Neubeck hears that Chicago has been exploring the possibility of moving Zach LaVine in a multi-team deal to see if can get a combination of players and picks in return that would interest Portland. He notes that there were trade rumors circulating around LaVine earlier this summer, but the Bulls have publicly denied that he’s being made available.
Neubeck also admits that Lillard might not be happy on a team like Chicago, where his best teammates would be Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan. He adds that the Bulls may be the Eastern Conference mystery team in the Lillard race that ESPN’s Marc Spears alluded to earlier this week.
Derek Bodner confirms on the podcast that he has heard the Bulls mentioned in conversations with other reporters, but he calls it a “borderline crazy gamble.” Bodner believes there are teams that should call Lillard’s bluff about not wanting to play anywhere but Miami, such as the Sixers, who could become legitimate title contenders by pairing Lillard with Joel Embiid. However, he’s not convinced that Chicago would have that type of leverage if acquires Lillard.
Rich Hofman says the Bulls are in a desperate position, so a big swing on a Lillard-type deal might be understandable. He adds that team president Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley may have to start worrying soon about their job security, but he doubts Chicago could make a run at a title even with Lillard on the team.
The three writers also considered the possibility of the Sixers making an offer for LaVine, but they agreed that it’s unlikely because of his contract. He’s entering the second season of a five-year, $215MM extension, and his salary will rise from $40MM to $48.9MM over the next four years.