The season is over, the sun is out, and the bees are buzzing once again as the NBA rumor mill is rife with new reports and potential leaks. When it comes to discussing long-term plans, Damian Lillard wants to stay, Bradley Beal wants to go, and the Chicago Bulls just don’t know. What’s new?
Well, a lot, actually. The newest rumor passing around NBA circles is that Bulls star guard Zach LaVine has recently hit the trade block while the front office discreetly attempts to discuss his value on the market. Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversely may have not done the best job of actually keeping all this a secret, but if they can get a great deal done, I doubt many will care in the end either way.
LaVine has found himself at the subject of potential trade rumors for several years now, but this time it feels… different. Previously, the Bulls had a clear direction and were accumulating pieces around Zach to eventually become a contender. After trading away all those pieces to form this current rendition of the team, it makes you take a close look at things when a team built to “win now” limps to a 40-42 record and elimination in the play-in tournament.
Trading Zach LaVine would be a shocking way to revitalize the Chicago Bulls’ long-term plans this offseason.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports fills us in on the rapidly changing landscape of the NBA trade block below.
"“Wishful executives will keep their eyes peeled on Portland and Damian Lillard, but it’s the Chicago Bulls who have started contacting teams, quietly gauging the trade interest in Zach LaVine, league sources told Yahoo Sports. It remains to be seen just how willing Chicago is to part ways with LaVine, or if it receives a commensurate offer for his services. LaVine has four seasons remaining on his five-year, $215 million contract, and multiple teams have indicated the Bulls are holding a steep valuation for LaVine — one that’s likely to exceed what Washington can ultimately net for Beal.”"
This news goes directly against everything we’ve heard leak through the rumor mill thus far this summer. It was originally reported that the Bulls were looking to retool the roster around LaVine, and that DeMar DeRozan could potentially be on the trade block before his contract expires next year. Trading LaVine would signify a massive change in direction for this franchise, but it might be just what the Bulls need at this point.
Although no teams have been specifically linked as having an interest in LaVine just yet, there have been several reports of teams such as the Trail Blazers, Heat, Rockets, and Hornets actively looking to make deals to improve. Another team to watch would be the Knicks, who were reportedly discussing deals around LaVine with Chicago at last season’s deadline. The two parties may have not agreed to terms then, but there’s still a chance to revisit negotiations now that both teams fell short of their goals this season.