Sam Smith Believes “Significant Changes” Coming for the Bulls This Offseason
Everyone front office executive and their team mascot is wondering what the Chicago Bulls will do this summer.
Initially the talk of the trade deadline, speculation surrounding the future of their core picked up right where it left off the moment they lost to the Miami Heat in the Play-In Tournament. Indeed, recent reports out of the Draft Combine in Chicago have underscored how eager rival teams are to see what players on the Bulls’ roster might be up for grabs.
One of those reports comes courtesy of Bulls dot com’s own Sam Smith. The long-time reporter said that he believes a drastic move is coming for this roster. And he also said a league insider told him as much this week.
“But I do believe there will be a significant Bulls changes this summer. Or at least they will seriously be trying,” Smith said. “I was at the Draft Combine this week and heard from an insider that he believes the Bulls are done with this Big Three. But I did hear it from him outside, so there could be a credibility issue given that. Sources who may or may not know agreed. Of course, such an observation doesn’t need Sherlock Holmes. Vučević is a free agent, DeRozan is going into his last contract season and LaVine has some huge financial seasons ahead. That one of them would not return can come from both informed and uninformed sources. Though watch that space. I expect a change in that core.”
He’s right, the mere fact that Vuevic is a free agent and DeMar DeRozan is extension eligible can lend itself to a somewhat organic roster change. However, Arturas Karnisovas didn’t at all sound like he was prepared to break the band up at his end-of-season press conference. Not only did he suggest that re-signing Vucevic remained a priority for the organization, but he said that rebuild wasn’t on the team’s mind.
Continuity has been tattooed across Karnisovas’ forehead the past three transactional periods, as he’s done almost nothing to tweak this roster. So, as natural as it may feel, the fact Smith is stating he also believes the “Big 3” is dead is honestly pretty significant news. Especially when we consider, ya know, he works for the freakin’ franchise!
So what kind of change might there be? Well, that’s the massive and anxiety-inducing question!
Would the Bulls opt to target young talent in the upcoming draft and attempt to acquire a lottery pick? Early reports suggest both the Portland Trail Blazers (No. 3) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 10) could be open to discussions. A conversation with the Trail Blazers might be particularly intriguing for Chicago, and we talked much more about that here.
Another option could be simply looking for a sign-and-trade partner for Nikola Vucevic. Might a return be good enough to help improve the team’s depth? If not, do you re-sign Vucevic and trade DeRozan for some fresh rotation talent?
For as frustrating as their current situation is, it’s not as if they’re completely out of options. They have multiple players who should have some legitimate value across the league, but they need to be willing to accept defeat on this current iteration of the team and have conversations in earnest. I’m still skeptical of whether or not Kanrisovas is prepared to do just that. But I suppose these words from Smith make me feel the tiniest bit better.