(670 The Score) A day after acquiring a first-round pick in a trade that sent forward Niko Mirotic to the Peclians, Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson reminded how far the organization still has to go.
Paxson continues to view this as an early stage of the rebuild that kicked off when the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to acquire Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen on draft night last June.
“We can definitely build with it,” Paxson said in an interview on the Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score when asked if he thought the Bulls had the game’s best young core. “I’m not going to sit here and oversell anything, because there’s still a long, long ways to go.
“We’re going to be patient with it. We’re not going to start throwing money at players just for the sake of doing that. We look at this as a several-year plan.”
Markkanen, the 20-year-old rookie who’s averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds, has impressed Paxson with his early development.
“He’s better than we anticipated early on,” Paxson said. “He’s a guy that with strength and continuing to improve his skill level, given the way our game is, with that size and ability to shoot the ball and play-make and pass, we just have to believe he’s going to get better and better.”
With the trade deadline looming next Thursday afternoon, the Bulls (18-33) continue to hold discussions with other teams. Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday and Jerian Grant are three possibly trade candidates.
“Possibly,” Paxson said of whether another move could be coming. “I think the fact that we got this done early before the deadline allows us time to look at some other things. Again, we’re not going to do anything rash.”