5 Players Bulls might replace Zach LaVine with by the trade deadline

Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bulls, Zach LaVine. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bulls, James Harden, Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls, James Harden, Zach LaVine. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

3. James Harden

LaVine is 28 years old and in the middle of his prime, but his resume does not stack up to Harden’s. The ten-time All-Star led the league in assists per game last season and is one of the best offensive creators in the league, even at 34 years old. Neither is known for their defense, but Harden’s playmaking gives him the edge.

The Beard has requested a trade out of Philadelphia, but there has been little action. He is attempting to force his way off his third team in three years. It has created hesitancy from bidders and could become even more problematic in the coming weeks.

This opens the door for Chicago. Daryl Morey and the 76ers want a star or enough draft capital to acquire one in return for Harden. LaVine is locked up long-term and has made the All-Star team in two of the last three years. Reigning MVP Joel Embiid’s rim protection can clean up some of the 28-year-old’s defensive mistakes, and LaVine could be the best realistic option for the Sixers.

This would be a massive gamble by both sides. The 76ers would be abandoning cap space next summer to pay Zach LaVine $178 million over the next four years. Chicago would be getting older to upgrade on a team that could miss the playoffs. Expect the Bulls to target someone younger who still has room to grow if they are attempting to upgrade over LaVine.