Ever since Derrick Rose went down with a season-ending injury, there has been speculation that the Chicago Bulls front office may blow the team up. Such a process would be ignited with the Bulls trading small forward Luol Deng.
Deng is in the final year of his contract with the Bulls and recent speculation has the team trading the small forward before the trade deadline in February. The reason for trading Deng would be to save money by not attempting to sign the small forward in the off-season when his contract expires. Trading Deng would also allow for the Bulls to get something in return for the small forward instead of letting the veteran walk for nothing at the end of the season.
But all the speculation would be operating under the assumption that the Bulls want to part ways with Deng. Bulls general manager Gar Forman indicated on Tuesday that Deng’s role with the team is valued.
“Lu is valued here and continues to be a big part of what we’re doing,” Forman said. “Obviously once we get into the offseason we’re going to have to sit down with Luol and have to come to terms on another contract, but Luol is a big piece of what we’re doing, and he has been, and our feeling is he’ll continue to be.” -Gar Forman, ESPN Chicago
Bulls fans have been clamoring for the team to tank the season in order to improve their draft positioning. That simply isn’t going to happen. That would be why the Bulls front office will not elect to trade Deng if the team is in a position to make the playoffs. That being said, after the team’s three overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, some within the team’s front office may be coming to the realization that the playoffs may not be in the team’s future this season.
If that realization comes to fruition before the February trade deadline, then that may ignite a fire-sale as the Bulls would begin what likely would be a re-build.