Bulls rumors: Trade market for Zach LaVine could be costly

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

It’s no secret the Chicago Bulls would like to trade Zach LaVine this summer, but whether they will find a deal they can live with is another story. 

We’ve seen proposed deals for LaVine, some which bring back another team’s problem contract, some with draft assets attached, some with young players, some with filler veterans. 

In most of these trades, the Bulls are getting some kind of asset back for LaVine even though he finished the season injured and has a horrible contract, but that might not be the case, at least with one possible trade partner. 

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Philadelphia may have interest in LaVine, but it would be costly: 

"Striking out on a big-time wing would also leave the door open for Philadelphia to consider taking back a player such as Zach LaVine, sources said, in the event Chicago or another team is willing to attach draft capital to move off salary. "

If this is the case, then the Chicago Bulls may have to be patient with Zach LaVine. 

Chicago Bulls can’t pay just to get rid of Zach LaVine 

Let’s start with the obvious, which is that the Bulls don’t have draft capital to give. They owe a pick to San Antonio (top-10 protected next season) and the one they are owed from Portland has protections that make it possible it will never convey. 

Related Story. 2 Possible trades to keep Bulls competitive but build for the future. 2 Possible trades to keep Bulls competitive but build for the future. dark

They don’t have any second-round picks for the next several years, so, as Fischer said, there would have to be another team involved if Philly wants draft capital to take on LaVine. 

There could certainly be other suitors and possible trades out there where the Bulls don’t have to give up assets just to dump LaVine, as Philly is not the only team that could have interest. But if this is the kind of market the Bulls can expect, then patience may be their only option.

In this case, patience could pay off. 

A better market could develop for Zach LaVine, if... 

What has gotten lost in all of the LaVine talk is that he is still a good player when he is healthy. 

Yes, his contract is an albatross, but let’s not forget why he got that deal in the first place. 

A healthy LaVine is an All-Star who gets you 25/5/5 on with very good 3-point shooting numbers. Whether we will ever see that LaVine again is anyone’s guess, but the risk might be worth it for the Bulls. 

If LaVine can show he is healthy, there will be a market for him at the deadline that could be more lucrative for Chicago. If he is healthy for a full season, then he'd be much easier to move with fewer years on his deal.

They have to try and move LaVine, but if it means giving up assets, then keeping him and hoping he can improve his trade value (or, you know, help the Bulls win) may be their best option.