Rival executives believe the Knicks, Mavericks, Lakers, and Heat would be among the most likely suitors for Zach LaVine if the Bulls were to make him available prior to this season’s February 9 trade deadline, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on the latest episode of HoopsHype’s podcast. However, with Chicago still hanging onto the 10th seed in the East despite a disappointing first half (17-21), there’s no indication that the team is on the verge of becoming a seller.
Here’s more from Scotto:
- The Mavericks owe their 2023 first-round pick to New York, but control all their future picks and could theoretically move one or more at the trade deadline. However, Scotto has heard the Mavs will be reluctant to give up a first-rounder unless it’s for a player they believe can help make them a title contender this season.
- Rival executives are keeping a close eye on the Heat as a team that may be active before the deadline, says Scotto. After finishing with the East’s best record in 2021/22, Miami is just 20-19 so far this season and holds the No. 8 seed. The team never really replaced P.J. Tucker after he departed in free agency and should have some tradable contracts, especially after Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon become movable on January 15 (though Oladipo will have veto power).
- Luguentz Dort is another player who will become trade-eligible on January 15, but don’t expect him to be mentioned in any rumors this season, according to Scotto, who says the Thunder view him as a part of the team’s long-term future alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
- Some people around the league believe the Raptors will be more active in trade talks beginning in mid-January, Scotto says. Toronto may have a better sense by then of which direction the team’s season is headed.