NBA: 5 Polarizing teams that must decide to add or rebuild before the trade deadline

Not every team in the NBA is a contender. Some teams are built to compete for years. Other franchises elect to take the win-now approach. There are those teams that are in the process of rebuilding. However, there are some teams at a crossroads that need to decide if they should make one more run at an NBA title - or start a rebuild.
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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2. Chicago Bulls

Continuity isn’t everything. That is what Bulls fans have seen with this year’s team. They hope that their team’s front office understands that as well.

Bulls Executive President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnišovas and General Manager Marc Eversley decided to run it back this season with essentially the same roster built around Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic. It hasn’t helped that Lonzo Ball hasn’t played since January 2022.

To say that the Bulls came out flat to start this season would be an understatement. A 5-13 start has doomed the Bulls’ season. This roster on paper with young wings Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Patrick Williams flanking the “mid-three” should be better. 

They’re not.

The Bulls' ceiling with Ball was a top-four Eastern Conference contender. They were atop the East standings back in January 2022 when Ball went down with a knee injury. Their floor is the lottery. Realistically, they are a play-in contender in the East – if that.

Zach LaVine has proven that he is not a true alpha on a winning team through his questionable shot selection and defensive lapses. He is likely on his way out of Chicago. The fact that the Bulls have played better recently in his absence only helps the argument for moving the two-time All-Star.

DeRozan is 34 years old and in the final year of his contract. It’s been reported that both the Bulls, and he are nowhere near terms of a potential extension. He could be moved at the deadline. Both Vucevic and Alex Caruso could also be traded by February.

The Bulls should prioritize playing talented wings like White, Williams, and Dosunmu. A rebuild should be on the horizon, although their stubborn front-office insists on winning now. This is a franchise that needs an overhaul badly. There is one other team that may need a rebuild more though.