Bulls, Karnišovas will look at the buyout market


Artūras Karnišovas met with the media on Thursday in New York to recap the results of their empty-handed trade deadline. 

"We made calls. We got a lot of calls. It was pretty busy. But at the end of the day, we were also buyers, we wanted to improve our team. But, we couldn't capitalize on that," Karnišovas said. 

Karnišovas and the Bulls stuck with their word about "continuity," remaining on the course they set out over the past two years with the current roster construction. But, that doesn't mean the Bulls won't continue to look to improve. 

The team will have a look at the buyout market, which will likely hold a slew of candidates unlike most NBA trade deadlines, to help improve the margins of their current core. 

"We'll look at it," Karnišovas said. "First I have to look through every trade that actually happened. And then, you know, what kind of roster each team has before we look at the buyout market.

"So, we'll look at it for sure."

The Bulls have already declared their interest in that market, placing themselves in the running for Russell Westbrook, who is a potential buyout candidate with the Utah Jazz. 

MORE: Report: Bulls interested in signing Russell Westbrook

They are in the market for help in the backcourt, seeing as Lonzo Ball does not have a timeline to return, and an update on the status of his season will come after the All-Star break, according to Karnišovas.


Any move they make in the buyout market will require another in reciprocation. The Bulls have 15 salaries. They would need to waive a player or execute an uneven trade to make a deal work.

Also, the Bulls are roughly $1.7 million short of the luxury tax line. They would need to thread the needle in signing any player to remain underneath the tax line. The Bulls have paid the luxury tax once in franchise history. 

Looking at players expected to be available in the buyout market, besides Westbrook, the Bulls will have the freedom to score out multiple point guards on the market. 

Reggie Jackson, who is working on a buyout with the Charlotte Hornets, could be an option. He's averaged over 25 minutes per game this season with the Clippers, averaging 10.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 33.5 assists. He's shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. 

John Wall, who was traded to his nemesis – the Houston Rockets – will undoubtedly work out a buyout agreement with them, on the premise of him sitting out during their 2021-22 season. Wall averaged 11.4 points and 5.2 assists in 34 games with the Clippers before he was traded.

The Bulls have shown interest in bolstering their backcourt before going into the final stretch of the season. And, surely, this season's buyout market is one place to give them a boost before attempting to make the playoffs, which Karnišovas expects them to do.

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