1 player Bulls must trade in 2023 NBA offseason

The Chicago Bulls completed a magnificent play-in victory over the Toronto Raptors to advance to the next game in the play-in tournament but failed to build on their fantastic performance in the next stage, as they faltered against the Miami Heat in the race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls were ahead 90-87 with three minutes remaining, but they only scored one point the rest of the way.

The defense has been their calling card for their 2022-23 campaign, as they are the fifth-ranked defense in the association. Even without Lonzo Ball this season, being fifth is incredible as they are ahead of franchises such as the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers. On offense, they are 24th in the NBA, which is the perfect indicator that their offseason must prioritize honing their offensive schemes.

It was evident that their scoring punch and shot creation were led solely by Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, who averaged 24.8 and 24.5 PPG, respectively. Moreover, the heavy reliance on the tandem is magnified by their high usage rate of 27.8% and 27.2%. As the offseason approaches, the one player Chicago must shop is their star player, DeMar DeRozan.

DeMar DeRozan

The contracts of Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball are enormous, and they will be difficult to trade in the offseason. The more intriguing piece is to movie the 33-year-old DeRozan, who is set to be a free agent in 2024. As his prime years are winding down, this is the perfect opportunity to pounce on the chance of maximizing his trade value.

The Bulls’ payroll for 2023-2024 is over $122 million, so it is paramount for them to let go of one of their main pieces to retool their lineup. Since his arrival last season, DeRozan has been a vital cog of Chicago’s success since his arrival last season, as he has been an All-Star in both seasons in the Windy City. However, the organization must accept that DeRozan’s peak will soon take a downturn.

If they intend to keep him past 2024, they will likely exceed the tax threshold again because DeRozan will demand a salary for an All-Star caliber player. The problem with that for Chicago’s side is the flexibility issue, and DeRozan will likely not be worth the money they will give him when he reaches 36 or 37 years of age.

Trading him in the offseason gives the opposing side at least one season with DeMar DeRozan, so Chicago must not waste that chance. Since Nikola Vucevic is a free agent, it will open up cap space for the front office to build their roster around Zach LaVine. Some targets they must focus on in a possible DeRozan deal are spectacular outside shooters, reliable floor generals, or massive rim protectors.

Those three issues have been a constant problem for Chicago, and they must scour the market for young assets which will be maximized in those particular roles. Like the Washington Wizards, the Bulls have been stuck in the middle of competing for a playoff spot and tanking for a top-five draft pick, so the 2023 off-season will be the best time for them to choose a structured direction.

Since the trade value of their nucleus is low, it is advisable to rebuild their lineup with the core of LaVine, who is 28, Ball, who is 25, and Alex Caruso, who is 29. They must avoid letting go of young assets like Wendell Carter Jr. and a draft pick that ended up being Franz Wagner in exchange for Nikola Vucevic.

With the DeRozan contract expiring soon, it is time for a rebuild, and it starts on July 2023. 

The post 1 player Bulls must trade in 2023 NBA offseason appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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