The Bulls are receiving plenty of attention from potential trade partners but it’s uncertain whether Arturas Karnisovas, their executive VP of basketball operations, is interested in making any deals, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The March 25 trade deadline is still in the distance but teams are looking increasingly at the Bulls to fortify their rotations, with power forward Thaddeus Young is drawing the most interest, according to Cowley. That confirms an earlier report that Young is the team’s most viable trade candidate.
Young’s contract could give teams some cap flexibility. He’s making approximately $13.5MM this season with a salary of $14.2MM next season. However, only $6MM of next season’s salary is guaranteed.
Young, 32, has played 982 career games but he’s still got something left in the tank. In 17 games this season off the bench, the veteran is averaging 11.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.3 APG and 1.1 SPG.
There are some strong reasons for Karnisovas to hold onto Young. He’s highly respected in the locker room and the Bulls can contend for a playoff berth this season. They’re 8-13 but only five Eastern Conference teams currently have winning records.
Quite a few others on the Bulls’ roster could attract interest. Certainly, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen could give contenders an offensive jolt if the Bulls were willing to part with either one of their top two scorers. They also have several players — Otto Porter Jr., Cristiano Felicio, Garrett Temple and Denzel Valentine — in the final year of their contracts. Additionally, Tomas Satoransky‘s $10MM salary for next season is only partially guaranteed for $5MM.