The Bulls have 11 games to play until the NBA trade deadline Feb. 9.

That doesn’t give them a whole lot of time to wait for sustainable improvement from a team that has shown itself to be consistently inconsistent.

Then again, there might not be much choice. While outside executives have labeled the Bulls as a team to watch on the trade front, multiple sources have told the Sun-Times the team might be very quiet leading up to the deadline.

Maybe that’s why coach Billy Donovan has been so adamant about his players understanding what’s being asked of them on both ends of the court, not to mention that they have to do it every possession.

On Friday at the United Center, the less talented Thunder took a relentless mentality to the court. The Bulls, meanwhile, continued flashing only glimpses of such a mentality in their 124-110 loss.

‘‘The mentality is there; they are trying,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘But the ability to sustain it over a long period of time is something we’re still trying to work toward.’’

When Donovan was asked why that message continues to get lost on his players, he responded: ‘‘I don’t think it’s necessarily about getting a message as much as it is we’ve got to compete at a much higher level. And we’ve shown signs of doing it really well and looked good while doing it.