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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Chicago Bulls trade grade: A

For a team caught in a state of flux like the Bulls, Bogdanovic is sort of the perfect veteran piece to acquire in return. With a partially guaranteed contract for 2024-25, Chicago could try winning with Bojan on the roster now, before deciding to retain him or flip him for additional assets in the future. Regardless of whether or not the Bulls try competing now or rebuilding, Bogdanovic is a valuable asset to have around.

"Chicago appears to be locked in on a package involving Bojan Bogdanović and one of Detroit’s blue-chippers for LaVine and his hefty contract," says Edwards. He carries on to claim the Pistons have been unwilling to shop Ivey thus far, but the Bulls will be just as unwilling to deal LaVine for pennies on the dollar. If this deal is to get done, it's almost certainly going to require Detroit to send Ivey or an equivalent-value prospect — such as Ausar Thompson.

Public perception has fallen so unfairly low on LaVine that if Chicago even gets anything close to his true value in return, it would be a massive win for them. Should Jaden Ivey be caught wearing a Bulls uniform by the end of the season, I'd say Chicago made out like bandits here.

Detroit Pistons trade grade: B

This might be a tough price to stomach, but I believe even the most apprehensive Pistons fans would quickly change their minds once they saw LaVine out there on the court. As much as I may like Ivey as a prospect, Zach is simply a far more complete player and a more dangerous presence on offense.

As bad as the Pistons have been, it's almost a shocking realization that Cunningham would be a better point guard than LaVine has ever had in his entire 10-year career. Lonzo Ball was the closest thing we've seen, and his playmaking helped Zach play some of the best basketball of his career. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to see LaVine return to form if he were to be traded to the Pistons.

LaVine's current contract runs through 2026 (with a player option for 2027), which is actually an ideal situation for the Pistons. Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson, and Marcus Sasser are the only players on Detroit's roster signed through 2026 or later. Cunningham can be expected to join those ranks once he signs his inevitable contract extension.

This core group of players is enough to finally help the Pistons rebuild the image of a once-storied franchise. Given a year or two to develop, I could certainly see this team winning 45 games, a feat they have not accomplished in the last 15 years. Winning 45 games may not be championship contention, but it's better than where they are now. If it's enough to put fans in seats again, that might be all it takes to get this deal done.

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