1. Bulls get younger and back into the draft
Among the many teams looking to acquire one additional piece is the recently defeated Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. Without a truly dependable scoring option, the Heat faltered down the stretch once Denver neutralized Jimmy Butler with their defensive scheme. That’s why I can’t say I’m surprised to see Enzo Flojo of ClutchPoints advocating for the Heat to acquire another Bulls talent in LaVine.
In this proposed deal, Chicago would not only swap their star shooting guard for a promising guard that better fits a rebuild timeline, but would also have the chance to right their wrongs from the Nikola Vucevic trade by getting back into the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Miami Heat would be a seamless fit for Zach LaVine, but not at this price.
LaVine would fit seamlessly with Miami, as his elite off-ball ability and three-point shooting stroke would stretch the floor and punish teams for helping too heavily on Butler. No champion should be depending on players like Max Strus and Caleb Martin to hit big shots in the clutch, it’s just not a feasible strategy through four consecutive seven-game series. Adding LaVine would give the Heat a flamethrower on offense that can actually fit with the starting unit, unlike the defensive turnstile Tyler Herro.
Unfortunately, it’s for these very same reasons I can’t say I’m fond of this deal. As good as he is, Herro would only be a $120 million positional downgrade. If Herro was more of a two-way threat, or if Chicago received a fair bit more compensation in the way of draft picks or young talent like Nikola Jovic, it would be a bit easier to stomach.
But as this currently stands, the Bulls would be swapping LaVine and a first-round pick of their own for a worse version of LaVine, one of the worst contracts in the NBA, and a mid-first-round selection. Hard pass.