The Chicago Bulls are drowning. A 9-14 record, 12th place in the Eastern Conference, while winning just three of their last 10 games? Yikes. Something really needs to change.
The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly internally discussed a trade that would send DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic to La La Land. In this hypothetical trade, the Bulls would receive former All-Star Russell Westbrook and the Purple and Gold’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.
With that said, there are plenty of reasons the Bulls must pull the trigger on this trade with the Lakers.
3. Mediocrity is a death sentence
In the modern NBA, front offices are willing to live and die through two paths: they want to see their teams in the top-6 seeds of either conference, competing with championship aspirations or at the very least some semblance of a route to the conference finals. Or, executives are willing to tank to the bottom, freeing up cap space for potential free agents, injecting confidence into young guns to see how far their ceiling truly is, and praying for a lottery ball to bounce in their favor.
Right now, the Bulls are taking neither path. They sit at the 12th seed, yet still shooting for the playoffs, where they are unlikely to make much noise. Considering that, it is time for general manager Marc Eversley to hit the eject button. This is not the group of guys that will make the Bulls a competitive team again.
DeMar DeRozan is still a bucket, but he is only getting older. Zach LaVine has not looked the same player post-surgery. And Nikola Vucevic’s deficiencies tend to overshadow what he really brings to the table. Lonzo Ball seems far away from a return to the court, never mind the player he was before his injury. It is time to let this team go. Hovering around the play-in tournament for the foreseeable future just further pushes back the inevitable tank.