NBA Trade Rumors 2014: Chicago Bulls To Target Lance Stephenson If LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony Sign Elsewhere
- Paul John Rivera
- Jan 17, 2014 11:41 AM EST
The Chicago Bulls are slowly becoming a team that is already looking past this season after losing superstar Derrick Rose to a knee injury for the entire season.
The Bulls recently traded one of their former core players -- Luol Deng -- to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month as part of their grand plan for next summer, which is to sign another superstar from the free agent market.
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The Chicago Sun-Times reported that LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are on top of the Bulls' wishlist for next summer. But if they fail to convince either superstar to join forces with Rose, the Bulls will reportedly target Indiana Pacers emerging star Lance Stephenson.
The Bulls are reportedly high on acquiring Stephenson, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Signing Stephenson, who is averaging 13.3 points to go along with 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season, will move Jimmy Butler to his more-preferred small forward position. The report suggested that highly-touted Nikola Mirotic could also move to the NBA next season.
"If they fail to land a star of the magnitude of Anthony or James, there is a consolation prize. The Bulls would love to nab Lance Stephenson from the Indiana Pacers, move Jimmy Butler to the three and add highly touted Nikola Mirotic," the Sun-Times noted.
Joakim Noah Reacts To Tank Requests From Bulls Fans
In other Bulls news, veteran center Joakim Noah took a swipe at Bulls fans who are calling for them to tank games to have a better chance of landing a good player in the 2014 NBA Draft.
With Rose out and Deng traded, the Bulls' chances of winning a title this season are very slim, prompting speculation that they will go into "tank mode" to slide into the lottery of the highly-anticipated draft this year, which will feature several prospects who are viewed as potential franchise players.
But for Noah, a fan who is thinking that the Bulls should purposely lose some of their remaining games is not a real fan of the team.
"I don't say nothing to those fans. It's all good. You're allowed to have your opinion. It's just, that's not a real fan to me. You know what I'm saying? You want your team to lose? What is that? But it's all good," Noah said, as reported by ESPN Chicago.
The Bulls are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference with their 18-19 record. They have won in nine of their last 10 games, which include four wins in five games since parting ways with Deng.