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Could frustrated DeMar DeRozan ask for trade this summer?

Ja Morant believes the NBA title will run through the Celtics and that he's "fine in the West." Michael Holley says Morant has "woken up" the rest of the Western Conference, as Jim Trotter and Marc Spears debate whether he'll come to regret the comments.

Front office personnel from other teams are already circling the Chicago Bulls, waiting and hoping they become one of the teams to pivot to the NBA Draft lottery and become sellers at the trade deadline. Add in reports of frustration in Chicago and that sense of hope in other front offices is heightened (the Bulls’ decision to tank is complicated by the fact that they owe their pick to the Magic if it falls outside the top four, and even if Chicago pivots hard to tanking there will be a greater than 50/50 chance they lose the pick).

The Bulls may not have a choice. Those executives from other teams think DeRozan could be frustrated enough to demand a trade, reports Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report from the G-League Showcase in Las Vegas (where a lot of front office folks gather and talk).

If matters don’t improve this season, rivals executives believe it could lead star guard DeMar DeRozan to request to be moved in the offseason, league sources tell Bleacher Report.

DeRozan, who has been the Bulls’ most consistent star, has one year remaining on his deal. Playing on an expiring contract is a non-starter for most high-caliber players. The options: Extend after the season or ask for a new location. Chicago has its work cut out.

Lets’ be clear, this is executives from other teams speculating — and in some cases hoping they are right — about what the Bulls will do next. Chicago will choose its own path. But whether that path should involve the current roster is a valid question both now and next summer.

DeRozan, 33, is averaging 25.9 points per game on 50.8% shooting, is a killer from the midrange and is a solid passer and playmaker. He’s also been the guy the Bulls lean on in the clutch.

If DeRozan and LaVine can’t mesh as players — the Bulls have a -2.6 net rating this season when both are on the court — Chicago may lean into rebuilding around 27-year-old LaVine, who is entering his prime and to whom the team gave a max extension to last summer.

Haynes’ report suggests DeRozan could ask for a trade next summer if the Bulls flame out, but if Chicago senses things are heading that way will they test the trade market in February? That’s what those executives from other teams are counting on. If the Bulls make him available, there would likely be genuine interest in a DeRozan trade from Los Angeles to Miami and New York.

How the Bulls play over the next month — if they have more dramatic wins like on Wednesday night — will go a long way in deciding what the Bulls will do come February. But one way or another, things could be interesting in Chicago by next summer.