The Chicago Bulls are off to a 9-12 start to the season as they sit as the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Compared to the beginning of last season, the Bulls are off to a complete opposite start as they’ve struggled out the gate with the same core group from last season.
Looking up at the top of the East, the Bulls’ chances of making a run in the playoffs seems slim, let alone just making the postseason — which could call for a potential blow up of the current roster.
Bulls receive: Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, and a future first-round pick (top-4 protected)
Knicks receive: Zach LaVine
For the Bulls, letting go of LaVine at only the age of 27 and on the first year of his newly signed five-year, $215 million contract would be a sign that either they’re 100% ready for a full rebuild or that they don’t have faith in his long-term health.
With the Bulls trading DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic to the Lakers in Simmons’ three-trade proposal, Chicago shipping LaVine off to New York means a full fledge rebuild is underway.
Receiving a young talent in Obi Toppin along with the future protected first-round pick gives the Bulls two pieces for their future. Simmons mentioned taking back Evan Fournier’s contract along with expiring’s, but the Knicks don’t have any expiring contracts that fit into the deal, so a reunion with Bulls legend Derrick Rose could make this trade work monetarily, who only has one year remaining after this season.
As for the Knicks, they receive an All-Star in LaVine that they’ve been hoping to land for some time. Now, how good can you be if LaVine is your best player? You’re certainly not a contender, but with the right pieces around him, you could build something.
Adding LaVine alongside a lineup of Jalen Brunson, R.J. Barrett, and Julius Randle offers the Knicks a stout offensive group, but on the defensive end, there will surely be issues that even Tom Thibodeau will have trouble fixing.