Fulling growing into a star over the past three seasons, there’s no doubt Zach LaVine could potentially be the missing piece for a championship contender. If Zach has been this good as the Chicago Bulls’ top option on offense, it’s a bit terrifying imagining what he could achieve if he was allowed to settle in as a second option, without opposing defenses dialing in all their attention on him.
We witnessed just that this past season, when Jamal Murray was largely dismissed by the media and general public, but played a key role in Denver’s championship pursuit. As good as Murray has been, he’s yet to show the peaks LaVine has consistently been able to attain since coming to the NBA.
Although LaVine’s not likely to ever be the guy that leads a championship roster, so very few players in the league are. Even elite superstars like Damian Lillard and Jimmy Butler have tried and failed in that endeavor time and time again. This is why I think it’s foolish to discredit LaVine’s ability simply due to the poor teams he’s led in the past. In the right situation, Zach could be just as dangerous as anyone.
This might be not a complete hypothetical situation here, however, as the Bulls have reportedly outlined just what they’d want in return from a contender in a Zach LaVine trade.
If the Bulls are to part ways with Zach LaVine this summer, he’s not going to come cheap.
Bulls beat reporter for NBC Sports Chicago K.C. Johnson reports just what the Bulls would be looking for in return for a package centered around LaVine.
"“The Bulls, according to league sources, are valuing LaVine highly, as they should… One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine. Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”"
It’s difficult to pinpoint just what the market for LaVine might look like, but two suitors immediately come to mind in Miami, Portland, and New York. After very successful playoff runs in 2023, both of these teams could be convinced that LaVine is the missing piece. Even better, they each have an interesting young player — Tyler Herro, Anfernee Simons, and R.J. Barrett, respectively — and multiple future picks to offer the Bulls.
Following the surprising Bradley Beal trade that sent the prolific guard to Phoenix, it’s feasible the demand for a player like Zach could be higher than ever. At the same time, however, it’s impossible to ignore that the fact that Beal was so easily attainable might negatively impact a potential LaVine return.
Hopefully, that doesn’t prove to be the case, and the front office remains firm in their current asking price. If no team is willing to pay that, then I’m perfectly ok with Zach returning to Chicago for another season, there’s no rush to trade the most reliable and productive player on this roster if the offers aren’t blowing management away.