Chicago Bulls executive VP Artaras Karnisovas takes first step in offseason changes – NBC Sports Chicago

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After admitting in mid-April following the Chicago Bulls’ second straight non-playoff season that “this team is not working,” Artaras Karnisovas vowed to turn things around this offseason.

When you trade a player in Alex Caruso who is critical to the culture Karnisovas has said he wants to build in Chicago, it means Karnisovas is serious about implementing change.

The question, of course, is what’s next? Do the Bulls look to cash in on their two-time All-Defensive Team floorburn leader, who significantly improved his 3-point shot for a nine-year underpowered floor leader, as the lone move to keep the Bulls competitive?

Or will more moves and a more significant facelift come? League sources reiterated that the Bulls continue to work on several trade fronts centered around Zach LaVine, including the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers. Does this take-a-back move make DeMar DeRozan consider unrestricted free agency more strongly?

As a complete transaction this offseason, the move doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance. If other moves are made, perhaps it can be viewed in a holistic context. This will be Karnisovas’ first transfer since August 2021, when players will switch teams.

At least three things are clear: By adding Giddey, the Bulls aren’t completely sold on a Lonzo Ball comeback. Peter Patton, the famous shooting coach who serves as the Bulls’ director of player development, has an important plan for the Thunder with Kiddy, a 31 percent 3-point shooter.

Also, are Bulls fans going to miss Caruso—rightfully so.

Caruso returned to ownership after being given his first shot as an undrafted free agent with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League, then coached by current Thunder coach and NBA Coach of the Year Marc Daignault. He needs to play for a championship.

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Gidey, who turns 22 in October, comes to Chicago to theoretically have the same timeline as Kobe White and Ayo Tosunmu, depending on how the LaVine and Ball situations play out.

White played well last season and became a finalist for Most Improved Player. And while he’s good on the ball, he’s also more of a danger on the ball in catch-and-shoot situations. The Bulls lacked a true floor general after Ball’s first injury, although White showed significant improvement in floor structure.

Kiddy could be that, and he has size and length. He’s nowhere near as good on the ball as a defender or shooter — and this is where Patton and Kiddy’s own work ethic must come into play. Remember: Ball completely revamped his shot and became a 3-point shooter.

At 6 feet, 8 inches, Gide is a good rebounder and has strong court vision. His passing ability is sublime. Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti, generally considered one of the league’s best executives, drafted Kitty with the sixth overall pick in 2021. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s boom and usage rate negated some of Gide’s strengths.

But Giddey isn’t just a random 3-point shooter; He can be reluctant at times. When you combine that with his inability to get to the line often with just 1.7 career attempts per game, he has room to grow.

Like Caruso, Kitty will need an extension past the 2024-25 season. Due to make $8.3 million, he will be eligible to sign an extension from his rookie contract through opening night of next season or become a restricted free agent in 2025.

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The Bulls started the contract clock too early when they finally decided to part ways with Caruso, and the fact that no pick was included in the deal from an owner who swam for them raises eyebrows.

The Bulls turned down significant interest in Caruso at the last two trade deadlines, especially from the Golden State Warriors, as they looked to make a playoff run. They failed.

A larger context may be needed to fully determine whether this trade has passed or failed. But it was the beginning of change, even if it cost Chicago a fan and a player who should be admired for what he gave.

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