Grading 4 NBA trade deadline targets from no-brainer to most-avoid

Tyus Jones, Kyle Kuzma
Tyus Jones, Kyle Kuzma / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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3) DeMar DeRozan

After plans to trade star Zach LaVine to the lowly Detroit Pistons fell through when he opted to have season-ending surgery, the Chicago Bulls have instead turned their attention to DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan can become a free agent after this season and may very well leave Chicago.

That gives the Bulls plenty of incentive to move him now for something rather than see him leave for nothing. One potential option could be to trade DeRozan to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, and three second-round picks. That probably wouldn't be what the Bulls are hoping for after giving up a haul, including a lightly protected future first, to the Spurs to acquire DeRozan.

Even still, the Bulls are without many draft assets and could use all that they can get, not to mention that moving DeRozan and being without LaVine would allow them to tank and improve their lottery pick for this year. The Bulls are currently projected to have the 10th pick in the 2024 NBA draft but could lose their way up to 8th, giving them a chance to start their rebuild on a decent note.

Other teams could express interest in DeRozan but, with MVP Joel Embiid out for at least a month and potentially much longer, the Sixers could use a cheap trade replacement that could help carry their offense over the remainder of the season. Based on that, he'd be a good trade target for contenders such as the Sixers ahead of the deadline.