Buyers or sellers? Bulls’ Zach LaVine has his opinion after a big victory

LaVine had 41 points in the Bulls’ win Friday over the Joel Embiid-less 76ers. Afterward, he was asked about keeping the roster intact because it has shown enough or breaking it up by the deadline.

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Zach LaVine

PHILADELPHIA — Arturas Karnisovas better be enjoying that view from 50,000 feet.

What the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations is seeing from up there is anyone’s guess.

Is Karnisovas seeing a team that’s 9-2 against Eastern Conference powerhouses Miami, Boston, Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Philadelphia after the 126-112 victory Friday against the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center? Or is he seeing a team that can get up and square off against the big boys but shows no urgency against lesser competition?

Is he seeing a team that can reach the second round of the playoffs (the bar that Karnisovas set for this team in the fall)? Or is he becoming overly enamored with fool’s gold?

With the trade deadline just over a month away and organizations needing to start making decisions, coach Billy Donovan expected to find out what his boss was thinking sooner rather than later.

“I really like this group a lot,’’ Donovan said. “I like the way they come to work each day, the way they’re trying to improve. I still believe in the group. I’m in there every day emotionally with them. [Karnisovas] probably has a 50,000-foot view overlooking everything, and we’ll have those conversations, but I feel like in the time being, regardless of what happens when that day comes, I feel like my responsibility with our staff and our team is to try to become the best version of ourselves more consistently.’’

But Donovan also can’t ignore the disappointing moments — losses to Orlando, San Antonio and Houston.

That’s why he has said several times that the Bulls are consistent at being inconsistent.

“This is who we are,’’ Donovan said.

Is that worth the gamble of hoping when the playoffs start and the competition is at its best that these Bulls will be at their best?

Only Karnisovas knows the answer to that with the Feb. 9 trade deadline bearing down.

“We’re both on the same page and think the same way, that there are these moments we show really good hope and promise, and then there are times we walk away kind of scratching our heads,’’ Donovan said. “For me as a coach, you’re trying to find those buttons to get us to play more consistently, and obviously they’ve got to take that responsibility. We all do. When we get closer to the date, as [Karnisovas is] evaluating the team and watching the team, I’m sure those conversations will get a little deeper of how he feels.’’

He had to feel good with the victory over the 76ers, led by a 41-point outburst from Zach LaVine, who had a 19-point third quarter and went 11-for-13 from three-point range.

“You just fall into it,’’ LaVine said. “I’m confident with all the shots I take, and eventually you make a couple in a row, you’re like, OK. After that it’s just target practice.’’

But there was an asterisk to the win that ended the 76ers’ 11-game home winning streak: Joel Embiid was sidelined with a sore foot. Embiid has never lost to the Bulls in his career, posting a 12-0 record and averaging 29.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

So should this win be added to the list of reasons why this roster should be kept intact and the team possibly even become buyers in a few weeks?

LaVine offered his opinion.

“At our best, we showed what we can be last year [at this time],’’ LaVine said. “We were the No. 1 team in the East. At our best, we’re one of the best teams in the league.

“That’s for them to decide. . . . I’m not worried about our roster.’’

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