Don’t look now, but trade winds are beginning to pick up in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline.
But if you ask Bulls coach Jim Boylen, things are quiet in Chicago.
«It’s very quiet in the league in general. Very quiet,» Boylen said after the team’s Tuesday afternoon practice. «I met with [Bulls VP of Basketball Operations] John [Paxson] yesterday, like I do on off-days, and we talked about a number of things. It seems to be the whole league for the most part is standing pat at the moment. I think you always listen, but as far as activity, not a whole bunch has been expressed to me.»
Even sitting at 19-33, the Bulls find their hands tied on a number of fronts with the deadline impending. A brutal run of injuries to key pieces (Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Kris Dunn and Otto Porter Jr.) have effectively taken them out of the ‘big sellers’ market, while their 1-20 record against teams above-.500 make a playoff-push type of move feel unlikely.
Some activity remains possible, of course. According to NBC Sports Chicago Bulls Insider K.C. Johnson, executives and agents around the league are «focused» on the fates of the possibly aggrieved Thad Young and Denzel Valentine come Thursday. Johnson listed the Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies as feasible landing spots for Valentine.
So is the business of basketball. The challenge for the Bulls will be blocking out the noise and continuing to plug on up to and after February’s All-Star break.
«I always have an ear on what’s going. We know it’s a business,» Zach LaVine said. «My first year in the NBA, I had 26 guys in and out of the locker room, so I got accustomed to the NBA pretty quickly. You never know. You appreciate the time with your teammates, but you have to understand it’s a business, too. We’ll see.»
So we shall.
‘It’s very quiet’: Bulls blocking out chatter as trade deadline approaches originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago