2 Bad contracts the Bulls could take on in Zach LaVine trade

Portland Trail Blazers v Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

It’s no secret that the Chicago Bulls are trying to trade Zach LaVine, but his hefty contract and recent injury history have limited the market for the former All-Star. 

The Bulls may just have to keep him or accept a deal in which they have send out assets just to get LaVine off the books, not a value move for a franchise that may be leaning into a rebuild. 

The Bulls do have options if they are willing to take on a bad contract and possibly kick in a future draft pick in exchange for LaVine. 

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It wouldn’t be the ideal situation, but unless the Bulls want an unhappy player on their roster making over $45 million next season, they may have to compromise. Here are two players they could target. 

Ben Simmons 

Simmons’ deal turned out to be far worse than LaVine’s, as he’s been hurt so often it’s easy to forget he’s even in the league. 

But his contract only runs for one more season at $40 million, so swapping LaVine for him would save the Bulls money immediately as well as in the future. 

That’s not going to come for free, so I suspect the Nets would want at least one first-round pick thrown into the deal even though they are getting the better player. 

The Bulls are likely going to have to pay for cap space if they want it, and a lottery-protected pick in 2029 could be the cost if they want to get off those two extra years of LaVine. 

Deandre Ayton 

Now that the Trail Blazers have drafted their center of the future in Donovan Clingan, you have to wonder what they plan to do with Deandre Ayton. 

They also have Robert Williams under contract and may want to deal from their surplus. 

Ayton is a productive player and still relatively young. He’s also making around $10 million less per season and only has two years left on his deal, so this is another one where the Bulls would likely have to throw in additional assets to get Portland to take on the extra year of LaVine’s more-expensive contract. 

This might be worth exploring, as the Bulls need center depth anyway, Ayton isn’t bad and they would free up $10 million of cap space immediately and more after Ayton’s contract expired. 

The Bulls can’t just give LaVine away for nothing, but it appears as if their relationship is beyond repair, which makes bringing him back a tough proposition. 

The Bulls may have to eat a bad deal or be patient for a better one to emerge.