Other teams around the NBA are reportedly sending scouts to Bulls games in case their front office decides to become sellers at the trade deadline, according to a new report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
"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. And they're all gathering intelligence like, 'What's gonna happen with the Bulls?'" Windhorst said on NBA Today.
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The trade rumors have been flying since this past offseason.
It's been well-reported by outlets, including K.C. Johnson with NBC Sports Chicago, that LaVine fell into trade conversations with the Philadelphia 76ers during the James Harden trade commotion, and with the Portland Trail Blazers while they were shopping Damian Lillard. Johnson reported the Trail Blazers never seriously pursued LaVine, however.
What's more, DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls are reportedly "far apart" in contract talks for an extension, according to Shams Charania. DeRozan is playing on the last year of his deal this season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The NBA's Feb. 9 trade deadline could prove significant for the Bulls, who know their time left together is running out if they can't figure out a way to create postseason success.
But, it doesn't matter how many teams want to send scouts to Bulls games, the question is --- what does the Bulls' front office want to do?
They've preached continuity for multiple seasons now. And they've shown their commitment to the team in place by extending LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White to long-term deals.
What happens if things go south for the Bulls near the deadline?
Stay tuned. Teams are ready for the worst-case scenario from Chicago.