Bulls Trade Rumors: Divided Locker Room Predicts Chicago Bulls Trade Before NBA Deadline?

Bulls trade rumors including Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol are making Chicago front page news. These Chicago Bulls trade rumors seem to stem from the team not only failing to gel together, but also the lack of postseason success. A report from Basketball Insiders also points to a divided locker room full of cliques and players who have individual agendas this season. All the discord could lead to the Chicago Bulls making a deal before the NBA trade deadline, but trying to move some of the players could be problematic.

The prospect of the Bulls trading Derrick Rose has come up before, but even if the front office decided it was time to trade the former NBA MVP, it could be very difficult to find another franchise willing to take on his salary. Rose is simply not the player that he used to be, and injuries have started taking a huge toll on him. His salary of just over $20 million for the 2015-16 NBA season and then just over $21 million next year might be too high for a player of his skills.

Regarding the Chicago Bulls trade rumors, nearly every player on the roster not named Jimmy Butler has come up recently. Pau Gasol has been mentioned as an All-Star player in the final year of his current deal, Taj Gibson has come up as a good low post player for a contender, and players like Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy, and Aaron Brooks could be good role players for a new team. Joakim Noah had been mentioned in a number of offseason trade rumors, but a season-ending injury likely makes him untradable now.

Joakim Noah On Bench [Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]The Bulls aren’t exactly floundering in the Eastern Conference standings, but the team also doesn’t look like it could compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers to get back to the NBA Finals. The Bulls are currently the fifth seed in the East at 26-21, trailing the 28-22 Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks by 1 and a half games. That’s how close the Bulls are to securing home court advantage in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs, but the team is also just 1 and a half games ahead of the eighth-seeded Indiana Pacers. A hot streak could move the team up, while a cold streak could drop them out of the playoff race.

The NBA trade deadline comes on February 18, giving the front office of the Chicago Bulls a lot of time to make a deal. The team is currently way over the salary cap and at risk of paying the luxury tax with a payroll of $89 million this season. That ranks seventh in the entire NBA, with the possibility of moving up if other teams deal contracts away before the deadline.

Though there are certainly a lot of Chicago Bulls trade rumors, the team may end up making no moves when the deadline approaches. The core of the team has been kept together for a while now, and the front office has made no indications that it wants to take a different road. That road might include finding a team to take on Derrick Rose for very little value in return and another team to give up a first-round pick for Pau Gasol. Those deals would announce that the team is giving up on making the 2016 NBA Playoffs though.

Chicago Bulls Bench [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]If the report from Basketball Insiders is correct, the Chicago Bulls definitely need to make a big move before the NBA trade deadline hits in two weeks. Sticking with the same roster might keep fans of the Bulls excited about postseason possibilities, but it doesn’t give any reason for analysts to predict the team will do well in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]