With the February 7 NBA trade deadline fast approaching, essentially all 30 teams in the league are looking for ways to improve their team for the stretch run, and for much further out as well. The Bulls have been active on the market, acquiring Wayne Selden, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, while collecting a decent amount of cash considerations. But with veteran center Robin Lopez still hoping to play for a winning team and Jabari Parker simply hoping to play (more), it is unlikely the Bulls are done on the trade market just yet.
And according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, there could--and a very, very big could--be much bigger trade discussions on the way.
In a report filed by Lowe on Friday he states the Bulls first and obvious goal of selling their veterans. But then, Lowe added this bombshell (“LoweBomb”?):
The Bulls will listen on offers for anyone other than Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., sources say -- and that includes Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine.
Lowe did however go on to state that the Bulls--who historically has valued their young players very highly--would likely ask for “a ton” in any deals for LaVine or Dunn.
There is no reason for the Bulls to move on from either player at this time.
LaVine--one of 13 players in the league to average 22 PPG, 4 RPG, 4 APG--likely would’ve been the All-Star replacement for the injured Victor Oladipo had the Bulls had anything near a winning record. On top of that, he is in the first year of his fresh 4-year, $78 million contract that isn’t anywhere near a “bad contract” at this stage of LaVine’s development.
Dunn’s place on the team is a little bit more up in the air long-term due to his inconsistent play and lack of significant progress on his 3-point jumper. But that being said, Dunn is still in just his second season with the Chicago after last year’s abbreviated season. And though he isn’t locked up long-term, Dunn is still on a rookie deal that gives the Bulls tons of flexibility if they want to re-sign him down the road.
Following the massive Kristaps Porzingis-Dennis Smith trade that featured seven total players getting dealt, there is now a new standard for trades that feature rebuilding franchises swapping young talent.
The Mavericks showed that the path to acquiring high-ceiling youngsters is taking back big contracts, and the Bulls would have room to do just that if they were able to first move the salaries of Lopez and Parker.
Even if trade talks involving the likes of LaVine, Dunn and others don’t go anywhere, it is encouraging to hear that the franchise (reportedly) is exploring all manners of improving this roster as they finish up Year 2 of what has been a tough rebuilding progress so far.