Chicago Bulls: K.C. Johnson say ‘you don’t’ trade LaVine to move up in draft

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago has a strong opinion on the hypothetical scenario of the Chicago Bulls trading Zach LaVine on draft night.

A rather obvious statement that can provide some insight into how the Chicago Bulls could construct a trade to move up in the 2020 NBA Draft came from K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago in his Oct. 29 mailbag. He mentioned the importance of the Bulls not trading off a key piece of their young core (like shooting guard Zach LaVine) just for potentially short-term returns on draft night.

If the Bulls and recently hired executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas do decide to trade up in the 2020 NBA Draft, it should be to continue to build this young core, not to mortgage off a lot of the future of this rebuilding team. Karnisovas definitely hasn’t rule out the possibility that the Bulls do move up in the lottery into the top three.

The Bulls hold the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft currently. They also have the Memphis Grizzlies 44th overall pick in the second round. There’s a lot that the Bulls can do with current and future draft capital if they do want to move into the top three. But including any key pieces of the young core in a trade deal on draft night is a move that Karnisovas should proceed with caution with.

Moreover, that point that Johnson was getting at that the Bulls might not trade a player like LaVine as easily as a lot of fans think is something to note. He mentions that the Bulls shouldn’t trade LaVine for anything but another franchise centerpiece. Getting rid of his valuable contributions to the starting five and his team friendly contract Johnson thinks would be a big mistake.

Here’s more on what he had to say on the matter of the Bulls potentially trading LaVine.

"You’re not trading LaVine to move up in a draft lacking surefire starpower or to round out the roster. You’re trading LaVine to get a centerpiece. The only reason LaVine’s future is even being talked about is that this new regime isn’t the one who traded for him and he’s eligible for an extension. I’m not privy to any talks occurring there, and in fact, before management moved from Jim Boylen to Billy Donovan, I had heard LaVine wasn’t interested in pursuing an extension. How Donovan’s arrival has impacted that stance is unknown, and LaVine, to be clear, loves living in Chicago and playing for the Bulls."

Now keep in mind that any remarks from Johnson here aren’t really bona fide rumors from the team, just his well-crafted opinion on the matter. Fans should know that there’s not really any concrete trade rumors out there concerning the Bulls shopping LaVine this offseason.

All options should be on the table for Karnisovas as he looks to retool this roster heading into the fourth year of the Bulls rebuild. LaVine is maybe the biggest part of the current Bulls roster, and he brings a ton of value to the table.

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LaVine was really solid for the Bulls during the 2019-20 campaign, as he averaged 25.5 points per game, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks. He came very close to getting his first career All-Star nod last season.