‣ For a third-consecutive year, the Chicago Bulls decided not to make any moves before the NBA trade deadline, with the team’s vice president Arturas Karnisovas expressing a desire to “remain competitive” despite the team’s middling performance.
‣ Despite having opportunities to trade players like DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, the Bulls chose to keep their core intact, with Karnisovas highlighting the importance of DeRozan to the team and the organization’s intention to re-sign him and other veterans.
‣ The Bulls are the only NBA franchise that hasn’t made a single trade the week of the deadline in the last three seasons, underlining a strategy that contrasts with the more transactional approaches of other teams.
DeRozan will turn 35 this summer as he enters unrestricted free agency.
— Die-Hard Chicago Bulls Fans (@DieHardCBfans)
For the third year running, Chicago’s made a bold choice. They didn’t shuffle their deck before the NBA trade deadline hit. Bulls VP, Arturas Karnisovas, faced the press with a clear message. He’s all about keeping the team in the game, aiming for competitiveness despite a less-than-stellar season standing.
Sitting 9th in the East with a 24-27 record, the team’s ambition remains high. “Taking a step back isn’t in our playbook,” Karnisovas stated firmly. The city’s pride and the playoff dreams are on the line, he believes.
Currently, they’re eyeing a spot in the Play-In Tournament. They’re trailing the Pacers by a handful of games, hoping to snag the conference’s 6th seed. Deja vu, anyone? Last year told a similar story, ending in playoff dreams dashed.
Karnisovas gets it, though. “It’s all about results,” he concedes. He’s ready to shoulder the blame for any missteps. Yet, with 30 games left, he’s not rushing to label the season a success or failure. “Let’s see what unfolds,” he suggests.
Here’s a fun fact from ESPN’s treasure trove of stats: Chicago stands alone. They’ve been the NBA’s quietest team at trade deadline week for three straight years. Meanwhile, the Heat and Cavaliers have been playing a similar, cautious game.
Zach Lavine’s been in the spotlight, and not just for his on-court prowess. His November outburst hinted at a desire for new horizons. Yet, fate had other plans. A season-ending injury in January, on top of other health woes, limited his playtime significantly.
Despite the setbacks, Karnisovas and Lavine share a solid bond. The VP’s stance is unwavering: “Zach makes us better.” He’s not going anywhere if Karnisovas has anything to say about it.
Why stick to the status quo? Karnisovas offered some insight. Despite the rocky season, the belief in the current roster is unshaken. Offers for stars like DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso came and went, but Chicago’s front office remained steadfast.
DeRozan, in particular, holds a special place in Karnisovas’s heart. “He’s pivotal,” Karnisovas gushed. DeRozan’s influence stretches far and wide within the team and the city. And Karnisovas is hopeful for the future.
According to a tweet from Die-Hard Chicago Bulls Fans, DeRozan’s open to staying—money permitting. As he approaches free agency this summer, his value to the team is undeniable.
Rumors swirled about potential moves, especially involving veteran Nikola Vucevic. Yet, the team’s actions spoke louder than speculative whispers. Karnisovas is eyeing the long game, planning to re-sign key players like DeRozan, who’s nearing another milestone birthday.
Karnisovas reflected on 2021, a year of transformation for the Bulls. “We’ve shown we can shake things up,” he said. Always on the lookout to bolster the team, he’s focused on both immediate and future competitiveness. Sadly, this time around, the right opportunities just didn’t emerge.