The Chicago Bulls were the best team in the Eastern Conference at some point last season.
Then, with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso getting hurt, their defense took a major fall, and so did their record.
But there was plenty of optimism in the Windy City about this season. Most of the roster was coming back, and even without Ball, they looked like a legit dark horse candidate out of the East.
Fast-forward to today, and that’s no longer the case.
If anything, fans and analysts believe it’s just a matter of time before Arturas Karnisovas pulls the plug and hits the drawing board again, as this roster doesn’t seem like a good fit together.
Of course, they have three potential trade candidates in Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.
Nonetheless, they all have quite different values in today’s market:
“The Los Angeles Lakers have been interested in DeRozan, and they have some expiring contracts and future assets that would appeal to Chicago,” wrote DraftKings’ Chinmay Vaidya. “Vucevic himself is an expiring contract and can help a contender at the deadline. The Golden State Warriors could be a potential destination for the big man. LaVine likely stays put as the franchise player, and Ball has no trade value.”
Moreover, and despite all the narratives, oddsmakers don’t believe the Bulls will blow it up right now.
And even if that happens, they think Vucevic is unlikely to be moved before the deadline.
Where will Nikola Vucevic play after the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline?
Chicago Bulls -205
Los Angeles Lakers +290
Brooklyn Nets +350
Miami Heat +950
Los Angeles Clippers +950
San Antonio Spurs +1400 pic.twitter.com/3cX01P5qPL
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) December 23, 2022
The 32-year-old is on the verge of becoming a free agent, but he’s had a down season by his standards.
So, barring a desperate move, an injury, or a huge blockbuster deal that also includes LaVine or DeRozan, Vuc is likely staying put in Chicago.