Lowe clarified that the Bulls would take offers on starting guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine as Thursday's trade deadline approaches. Dunn is averaging 12.2 points and 6.3 assists per game. LaVine, who signed a four-year, $78 million offer sheet last offseason, is posting 22.9 points on 45.2 percent shooting.
Markkanen and Carter are 21 and 19 years old, respectively, and are the team's most recent first-round draft picks. It makes sense for that duo to be untouchable, although the roster is in need of change given the Bulls' disappointing season.
Lowe discussed more about the Bulls in his piece:
The biggest question about Chicago going into the season was whether any of their main ball-handlers—Dunn, LaVine, and Jabari Parker when the Bulls were pretending he was a wing—would emerge as someone who could orchestrate an above-average NBA offense. The answer has been an emphatic no. I would not bet on Dunn or LaVine getting dealt; they are still young, the Bulls would ask for a ton, and they need, like, some guards on next year's team. But any rival enamored with them should call."
The Bulls have the fourth-fewest assists per game (21.6) and have committed the eighth-most turnovers per contest (15). Per NBA.com, they also have the league's worst offensive rating (101.5 points per 100 possessions).
As Lowe mentioned, however, Dunn and LaVine are young (24 and 23 years old, respectively). While it's hard to imagine a turnaround for Chicago with the current core in place, it would be unwise for the Bulls to start making deals in hopes of jettisoning players for whoever is out there.
That's what the Bulls did at the end of their 1990s championship dynasty, with Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen notably going to the Houston Rockets for Roy Rogers and a second-round pick. Chicago waived Rogers, and he ended up playing only 40 more NBA games.
On the positive side, the Bulls are in line for a high draft pick. At this point, the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Bulls have by far the worst records, so Chicago could have a top-four selection if teams above them in the standings don't have more pingpong ball luck.