The Chicago Bulls have a Zach LaVine problem

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls
Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

By now, every Chicago Bulls fan knows the deal when it comes to Zach LaVine. 

He’s a good player when healthy, but he has never led the Bulls to much team success, appearing in just four playoff games in his seven years in Chicago. 

His contract pays him like a superstar, and he isn’t and there are still three years left on the deal worth more than $136 million. 

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To top it off, he’s coming off surgery after playing in just 25 games this season. 

It’s safe to say the Bulls have a Zach LaVine problem. 

The Chicago Bulls can’t trade Zach LaVine 

The Bulls have been exploring the market for LaVine for what seems like forever and so far no one has bitten. 

That doesn’t mean some team won’t, especially after the dust of the draft and free agency have settled and left some teams without the haul they were hoping for. Teams that strike out on their top free-agent targets could come calling about LaVine, so the Bulls are going to have to be patient for a market to develop. 

But they aren’t going to get much return for him, and the latest reports had the Bulls sending out assets just to get rid of him. 

LaVine is too good to give away for nothing, but a hard player to build around 

If the Bulls just wanted to give LaVine away, they can probably find a taker, as teams like Philadelphia, Orlando and Detroit have cap space and could potentially use his services. 

The dream of getting a big return for LaVine has probably died, which makes this a tough call for the Bulls. When LaVine is healthy, he’s a good player, too good to just give away without replacing any of what he does. 

But the Bulls have found out the hard way that LaVine is not so easy to build around, as he’s a scorer who doesn’t defend and doesn’t easily slot into a position. 

He’s not a real point guard, as he doesn’t create much for anyone but himself and he’s a liability on the wing defensively. At his best, he’s an efficient scoring machine, too good to give away, but will we ever see his best again? 

The Bulls can’t restructure LaVine’s contract to fit the reality of the situation, so they are stuck paying superstar money for a player who is no longer playing at an All-Star level. 

It’s a tough spot to be in, as the Bulls will have to take less than LaVine is really worth just to get rid of him, or possibly be stuck in this same holding pattern waiting for his contract to run out and hoping he returns to form.