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It's no secret that the Chicago Bulls have been swimming in the pool of mediocrity for quite some time now. Aside from half of a season where Chicago looked like it could challenge some of the top teams in the East, which quickly ended due to injuries, the Bulls have been satisfied with simply being average.

The Bulls have refused to rebuild, despite multiple years of minimal success, and in the past two trade deadlines, Chicago has stood pat against better judgment. And while fans have been criticizing the front office for its inaction in trying to improve the roster, it appears that energy should be directed at Bulls ownership.

Ahead of the trade deadline this season, the Bulls reportedly declined several offers for All-Defensive guard Alex Caruso, including one that involved a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft. However, pressure from Bulls ownership to compete for the 2024 playoffs had an impact on the front office declining deals for Caruso, per CHGO's Will Gottlieb.

It was reported ahead of the trade deadline that the Bulls were asking for a hefty return in order to part with Caruso. Chicago was reportedly searching for something along the lines of what the Raptors got for OG Anunoby, when they traded him to the Knicks. In trading Anunoby, Toronto received two high quality young players in RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, as well as a 2024 second-round pick. Instead, it sounds like the Bulls weren't going to pull the trigger on a deal unless it made them better immediately. 

This isn't a surprising revelation, considering the Reinsdorf family, who own the Bulls, have been fine with putting together mediocre teams as long as they're somewhat competitive and there's at least an outside shot that they can make the postseason. And given that this year's draft class is one of the weakest in recent memory, vetoing a trade for a pick in this draft, could actually be a smart decision. Still, that doesn't mean the Bulls are exempt from criticism.

To date, they've re-signed Nikola Vucevic, despite minimal success with him as a member of their core. They've also likely held on to Zach LaVine too long, as his trade value is at an all-time low, especially with his recent injury history. And as valuable as DeMar DeRozan has been for the Bulls, they've backed themselves into a corner in which they will have to re-sign the 34-year-old forward this summer, when they probably should've traded him in February.

It remains to be seen if any major roster changes are in the works for the Bulls this summer, but given that they didn't want to deal Caruso for future picks, it seems like more of the same is on the horizon for Chicago.