Bulls

Breakdown of each Bull's chance to get traded by Thursday's deadline

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USA Today

Breakdown of each Bull's chance to get traded by Thursday's deadline

Bulls executive vice president John Paxson likes to remind people that the only untouchable player he has known is former teammate Michael Jordan.

This is, after all, the executive who dealt Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, albeit for different reasons and under different circumstances.

So, yes, the Bulls answer the phone when another team calls to gauge the market on, say, Zach LaVine. That said, it would be a surprise if the Bulls rebuild off a rebuild and trade their biggest asset by Thursday’s deadline.

As for any move, executives around the league and agents that I’ve spoken to are mostly focused on what happens with Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine. Both players have either publicly or privately expressed happiness over their roles, although Young’s has changed in light of Lauri Markkanen’s injury.

In advance of Thursday, here are groups to rank each player’s chance of getting moved.

Unlikely

Zach LaVine. Not only does management still value LaVine, he has had an All-Star caliber season while playing on a reasonable contract.

Lauri Markkanen. The talk around the league is that he may have been overvalued at last year’s deadline and is undervalued now. You don’t sell low on such a talent, particularly one on his rookie contract.

Wendell Carter Jr. He actually may have moved into “most untouchable” status given his on-court value, potential and cost control of rookie contract.

Chandler Hutchison. This shouldn’t be read as the second-year forward being untouchable. It’s more a reflection on how his potential, even though he’s old for a second-year player, is still valued internally and that he’s on his rookie contract.

Daniel Gafford. Most everyone would agree that the active big man has been a steal as a second-round pick.

Tomas Satoransky. His $10 million salary, steady play and partial guarantee in 2021-22 make him eminently moveable. Until Coby White is ready, assuming one day he is, now is not the time.

Otto Porter Jr. Have you seen his player option?

Open for business

Thaddeus Young. The Clippers are at least one team that has expressed interest in the veteran, according to league sources. A Young-for-Moe-Harkless trade makes sense for both teams. Young also could be dealt in the offseason, holding down the fort until Markkanen returns. At that point, he’d only have one season fully guaranteed left on his deal.

Denzel Valentine. According to two rival executives, the 76ers and Grizzlies are possible landing spots for the former lottery pick, who had fallen completely out of favor with coach Jim Boylen before the recent spate of injuries forced him back into the lineup. Valentine for Zhaire Smith; who says no?

Kris Dunn. If the fact I also think Dunn could sign an extension with the Bulls this summer sounds contradictory, let me explain. The Bulls actively shopped Dunn last summer and would move him by Thursday again if the right deal presents itself. That’s only because they run the risk of losing him for nothing this offseason. Yes, he’s a restricted free agent, allowing the Bulls to match any offers he gets. But if the price tag of an offer sheet gets too high — he makes sense on the Clippers — the Bulls strike out. The fact that Dunn is injured and has had trouble staying healthy makes it likely little materializes between now and Thursday. So his situation almost certainly pushes to offseason business.

Doesn't move needle individually so only as cap filler

Cristiano Felicio. Shaq Harrison. Ryan Arcidiacono. Luke Kornet. Coby White.

Sorry to lump all these together, but such is the nature of their status. Of these, the Bulls value White and Arcidiacono the most.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports and tune-in to watch the NBA Trade Deadline Show on Thursday, February 6 at 1:30 p.m. CT. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bulls make moves as they hire Arturas Karnisovas as new VP of basketball operations

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bulls make moves as they hire Arturas Karnisovas as new VP of basketball operations

KC Johnson, Jason Goff, and Jamal Collier join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - Arturas Karnisovas is the Bulls' new Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. The guys react to the hire that has been lauded throughout the basketball world.

7:30 - The Bulls get criticized for not interviewing any African-American candidates. 

11:00- Will Jim Boylen still be the head coach when the season resumes?

13:30- How much closer are the Bulls to being contenders with this hire?

16:00- Denver sports columnist Paul Klee from the Gazette joins Kap. He talks about Karnisovas' background and discusses why he thinks the Bulls' new Executive VP will be a big success in Chicago.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Former Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas 'had his eyes' on Bulls job

Former Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas 'had his eyes' on Bulls job

The Bulls made a huge splash late Wednesday night when it was reported that they were in the midst of negotiations to make Arturas Karnisovas the new Bulls head of basketball operations. Bulls fans have had mostly positive reactions to the news and as we wait for further updates from the NBA as to the status of the league, we are finding out more and more about the intriguing background of Karnisovas. 

On Thursday's Sports Talk Live, The Gazette Denver sports columnist Paul Klee was on with David Kaplan to help give Chicagoans a better idea of what to expect with Karnisovas.

Klee started off by acknowledging that the Bulls made a great move and immediately touted Karnisovas' ability to maintain relationships. "His strengths are his eye for talent and his networking abilities, everybody he knows in the game, not only here but in Europe. This is an icon in Lithuania that's managed to get the [Denver] Nuggets back from the ashes."

Indeed Karnisovas has been a part of the Nuggets steady rise from overachieving team to a consistent force in a particularly stacked Western Conference.

RELATED: 5 key moves the Nuggets made during Arturas Karnisovas' tenure

There has been much discussion among league sources about the potential of a restructured Chicago front office, something K.C. Johnson and Tom Haberstroh touched on in their most recent piece. In that story, a rival executive is quoted saying, “It’s not a good job...it’s a great job," in reference to becoming the new Bulls head of basketball operations. 

Klee said, "this was a great opportunity and a job that I know personally, Arturas has had his eyes on." Karnisovas was actually a member of the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team that finished with a bronze medal and put up a valiant effort against the Michael Jordan-led Dream Team and you can even find a photo of Karnisovas taking a picture of the Dream Team during the action.

There was obviously a level of respect and admiration for MJ's game from international hoopers and there is a strong possibility Karnisovas has been dreaming of working for the Bulls organization in some capacity for a long time. Regardless, Karnisovas' storied past as a big-time international basketball player, when combined with his reputation and record of doing things "his way," makes him a clear cut step in the right direction.

"He is not going to be a guy who is doing zoom calls with media all the time...that's not really his cup of tea. He's a more measured, reserved, thoughtful guy, watches the room and then he figures what move he's gonna make. If they were looking for a public face of the franchise, he's gonna point those cameras towards the locker room. He wants the players to be in front." Klee continued that Karnisovas isn't someone who is known to come out and make too many statements about his players, as he prefers to keep things close to the vest until he is absolutely sure of his next move.

"He likes to know that you know your stuff before he shares any of his," stated Klee. Karnisovas is slated to come into Chicago and immediately start to put his stamp on a completely revamped Bulls front office. And after 17 years of the John Paxson regime, Bulls fans are extremely excited to see what a different team-building process looks like. The Bulls have given Arturas Karnisovas the keys to the kingdom and all signs point to him confidently and aggressively bringing the Bulls back to prominence. 

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