Bulls Notes: Trade Deadline, Caruso, Irving, LaVine, White

The 25-27 Bulls find themselves at a crossroads as this Thursday’s trade deadline approaches, but they don’t have any intention of trading away core players, team and league sources tell Jamal Collier of ESPN.

Collier’s report is consistent with what we’ve heard in recent weeks from other Bulls reporters, including K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago and Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Both Johnson and Cowley acknowledged that the team’s stance could change as the trade deadline nears, but with only about 72 hours left for teams to make in-season trades, it sounds like the Bulls haven’t become any more inclined to sell.

Collier does hear from a league source that the Bulls have shown a willingness to listen to inquiries on Alex Caruso, but says Chicago would probably have to be “blown away” by an offer to actually trade the veteran guard, who is the club’s best perimeter defender.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • With Lonzo Ball‘s availability up in the air for the foreseeable future, Kyrie Irving might have made some sense as a Bulls target from an on-court perspective, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. However, Cowley hears that Irving was never on the team’s radar following his trade request. Russell Westbrook isn’t a trade target for Chicago either, Cowley adds.
  • After earning All-Star nods in 2021 and 2022, Zach LaVine isn’t sweating not being named to the team this year, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I didn’t feel like I played at an All-Star level at the beginning of the season. That’s coming back off of injury. I started slow and then started picking it up,” LaVine said. “I am where I’m supposed to be at. I know who I am as a player. I think the league knows that too.”
  • As Johnson relays, LaVine added that the Bulls haven’t been good enough to warrant sending two players to the All-Star Game (DeMar DeRozan was named a reserve). “I think bigger picture you’re not worried about All-Star, you’re trying to get your team back in the playoff picture,” LaVine said.
  • At one point this fall, it seemed like Coby White might be the odd man out in Chicago’s backcourt, but he has established himself as a consistent rotation piece over the course of the season, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. As Mayberry outlines, the case for hanging onto White and attempting to re-sign him as a restricted free agent is more compelling than it once was, so the Bulls could face a tough decision on the fourth-year guard at the trade deadline if they get a viable trade offer for him.
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