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.