Bernstein: Davis Available As Bulls Hit Rock Bottom

It's a shame that Anthony Davis doesn't want to play for the Bulls.

Dan Bernstein
January 28, 2019 - 2:32 pm

(670 The Score) That thing that never happens is happening again, with yet another transformative NBA star looking to leave his current team for greener pastures. And the timing for the Bulls is ... not great. Any remaining pastures they may have are swamped by toxic sludge, bubbling and radioactive.

Anthony Davis has told the Pelicans that he won't sign an extension with them and has requested a trade. His agent Rich Paul described his client's preferred destination to ESPN as "a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship."

Though Davis was born and raised on Chicago's South Side, it would appear highly unlikely that the Bulls could provide Davis either aspect that he seeks, and that's a truth that needs to sink in at the highest levels of the organization. Even if the Bulls had a package of assets that could swing a deal, it would be merely a rental. They could try to offer a massive package of core players and draft picks, but to what ultimate end?

It doesn't help that most current Bulls are openly miserable right now, either gritting their teeth through strained post-loss interview whispers or laying down a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to understand that they know they're playing for a functional idiot. Coach Jim Boylen is virtual free-agent repellent at this point, not only with his lame tough-guy routine but his hilariously ineffective sets on both ends of the floor that seem almost calculated to diminish the skills of individual players and make his teams less likely to score enough points. Boylen is the dumb version of Tom Thibodeau -- all the constant bluster about toughness and work but without even a fraction of tactical chops.

The front office fares no better in the eyes of many power brokers around the NBA, having gained a reputation for occupational inertia above all else. Even if early rumblings about ownership being newly open to an overhaul have merit, Davis would never want to lock his prime years of production into such uncertainty and chaos above and beyond all the embarrassments of the moment.

ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst put it bluntly on his "The Hoop Collective" podcast.  

"I will say this: One of the worst-kept secrets in the league is that Anthony Davis does not want to play in Chicago, his hometown," Windhorst said. 

He then outlined a potentially attractive package involving some combination of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and a draft pick but ultimately dismissed their chances.

"The Bulls can put together a hell of an offer," Windhorst said, "but unless Anthony Davis has had a major change of heart since I was last informed, he does not desire to play in his hometown. So I'm taking the Bulls off the market."​

It's really a shame that after the Jimmy Butler trade seemed to provide a glimpse of a possible path out of the darkness, that reasonable optimism surrounding the Bulls has drained away to leave us here, with this. Nobody is getting better, everybody is getting worse, now not even having the fewest wins can guarantee the top overall pick and a 25-year-old five-time NBA All-Star and three-time all-NBA player from Chicago knows he doesn't want to play for the Bulls.

This has to matter to somebody.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.​