Report: Bulls, Zach LaVine open to exploring trade
Amid a middling 4-7 start, the Chicago Bulls and star guard Zach LaVine have “increased openness” to exploring a trade, NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Tuesday. This comes in lieu of NBA teams allegedly “probing the availability” of LaVine, a two-time All-Star who has three more years left on his contract after the 2023-24 season.
Developing: NBA teams are probing the availability of Bulls two-time All-Star Zach LaVine and there is increased openness from both sides about exploring a trade, sources say.&mdash; Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 14, 2023
Details at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/2UvELP2lMG
LaVine is currently in the second year of a five-year, $216 million supermax he signed in the 2022 offseason. He is making $40.1 million this season and is due to make $43.0MM, 46.0MM and 49.0MM (player options) over the next three seasons, respectively.
This has been a long time coming for Chicago to consider breaking up the core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic, who it re-signed to a three-year, $60 million deal this offseason. In 81 minutes together through 11 games, they are a minus-26 when they share the floor together; in 1,365 minutes since the start of the 2021-22 season, they’re a minus-133.
If you include just LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic, Chicago’s three-best players, they’re a minus-122 over the last three seasons–a minus-2.8 per 100 possessions–an unacceptable mark for a fringe playoff team.
LaVine is averaging 21.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, shooting 40.9 percent from the floor, 30.9 percent from 3-point range and 87.9 percent from the free-throw line this season. There could be suitors such as the Philadelphia 76ers, who have plenty of expiring contracts to trade, the Miami Heat, who are always “star hunting,” the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers (I’m just brainstorming out loud), among others.
If Chicago does flip LaVine ahead of the deadline, it could be the start of the total rebuild in Chicago, who needs a clear direction.
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