Bulls Notes: LaVine, DeRozan, Caruso, Terry, Phillips, Carter

Rival teams are keeping an eye on the Bulls amid their slow start, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Friday on “NBA Today” (hat tip to Bleacher Report). Chicago is 13th in the East with a 3-6 record, leading to speculation that changes could be coming soon.

“In talking to some people around the league, the scouts are jamming themselves into Bulls games because they realize that at some point, the Bulls may break this team up,” Windhorst said. “And they’re all gathering intelligence like, ‘What’s gonna happen with the Bulls?'”

Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are expected to be in demand if Chicago decides to shake up its roster. There has been speculation that the Sixers may pursue LaVine with the assets they got in the James Harden deal, although one subsequent report said the Bulls have “no intention” of trading the high-scoring guard. DeRozan is playing on an expiring $28.6MM contract and hasn’t been able to work out an extension, so the team may be more inclined to part with him if it becomes a seller.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Alex Caruso would be a valuable trade chip if the Bulls decided to move him, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Even though he comes off the bench and his value is primarily on defense, Caruso has been the team’s most valuable player so far this season, according to Mayberry. Caruso would be a valuable addition for anyone aiming to win right away and he’s signed for one more year at a team-friendly $9.9MM, Mayberry adds. A Caruso deal could help the Bulls replenish their depleted draft capital.
  • Dalen Terry, a first-round pick in 2022, has been assigned to the G League several times already this season while rookie Julian Phillips has remained with the Bulls, but coach Billy Donovan said that’s not reflective of their standing on the team, Mayberry states in the same piece. “Dalen had a whole year last year with the group,” Donovan said. “He was down in the G League some but not necessarily a lot. I think getting Julian acclimated to NBA life, around our team, practices, the flow, those kinds of things, is important. There will be a time when he’ll end up going down there and playing in games.”
  • DeRozan said he never liked Jevon Carter as an opponent because of his tenacity on defense and his mismatched shoes. Carter explained to Mayberry that the different-color sneakers were a way to get attention for the AND1 brand when he wasn’t playing regularly.
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