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Report: Bulls Send Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City for Josh Giddey in 1-for-1 swap

The disappointment of this current Bulls regime under Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas continues into their fifth off-season. After the second year in a row being bounced by the Miami Heat in the second Play-In game (this time without Jimmy Butler), the Bulls have already started changing their roster. According to Adrain Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Bulls have sent 2x All-Defensive guard Alex Caruso to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Josh Giddey.

Let's look at this from a player-to-player comparison before I get into the fleecing that OKC pulled off. Caruso is the better player than Giddey in many regards. He's a better shooter, more athletic, and a better defender and will fit with OKC's lineup near perfectly.

Yet, if the Bulls are heading towards a rebuild, I think Giddey is a good player to get. Yes, he is not a good defender and will probably only be able to be an average one at best, but his offensive playmaking does seem intriguing. Giddey averaged 12.3 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists despite being the tertiary ball handler behind MVP Finalist Shai Gilegous-Alexander and Jalen Williams. The problems start to arise when you find that Giddey is not a good three-point shooter (33.7% on 3.0 attempts per game), doesn't get to the free throw line at all (1.6 attempts this year), is not a good defender, is getting played off the floor in the playoffs, and he needs to have the ball in his hands to be a valuable player. Now, maybe a fresh scene in Chicago with the ball in his hands more often between him and Coby White (assuming DeRozan walks, Lavine is traded, and Lonzo Ball gets bought out) could work with a younger core between the two of them with Ayo Dosunmu, Patrick Williams and Julian Phillips, plus whoever Chicago selects at No. 11.

The real issue that lies here is the absolute asset malpractice performed by the Chicago brass. CHGO's Will Gottlieb reported that at last season's trade deadline, the Bulls had offers for multiple first-round picks and even an offer for a first-rounder that turned into a top-10 pick. Why didn't they move on those picks? Well, they had a mandate from ownership to try and compete for the playoffs and stay under the luxury tax. Gottlieb made it clear that Jerry Reinsdorf didn't explicitly veto trades but that Karnisovas was aligned with the vision that the team could make it to the playoffs. So, in what turned out to be a failed exercise in futility to make it back to the postseason (to get smacked by the Boston Celtics in the first round), the Bulls lost valuable assets to move towards a rebuild.

They could have gotten a lot more for sending Caruso to OKC on an expiring contract. The Thunder have a whopping 14 first-round picks from the 2025 draft to the 2030 draft. You're telling me that the Bulls couldn't have gotten one of the FIVE first-rounders OKC has next year, including a top-6 protected pick from Philly and their first-round pick, which is projected to be lower first-round picks? (OKC also has Miami's, but that's lottery protected, Utah, which is top-10 protected, and a first from either the Clippers or Rockets, which they wouldn't have given up anyway).

This front office has been an absolute train wreck outside of signing DeRozan, Caruso, and Drummond and drafting Donsunmu. Drafting Patrick Williams over Tyrese Haliburton in 2020, trading Wendell Carter Jr and two first-round picks for Nikola Vucevic, and then extending him when he's clearly regressing, banking on Lonzo Ball coming back to fix all their problems, and trading away Lauri Markkanen for basically nothing. This team and this leadership group have made me so apathetic to the Chicago Bulls and question my fandom. Why do I support a team that, time after time, refuses to see reality? Jerry Reinsdorf has ridden on the coattails of Micheal Jordan's historic tenure with the Bulls to prop up what would be the most irrelevant franchise in the NBA without him. All he cares about is lining his pockets with the hard-earned money of fans and never putting forth a quality product.

As long as the Bulls are top-5 in attendance, he couldn't care less if the Bulls went 74-8 or 8-74. Nothing will change until Jerry sells or moves to the great owner's box in the sky. Until then, as a paying fan, I will never go to another Bulls game at the UC. I think I speak for many Bulls fans when I say that we are done with the team, the front office, the ownership, and the organization as a whole.

Good luck in OKC, Caruso; you will be sorely missed here in Chicago.

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