Bulls Notes: Trade Deadline, Porter, LaVine, Williams

It hasn’t been scheduled yet, but Bulls management has an important meeting coming up to plot the team’s future, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago is part of a crowded field fighting for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and decisions will have to be made soon on whether to try for the postseason or build for the future.

“Nothing has been presented to me in terms of any ideas or suggestions of buying, selling or anything like that. I don’t have anything on that,’’ coach Billy Donovan said before Saturday’s game. “My focus has been on trying to continue to help the group get better and improve and to try to help the team get better. But I know in speaking to (executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas) that he wants to sit down and have a conversation at some point, probably a couple of weeks before we’re out from the trade deadline.’’

The Bulls, currently in ninth place in the conference, must decide whether to be buyers or sellers ahead of the March 25 deadline. Several teams are reportedly interested in veteran forward Thaddeus Young, and the team will have to determine whether it wants to keep building around Zach LaVine or listen to offers for a potential franchise-altering deal.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Starting center Wendell Carter Jr. is healthy again, but that’s the only positive news on the injury front, Cowley adds in a separate story. Lauri Markkanen remains sidelined by a sprained right shoulder that will likely keep him out of action until mid-March, and Otto Porter Jr. is still being bothered by back issues. “He’s done nothing in practice, but he has gotten shots up, and he has been doing more physically,’’ Donovan said of Porter. “Still do not know a timetable of when he’ll actually be back.”
  • Donovan made the case for LaVine to be added as an All-Star after his 38-point outburst Saturday night, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. The reserves are chosen by coaches and will be announced Tuesday. “When you look at players that are All-Stars, you are saying they are playing at a high level individually and they are also raising the level of the team,” Donovan said. “I think Zach has done that.”
  • Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports looks at how Patrick Williams‘ “stone cold” reputation has helped him move into the starting lineup as a rookie without a normal training camp or preseason.
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