Bulls uncertain offseason brings potential for major Spurs upgrade

The Chicago Bulls' reported change in stance surrounding a Zach LaVine deal may signal an opportunity for the San Antonio Spurs to upgrade their roster.
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Tre Jones
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Tre Jones / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls are in an odd spot this offseason. They have a lot of money tied up in their stars and DeMar DeRozan is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He'll be looking for a big deal, while the Bulls are trying to figure out what direction to take their franchise. If the San Antonio Spurs come up with the right deal, they can take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the house that Michael Jordan built.

KC Johnson is a seasoned Bulls insider and during a Q&A session, he addressed the plan set forth by Chicago's front office when they acquired DeRozan in a trade with San Antonio in 2021. As he mentions, they immediately catapulted to the top of the Eastern Conference but were sabotaged by injuries and have never regained the same momentum. Three years later, changes must be made to the core of their roster to break through the glass ceiling they find themselves stuck under.

Chicago's change in stance on LaVine's trade return is a sign of exhaustion

Originally, the Bulls were reportedly asking for an all-star-caliber player and two first-round draft picks in exchange for Zach LaVine. If that price has dropped considerably, it means that although they can't get that back, they're still dead set on moving on from a career 21-point-per-game scorer with a 38% average from three. They're changing directions no matter what.

This article is not suggesting that the Spurs target LaVine. Devin Vassell is the team's two-guard of the future. Vassel is younger and cheaper, and the Bulls veteran is coming off foot surgery, which is likely a factor in Chicago's inability to fetch their desired return for him.

Simply moving on from the UCLA Bruin won't be enough to move the needle for Chi-Town, especially since what's coming back won't equal who's leaving. Expect them to make more than one transaction, and as KC Johnson mentioned in the article, though they may not want to trade Alex Caruso, everything has to be on the table when making a pivot this major.

San Antonio should make a play for Alex Caruso

Whatever would be considered reasonable for an Alex Caruso-centric trade, the Spurs have the assets for. They could use some of them to acquire a relentless defender with playoff experience and a dog-mentality. He hits three-point shots and will come off the bench to strengthen what was one of the lesser defensive units in the NBA last season.

Adding Caruso to the roster addresses several needs for San Antonio. His aforementioned skills will do wonders for this young roster, and if the Spurs decide to be more aggressive this summer, his experience in high-leverage games will be useful.

He's entering the final year of his contract at almost $10 million. That's a drop in the bucket and doing the deal ASAP will give you a leg up on re-signing him before next summer. If he does not return to the Silver and Black, the team will clear that money off their books during a strong free agency period with very little lost. However, the idea of continuing to play alongside Victor Wembanyama may be enough to entice Caruso to stick around.