a big reason why I was never too concerned with this all-in approach from the very start. If the Bulls needed to retreat, they at least had players that other contending teams should covet. Whether it be Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, or Alex Caruso, those are all guys who should generate some quality trade returns. Heck, even if Vucevic re-signs on a team-friendly deal, he could turn into an asset.
  • Now, actions speak louder than words. Only time will tell if Karnisovas can actually swallow his pride and eventually make the tough decisions. Timing is also everything. He may have already missed out on some great deals by not accepting defeat at this season’s trade deadline (which sucks).
  • More thoughts on Karnisovas’ comments …

  • The buyout market could be one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while. Whether it be Reggie Jackson, Danny Green, Patrick Beverley, Kevin Love, or Will Barton, there are several well-known and playoff-proven players that could find themselves as free agents very soon. Several of the likely candidates could make a lot of sense in Chicago, but I also wouldn’t get your hopes up too high. I expect a lot of these guys to prioritize true contenders. Not to mention, the Bulls will have to get creative to waive and sign someone while staying below the luxury tax threshold (they’re only $1.7 million away). If they end up not doing anything – ya know, like normal – I’m not going to be surprised.
  • Arturas Karnisovas didn’t have much to say about Nikola Vucevic’s impending free agency during his post-deadline press conference, but he did imply that the big man could be back here next season:

“I’m confident,” Karnisovas said about the organization’s ability to re-sign Vucevic. “He’s had an unbelievable year and we want him to be here. I just think for this group it’s important, now that the trade deadline has passed, this is the group we’re sticking with. They can go out there and play and put a foot on the gas and put together a run.”

  • With the deadline a thing of the past, I do think it’s far more likely than not that Vucevic returns next year. The other option would be that – hopefully – they reach some kind of sign-and-trade instead of watching him walk for nothing in return. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily take Karnisovas’ words as gospel. He said time and again that he wanted Lauri Markkanen to stick with the franchise long-term but proceeded to waste little time finding him a new home. Do I think he would keep Vucevic? Absolutely. Do I think he’d also promptly consider other options if the price tag wasn’t what he wanted? Mhmm.
  • Some good behind-the-scenes info on a few big trades:

  • I get it, Spencer. That can’t be fun.

  • I can’t wait for the famous TNT Bulls to continue their historic streak by snapping the Bucks record!

  • You still have to trade the pick.

  • I love a little crazy history!

Author: Elias Schuster

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