The Chicago Bulls are already struggling, losing two of their first three games. Zach LaVine has been performing at a high level, but the Bulls have struggled to build on their star guard’s hot start.
Chicago’s roster was built with the intention of contending, but Lonzo Ball’s injury struggles have hamstrung the franchise.
When speaking to the media after the Bulls’ Oct. 28 loss to the Detroit Pistons, though, LaVine remained optimistic.
“It’s our third year here together,” LaVine said. “We know how this business is. We all love each other. DeMar is one of my best friends. We talk all the time. But we have to figure out how to make this thing work.”
If the Bulls continue to struggle, there’s a possibility the front office hits the reset button. The roster is aging. Outside of Patrick Williams, there are no young prospects on the team. Chicago’s best chance of a turnaround is to tear things down. Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan are on the wrong side of 30, and LaVine will likely be the first on the trade block because he’ll likely fetch the highest return in a potential deal.
Ball’s injury struggles and prolonged absence have created uncertainty. There’s no guarantee he will be the same player the Bulls acquired to lead their roster when he does return. Every season the front office waits is another year’s worth of value it loses from the core trio. Trading players now might be the best route available.
LaVine has been clear about his desire to stay in Chicago. He has turned his career around with the team. However, he is unlikely to embrace a rebuild. Firmly in the prime of his career, LaVine will want to contend for championships. The Bulls need to turn things around quickly. Otherwise, there could be a flurry of moves before the February trade deadline, and LaVine could be the first domino to fall.