Arturas Karnisovas has said multiple times that he likes the young core the Chicago Bulls constructed. Zach Lavine headlines that group, coming off the best season of his career at 25 points per game. However, it appears other teams aren’t so convinced that the new Vice President of Basketball Operations will keep things status quo. Or at this point even be allowed to.
There are rumblings that Lavine and other players on the roster aren’t happy with the Bulls front office. Much of it stemming from the ongoing lack of action regarding head coach Jim Boylen. That discontent could result in a mass push to be traded elsewhere. Not just by Lavine mind you.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times told Lauren Magiera of WGN that two others are being watched.
“Yeah that’s my story for tomorrow, actually. It’s not just Zach Lavine being looked at. There’s teams, I’ve talked to other guys, there’s teams and scouts that have asked specifically about Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter. And it’s not just the Jim Boylen effect. What if Arturas has looked at this roster and says, ‘I don’t believe in some of these guys.’?…
…People are still naive to how much players talk. Zach Lavine is still good friends with Karl-Anthony Towns. His agent is Leon Rose. Tom Thibodeau’s agent was Leon Rose. Leon Rose gets the Knicks job. All of a sudden the Knicks are scouting Zach Lavine and doing background checks a little harder. Why is that? Because Zach was probably complaining that I don’t believe in this coach. I don’t want to be here.
He says that to KAT, KAT says that to his former agent who’s now with the Knicks and all of a sudden the Knicks are sniffing around with the Nets. So that’s how this thing all kind of starts.”
If Zach Lavine goes it’s possible the others will follow
The Boylen situation sounds like something that is out of Karnisovas’ control. Despite what ownership has said about him having complete authority, it’s becoming obvious that Jerry Reinsdorf is less than enthusiastic about the idea of having to pay two coaches. Boylen and his replacement. Especially during this pandemic when his finances are being squeezed.
So if the VP can’t make a move there for the time being, he can definitely enact his plan elsewhere. Namely overhauling the roster to fit the image he has of it. That could mean Lavine is out. The same goes for Markkanen and Carter Jr. as well. There is no telling what will happen.
It seems like Karnisovas wants to get a look at how these players look on the court up close before making any sort of decision. Probably why he’s hoping the bubble concept for the remaining eight teams who didn’t qualify for Orlando moves forward. That would be a prime opportunity.
One thing is clear. If he sticks with Boylen, then the players might force his hand.