Grade the Trade: Bulls ship Zach LaVine to Detroit for star prospect

Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Now that we're a mere two weeks away from the NBA's February 8 trade deadline, I expect these coming days to be filled with plenty of big moves and surprising swaps across the league. We've already seen Pascal Siakam, Terry Rozier, and OG Anunoby traded away this season, so if the Bulls want to join in and make any radical moves to improve, this is their final chance to do so.

Among the notable players currently on this roster, Zach LaVine is certainly the most likely to be moved. This should be familiar territory for LaVine, as the Bulls reportedly had talks to send the star to the Knicks at last year's trade deadline.

While those discussions fell through, he'll be put through the whole circus once again, as trade discussions containing his name have continued swirling around the rumor mill over these past few weeks. The Athletic's James L. Edwards spills the details of rumored talks between the Bulls and Pistons for LaVine's services (subscription required).

Bulls could flip Zach LaVine to a dark horse like the Pistons for a surprisingly solid package.

"The Chicago Bulls and Pistons have had conversations involving Zach LaVine," says Edwards, "It is possible Detroit considers adding LaVine when/if the Bulls’ asking price goes down. However, those are discussions that have been happening and will continue to happen internally."

It's true that LaVine's poor play as of late has brought his trade value down this season. After averaging 25.8 points on 61.9% true shooting during his pair of All-Star seasons in 2021 and 2022, Zach is now averaging a relatively poor 19.5 points on 57.8% true shooting this season.

It's not just his disappointing play that will hold talks back either, as injuries continue to plague LaVine and keep him off the court. Although we know just how great he can be when he's locked in, it's time for the Bulls to admit they may not receive the type of package they originally wanted for him. At the same time, LaVine has tanked his own trade value and will pay the price for it if Chicago decides to send him to a team like Detroit, rather than a contender.