As reported earlier on Tuesday by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Bulls and Zach LaVine are increasingly open to the idea of exploring a trade with potential suitors “probing” LaVine’s possible availability.
LaVine could indeed be open to a change of scenery, which he previously dismissed, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
LaVine has been extremely loyal to the organization and will remain professional during the process, but Johnson notes that the star guard is still smarting from Billy Donovan’s high-profile benching of him. There are also members of the organization who remain unconvinced of LaVine’s consistency as a lead option on a championship-contending team, Johnson adds.
However, Johnson also cautions that a potential trade remains unlikely in the near future. Management began the season fully committed to returning to the playoffs and it’s still very early in the season. Also, the trade market doesn’t usually heat up until after December 15, when most players who signed free agent deals during the offseason are eligible to be traded.
Johnson also points out the Bulls held exploratory trade talks regarding LaVine during the offseason but had a very high asking price. It remains to be seen whether the front office will lower its demands.
Here’s more on LaVine:
- Which teams ranks highest in terms of potential landing spots for the high-scoring wing? The Lakers are No. 1 on the list put together by NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin. A package of D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura and Taurean Prince, plus a 2029 first-round pick, could be the framework of that deal, Helin suggests. The Sixers have multiple first-round picks plus expiring contracts to dangle. The Grizzlies, in need of another impact player to join Ja Morant once the point guard’s suspension ends, could package several young players and draft picks to land LaVine.
- Pump the brakes on a potential Sixers offer for LaVine, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. The Sixers are happy with how their season has unfolded, and will likely wait to explore trade opportunities when needs become more evident, Pompey writes. They’d also have to be convinced LaVine is the missing piece to a title, since the Sixers could have more cap space than any other team next season.