There have been rumblings around the NBA that the Chicago Bulls could blow it up at the trade deadline. For a while, it was hard to understand why.

The Bulls are not very good this season, currently sitting at 11-18, but they are missing Lonzo Ball. Ball has been out for nearly a year with recurring knee issues and was on a good path to recovery the last we heard. As a pass and defense-first player on a roster led by two score-first players, in Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, Ball is the team’s connective tissue. Most assumed Chicago would wait until he was back and see if the team can’capture the magic of the first half of the 2021 season before making any significant decisions.

Some clarity was provided today via Shams Charania that indicates the Bulls may not be able to wait. The Athletic’s insider reports the franchise isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with LaVine and it could be a big problem:

Even more, multiple league sources and sources close to the organization say LaVine and the Bulls are not seeing eye-to-eye. Over the past few weeks, there’s been a palpable feeling across various parts of the franchise of a disconnect over LaVine’s situation in Chicago.

That explains why Chicago is in the rumor mill. If other teams believe there’s trouble in paradise, they’ll make offers on LaVine. He’s younger than DeRozan or Nikola Vucevic. He’s lightning in a bottle as a scorer when he’s on. LaVine is a bad defender and an unwilling passer but certain teams won’t care about that. He is a 20-points per game scorer when all is well and that is very valuable in today’s NBA.