Bulls

Report: Bulls exploring trades involving Doug McDermott, Robin Lopez for first-round pick

Report: Bulls exploring trades involving Doug McDermott, Robin Lopez for first-round pick

With just 10 days remaining until the NBA trade deadline, rumors, smokescreens and potential deals are heating up.

To this point the Bulls have reportedly considered dealing Jimmy Butler and, according to our Insider Vincent Goodwill, are interested in aquiring Chicago native Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The latest rumor comes from Basketball Insiders' Michael Scotto, who reported Monday evening that the Bulls "are exploring the trade market in search of a first-round draft pick in exchange for either...Robin Lopez or...Doug McDermott," according to league sources.

The report is interesting on multiple levels. First, dealing either of those two players would almost certainly indicate the team going into selling mode at the trade deadline. And while that's long been assumed - the Bulls have lost eight of 13 and stand at 26-29 - trading a key rotation piece for a draft pick would signify a waving of the white flag on the 2016-17 season.

[BULLSTALK PODCAST: Latest on Jahlil Okafor, Jimmy Butler trade rumors]

McDermott hasn't necessarily taken that next step the Bulls would have hoped for, but the 25-year-old is connecting on 38 percent of his 3-pointers and has heated up of late, shooting 48 percent from deep in his last seven games, tallying double-digit point totals in five of them. McDermott has one year remaining on his rookie year as well as qualifying offer the year after that, so he'd come at a bargain for a team looking to add another 3-point specialist - though his shortcomings on defense and as a passer cap his ceiling.

Lopez also has clear value. The 7-footer has averaged 9.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 55 games for the Bulls. He's the only player to have played in each game for the Bulls this season (and played in all 82 games for the Knicks a year ago) and is shooting 50 percent from the field on a career-high 9.0 field goal attempts per game.

Whether the Bulls could secure a first round pick for either player is another story, and there's a chance they would use any first-round pick to then go after Okafor from the Sixers.

For now it's yet another rumor in what should be a very busy 10-day stretch as far as reports and sources regarding the Bulls go.

Stay tuned.

NBA Power Rankings: Golden State vs The Field

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USA TODAY

NBA Power Rankings: Golden State vs The Field

 

The 2018-19 NBA season truly feels like the first one in quite some time where it doesn't feel absolutely ridiculous to pick the field over Golden State in terms on NBA Championship odds. The Warriors have dealt with the ongoing Kevin Durant vs Draymond Green beef in swift Warriors fashion, yet something still feels off. Steph Curry's absence magnifies the problems with Golden State's roster and they have lost three games in a row averaging a miserable 95.6 points per game over that stretch.

LeBron James and the Lakers have went the opposite direction, starting to right the ship with some tremendous work from James. Over his last 10 games he is averaging just under 30 points (29.6 ppg) with 6 rebounds, 6 assists and over a steal and a block per game. The defense is still a work in progress, but they high-paced offense of the Lakers is able to make for a lack of shooting with James and co. having one of the being so dominant scoring in the paint.

In the Eastern Conference, the Sixers Jimmy Butler acquisition makes things tighter at the top, where the Raptors, Bucks and Pacers are all separated at most by 2.5 games. Toronto and Milwaukee still seem head-and-shoulders above the rest due to their clear understanding of roles. As Philadelphia slowly integrates Butler, their defense will get better, and the offense will too as long as Ben Simmons still gets a fair amount of touches.

Both conferences have the 1 through 8 seed separated by 5 or less games, and the inspired play of some of the league's smaller market stars indicate that more blockbuster trades could be on the way as franchises solidify what direction they are going in.

As we head into Thanksgiving, let's take some time to be thankful for this great 2018-19 NBA season, and review how the hierarchy of the league shakes out here.

Bulls vs. Suns: Start time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Bulls vs. Suns: Start time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

The Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns square off on the night before Thanksgiving, which happens to be 90s night at the United Center with Coolio performing at halftime.

The Suns come to Chicago on a two-game losing streak and in last place in the Western Conference. The Bulls have one more win than the Suns, but sit in 12th in the conference. The Bulls came into the season hoping to contend for a playoff spot but injuries to core players have derailed those efforts and Zach LaVine has shouldered the load offensively.

This game is a must win for the Bulls, particularly if the team hopes to have a shot at a playoff push once players like Lauri Markkanen return from injury. It also presents the Bulls an opportunity to end a four-game skid.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch the showdown between the Bulls and the Suns.

HOW TO WATCH

ON TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Desktop/Laptop: NBCSportsChicago.com

Mobile/Tablet: MyTeams App by NBC Sports

TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Chicago Bulls Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls
9:30 PM: Chicago Bulls Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Bulls Outsiders

ANALYSIS AND REACTION

BEFORE THE GAME: At 6:30 p.m., Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light gets you ready for the game with Mark Schanowski in studio with Kendall Gill and Will Perdue, with reports from Kelly Crull. Watch NBC Sports Chicago or click here for the livestream.

AT HALFTIME: Tune in to watch Mark, Kendall and Will breakdown the first two quarters. Watch NBC Sports Chicago or click here for the livestream.

AFTER THE GAME: As soon as the game ends, stick around for Bulls Postgame Live presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for analysis, commentary and player reaction. Then stick around for Bulls Outsiders, hosted by three, die-hard Bulls fans bringing the hottest takes, insightful analysis, and spirited commentary, all from the fans' perspective. Bulls Outsiders will also stream live on Facebook, where fans can ask questions and interact with the crew. Watch NBC Sports Chicago or click here for the livestream.

DURING THE GAME, FOLLOW US

Bulls Talk: @NBCSBulls
NBC Sports Chicago: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Bulls Outsders: Matt Peck (@Bulls_Peck)|John Sabine (@jsabine214)| David Watson (@bawlsports)

INJURIES

Name POS Status Date Injury Returns
Bobby Portis F Sidelined Oct 24 Knee Out indefinitely
Kris Dunn G Sidelined Oct 23 Knee Targeting December
Lauri Markkanen F Sidelined Sep 28 Elbow Targeting December
Denzel Valentine G/F Sidelined Apr 3 Ankle Out 4-6  months

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John Wall to the Bulls... who says no?
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The injured, rebuilding Bulls are exactly where they’re supposed to be

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