The Chicago Bulls are stuck in a tough spot. They theoretically have the pieces to build a true contender around, but a litany of issues surrounding their on-court chemistry and off the court dynamics have stunted their progress.
Chief among those issues are reports that teammates have had issues with Zach LaVine. His issues in terms of shot selection and also defensive effort have been apparent this season, but what is unclear if whether those issues are stemming from him still getting back into basketball shape or a changed attitude and entitlement due to his new max-contract extension.
While the Chicago Bulls were able to silence the critics for one night, with their most recent win against the Miami Heat, it is worth noting that they faced a Heat team without the majority of their core rotation.
Nonetheless, if the Bulls can work out their issues and return back to relevancy no one will be happier than me. Yet, if they can’t, it’s worth considering some trade scenarios that could help kick off a rebuild to initiate the next era of Bulls basketball.
The biggest thing with any rebuild though is for the Chicago Bulls to avoid the issue that plagued them last time: having no leaders on the team. It’s imperative for the Chicago Bulls to hold onto one veteran to guide their young core not only for the sake of player development, but to leave a path back to quick contention via free agency open should players be interested in Chicago.
If the Chicago Bulls rebuild, they should hold onto DeMar DeRozan.
With all this said, and as backwards as it sounds, I believe if the Chicago Bulls hit reset they should still hold onto DeMar DeRozan. DeMar is a culture setter, someone who can help guide the Bulls into their next phase with his leadership, work ethic, and team-first approach. Whether he wants to be a part of that is another thing, but if he’s not, they can always entertain trading him then.
What follows here are trades that would kick off a rebuild for the Chicago Bulls, and push their young players into key contributing roles to accelerate their development without the day to day pressure of winning.