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Rumor: Chicago Bulls have interest in Rudy Gobert

Chicago Bulls v Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 16: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz looks on before a game against the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 16, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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Changes are coming to the Utah Jazz, starting with a new head coach. How deep those changes go into the roster remains to be seen — will Donovan Mitchell and/or Rudy Gobert be back? — but the changes are coming.

The chatter around the league has been about the Jazz being willing to move on from Gobert, with the Toronto Raptors as a likely suitor, and the Charlotte Hornets and others at least circling.

Add the Chicago Bulls to that list, reports Kevin O’Conner at The Ringer.

Sources have also indicated the Bulls are a team with interest in Gobert (and other centers on the market, including Knicks free agent Mitchell Robinson).

The Bulls were held back last season by a bottom-10 defense, and while injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso were part of the problem, that was far from the entire issue. Gobert would put an elite rim protector on the court that the Bulls could funnel all drives into and instantly improve their defense.

That improvement would come at a high price — Gobert is owed more than $170 million over the next four years. With the Bulls about to pay Zach LaVine — if he stays — on top of DeMar DeRozan, does Chicago want that much money on the books for Gobert?

Chicago would have to send center Nikola Vucevic — and his $22 million expiring contract — plus other players such as Patrick Williams out the door to get Gobert. Is putting all their trade chips in the Gobert basket the smartest move by the Bulls? Or, could they get valuable rim protection at a lower price and add depth in other parts of the roster.

Which is where going after Mitchel Robinson makes some sense if he’ll take the mid-level exception.

Neither the Bulls nor Jazz are standing pat this summer. However, that doesn’t mean they are doing business together.