Loud finish for Bulls, but they’re quiet behind the scenes as trade deadline nears

The Bulls avenged last month’s loss to Orlando thanks to DeMar DeRozan and Ayo Dosunmu, who helped them pull away late, but with the Feb. 10 trade deadline on the horizon, there’s still a glaring hole the organization might want to fill.

SHARE Loud finish for Bulls, but they’re quiet behind the scenes as trade deadline nears
Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan shoots over Magic forward Franz Wagner , during the first half of Tuesday’s game.

Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan shoots over Magic forward Franz Wagner , during the first half of Tuesday’s game.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AP

There have been all kinds of rumors out of Portland as the trade deadline approaches.

Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic and Larry Nance Jr. are reportedly on the block.

And the Pacers were looking to move Myles Turner, Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis in hopes of shaking up the roster.

As for all those hot Bulls rumors? Crickets.

Just like executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas likes it.

Karnisovas chooses to operate in the dark.

According to several basketball executives in the last week, the Bulls remain one of the toughest organizations to get a read on because Karnisovas plays things close to the vest, and little seems to leak out.

Before watching the Bulls beat the Magic 126-115 Tuesday night to remain atop the Eastern Conference, coach Billy Donovan was asked about that mentality from the organization. While there are no edicts handed down from the suits about keeping quiet about talks, he said it’s a front office that likes to keep a lot in-house.

“I think it’s probably the way Arturas conducts his business,’’ Donovan said. “It’s such a tight-knit league, and there’s only 30 teams. Everyone knows each other, so I would assume from a front-office perspective that they are probably having conversations that they want to stay between the walls. I don’t think that’s necessarily any different from any other organization. But I think it speaks to the fact that at least the guys that I dealt with in the front office, from [general manager] Marc Eversley, [VP of player personnel] Pat Connelly to [assistant GM] J.J. Polk, I mean, there’s great guys, but they’re taking care of business and doing their job, and they have a certain way I’m sure they want to go about doing it.’’

It’s no secret the Bulls (32-18) have been in search of a defensive-minded power forward to fill the vacancy left after Patrick Williams’ injury.

Against the Magic at power forward, it was Javonte Green — all 6-5 of him with shoes on. That’s not going to cut it against Joel Embiid or Bam Adebayo in the postseason, when Nikola Vucevic is going to need some help.

That deficiency was evident against the Magic. Big man Wendell Carter Jr. went on the attack against his former team right from the tip, going 5-for-6 for 11 points in that first quarter and finishing with 24.

Thankfully for the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan was on hand to finish off the Magic.

With the Bulls up two with 2:54 left, DeRozan made a 19-footer, and after a Magic miss, he found an open Ayo Dosunmu for a 17-footer. Dosunmu then hit a three-pointer, putting the Bulls up by nine. They avenged a loss to Orlando last month.

“I just think it comes from a mentality,’’ Dosunmu said of his big shots in the win. “It’s something that was always instilled in me.’’

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that there was growing momentum throughout the organization that Williams could be back before the end of the regular season, but that’s a leap of faith the team shouldn’t be counting on.

Nance would be an ideal addition, simply because he doesn’t demand a lot on the offensive end and brings an edge to the defense. If guard CJ McCollum is moved, that could open the door for Portland being interested in a package for Coby White, but the dominos would have to fall perfectly for that to happen.

With the current injuries in the backcourt, however, the Bulls might feel like White has to be a keeper, despite a pay day possibly due this offseason.

Time will tell because the Bulls surely won’t.

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