Report: Zach LaVine has no current trade market
The Chicago Bulls could be looking to flip multiple pieces ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, and guard Zach LaVine is expected to be one of those names.
Though according to reports late last week, the trade landscape for the two-time All-Star roughly two months ahead of the deadline appears non-existent.
“There is not a market for Zach LaVine right now in the NBA,” ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday on NBA Today. “That’s not because Chicago has not tried to find it, and aren’t currently trying to find it. It’s a combination of a few reasons: LaVine’s contract — four more years at around a $45-46 million a year average — but his productivity… I think the question for teams is, ‘How much does Zach LaVine impact winning?’
“Especially at the salary and with a new salary cap, where you’re asking yourself, ‘Are we trading for him to be our best player?’ No. ‘Our second-best player?’ No. So, if he’s our third-best player, do we want to pay that kind of money?”
LaVine, 28, is in the second year of a five-year, $215.2 million max contract he signed ahead of the 2022-23 season. He is making $40.1 million this year and is set to make $43.0M, $46.0M and $49.0M (player option) over the next three seasons, respectively, according to Spotrac.
There has been much consternation about whether LaVine “impacts winning” or not, considering he’s a below-average defender and playmaker/connector. He is averaging 21.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game this season.
LaVine is a respectable three-level scorer, but has not had a very efficient season. He’s shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from 3-point range (a career low), despite shooting 86.6 percent from the charity stripe. His 51.5 effective field goal percentage and 56.6 true-shooting percentage are bottom-four marks of his career.
The Bulls, currently 7-14 near the bottom of the East, are a team absolutely in need of a shake-up to alter the trajectory of this organization, which doesn’t appear to have any (positive) direction.
As I dug into here, there could be several players whom the Bulls could opt to trade outside of LaVine–such as DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Coby White and Nikola Vucevic, among others. It doesn’t mean they will trade all of them–heck, it might not trade any of them (for the sake of Bulls fans, I hope they do with some return).
The teams most linked to LaVine as possible trade destinations are the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Other teams could get involved, but it appears right now that nobody in the market for LaVine, though that does not mean the market will remain that way as we get closer to the deadline.
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