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NBA trade rumors: Will Bulls blow up their “Big 3” at the deadline?

Chicago has some decisions to make about its direction.

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls
Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls talk during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 4, 2022 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls enter trade season in the NBA as one of the big dominoes in the league. Chicago’s three stars are not enough to get them past the best teams in the East but they are going to be in demand for other contenders if the Bulls make them available. Most across the league don’t have a strong read on what Chicago is planning to do.

After a playoff run last year, the Bulls have failed to recapture that magic this season. Lonzo Ball being sidelined indefinitely hasn’t helped matter, as his defensive chops held this unit together. DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic have all been worse than last season, and there’s been little internal improvement from Patrick Williams and Coby White. Alex Caruso is another player the Bulls could deal.

The possibility of making the play-in tournament doesn’t really help the Bulls, and they do have a top-4 protected first-round pick in the upcoming draft. In order to hit rock bottom, they’ll have to tear everything down and it feels like the front office doesn’t want to stomach something like that again.

Prediction: Bulls deal Caruso and Vucevic

It’s going to be hard to find a taker for LaVine’s contract, and the Bulls won’t go into tank mode completely so they’ll keep DeRozan around. Vucevic is an easy contract to move as an expiring deal, and a contender will talk themselves into adding the center. Caruso provides two-way abilities on the wing, which will attract several contenders and can likely net the Bulls a first-round pick if the bidding war gets going.