It’s no understatement to say things aren’t going well for the Chicago Bulls. Off to a 4-7 start to the season and already suffering through locker room implosions, this franchise is clearly in need of change — an unfortunate truth we’ve known for quite some time, but the front office has turned a blind eye to until now.
The Bulls have relied on their once dependable trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic up until this point, but it’s clear to see that the wheels are beginning to fall off now. LaVine in particular has established himself as the face of the franchise for the past seven years. As a result, LaVine has accumulated the 8th most points in Bulls history, on pace to break into the top 5 before his current contract ends.
He may not get the chance to accomplish that feat, however, as it appears Chicago’s front office is actively exploring the trade market to find the two-time All-Star shooting guard a new home. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that there is an “increased openness from both sides about exploring a trade”.
Recent reports indicate that Zach LaVine’s time with the Bulls may be coming to an end after seven long years.
Although he’s off to a relatively rough start to his 2023-24 season, averaging 21.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 40.9% from the field, there would certainly still be a great deal of interest for Zach if the Bulls put him on the trade block. His dynamic three-level scoring ability would be a valuable asset to have alongside a superstar talent on a real contending roster.
It was heavily reportedly that the Knicks had exploratory trade talks for LaVine ahead of last year’s trade deadline, and I expect they would at least pick up the phone to see if the price has budged since their last discussions. Charania also lists the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers as teams who would likely register interest in getting a deal done.
Each of these teams has intriguing young prospects and valuable future first-round draft picks that the Bulls should be interested in acquiring. Not only would trading LaVine allow Chicago to begin accumulating a wealth of picks and prospects, but it could help this team’s current youth reach its full potential.
Coby White has shown flashes of great things in his time on the Bulls, but has thus far failed to step out of the shadow of LaVine. If Chicago’s highest source of usage was traded away, someone like Coby (or even teammate Patrick Williams) could benefit by filling the void left by Zach on offense.
This is an unfortunate situation we’re in as Bulls fans, but it might just be a necessary evil. This team’s ceiling appears to be capped and if we continue ignoring the problem, it’s only going to become even more difficult to kickstart a rebuild as this team’s assets depreciate. Zach LaVine may not ever become the player that made the Jimmy Butler deal worth it, but trading him now could still pay off in the long run.