NBA Teams Exploring Trade Options for All-Star Guard Zach LaVine
Multiple NBA teams are actively looking into the availability of two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine, with the Chicago Bulls and LaVine showing increased openness to exploring a trade, according to league sources.
Interest from Lakers, Heat, and 76ers
As the annual Champions Classic takes place in Chicago, many of the NBA’s 30 general managers are present, providing an opportunity for trade discussions to begin. The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams expected to express interest in LaVine, sources added.
LaVine’s Impressive Career in Chicago
Currently in his seventh season with the Bulls, LaVine has been a consistent performer, averaging 21.9 points, 3.0 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game while starting all 11 games this season. Standing at 6-foot-5, LaVine is in the second season of a lucrative five-year, $215 million maximum contract.
Bulls’ Recent Struggles
Following a 118-109 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Bulls’ record stands at 4-7. They will look to bounce back when they host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Backstory: Frustration with Bulls’ Offense
After a disappointing 124-104 season-opening loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, some Bulls players, led by veteran Nikola Vučević, expressed frustration with the team’s offensive approach. They believed it was too similar to last season’s strategy, despite expectations for change, sources revealed.
Off the court, the Bulls are keen on bringing back DeMar DeRozan, who is currently on an expiring deal. However, the future of DeRozan in Chicago remains uncertain as contract negotiations have hit a roadblock. The 34-year-old guard wants to assess the team’s direction before committing to a return.
LaVine and Bulls’ Struggles to Build a Winning Team
Since joining the Bulls in 2017 as part of the Jimmy Butler trade, LaVine has been a constant presence on a team that has struggled to find success. Over the past five seasons, Chicago has amassed a record of 192-284 and has only made the playoffs once, losing in the first round in 2022. The franchise has undergone multiple coaching changes and management regimes during this period.
LaVine signed a lucrative five-year, $215 million maximum contract before the start of the 2022-23 season. However, the Bulls’ failure to make the playoffs last year and their slow start this season have prompted both LaVine and the team to consider alternative options.
Potential Impact of a LaVine Trade
For the past six seasons, the Bulls have heavily relied on LaVine’s scoring ability. If a trade were to occur, the team would lose one of the league’s top isolation scorers and perimeter shooters. However, it would also provide an opportunity for the Bulls to revamp their offensive strategy. Instead of relying solely on LaVine, the team could implement a more egalitarian system that keeps all five players as offensive threats, making them harder to defend.
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(Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today)