The Chicago Bulls have dealt with injuries at times this season to Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy and heading into the trade deadline, names like Greg Monroe, Brook Lopez, Gerald Green, Wilson Chandler or Lance Stephenson could be options for Derrick Rose support in the second half of the season and this comes as the Knicks are preparing to target Jimmy Butler as a restricted free agent.
The Bulls have been one of the best teams in the league this season, but they just went through a tough stretch and even Tom Thibodeau has come under fire in headlines. The Bulls have the division lead over the Cavaliers, but things are much closer now than they were and if the team doesn't make a deep run this season, there is a chance that Thibodeau could be on the hot seat.
According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, the relationship between Thibodeau and the front office is not good and if the team doesn't have a successful postseason run, he wouldn't be surprised if the sides have a "mutual parting" at the end of the year. Thibodeau has been very successful, but the Bulls have not been able to make it to the finals and part of that has been the injuries to Rose the past couple years.
The Bulls have dealt with headlines that Thibodeau is too intense in practice and that he runs players down, but Pau Gasol and Rose came out to defend the coach. Either way, the team may look for some offensive help at the deadline, as Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott have been injured. Gerald Green could be an option, while Wilson Chandler and Tyler Ennis are also being shopped at the deadline.
Butler has been the best player overall for the Bulls this season and he is averaging 20.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Butler was named to the All-Star team and with that being in NY, the Knicks interest surely will get reported on. The Knicks want to sign Butler as a restricted free agent, but that's unlikely, as the Bulls have said they will match any offers.
The Bulls are currently 30-19 on the season and first in the central division, but the Cavs have closed in on the team since earlier in the year. The Bulls have not been all that impressive in 3015, as they have had a streak of six losses in eight games and just lost two games in a row after falling to the Suns on Friday. The team next faces off against the Houston Rockets on the road and then play against the Pelicans, who just got Anthony Davis back and snapped the long winning streak for the Hawks.
The Bulls had a substantial lead on the Cavaliers earlier in the season, but the Cavs have cut into the lead and now are just a game back. The Cavs have won 11 games in a row to close things and while it wouldn't be disastrous for the Cavs to win the division over the Bulls, it was looking like that was not a possibility earlier in the season. The team has gone through some injuries and has dealt with headlines involving Thibodeau and now they have to find a way to pull together for the second half of the season. In their last 10 games, the Bulls have gone just 4-6, while the Cavs have been undefeated.