Warriors a dark horse to trade for Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine?

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls
Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

With the 2024 NBA trade deadline just over a week away, there has not been a lot of talk regarding Bulls guard Zach LaVine. After a rough start to the season and missing over a month due to several injuries, the trade market seems to be nearly non-existent for LaVine's services.

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers were LaVine's preferred destination and a trade seemed likely for a long time, reports came out earlier in the month that they were no longer interested in LaVine and looking to trade for Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. More recent reports have suggested the Bulls were in talks with the Detroit Pistons, but the two sides have not been able to agree on the package.

If all else fails, could a team that is struggling to stay afloat in the playoff race like the Golden State Warriors trade for LaVine out of desperation ahead of the deadline?

The Golden State Warriors have had a disappointing 2023-24 season. Currently sitting at 19-24, the Warriors are outside of the playoffs as a whole. In their last 10 games, the Warriors are 3-7 (with one of those wins being over the Bulls). Stephen Curry has remained the biggest bright spot for the team, but he cannot carry the team by himself.

The Warriors may be the Bulls' last chance to trade Zach LaVine away this season.

Even though he has looked better recently, Klay Thompson has struggled this season. Andrew Wiggins looks nowhere near the player he was before missing 20+ games last season. The biggest struggle for the Warriors this season is the lack of a true secondary scorer and shot-creator, something LaVine could provide. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade:

LaVine - Warriors

For the Bulls, the main reason for this trade would be financial relief. Even though Chris Paul is owed around $30 million this season, the money he is owed next season is non-guaranteed while Cory Joesph's contract is set to expire after this season.

Moses Moody would be a great piece for the Bulls to acquire as the young 3-and-D player has a promising future ahead. Currently averaging points, and 3.1 rebounds in under 20 minutes per game, Moody would become a key part of the Bulls' young core before hitting restricted free agency in 2025. The second-round picks from Atlanta may not seem like a lot, but with the Hawks looking at another period of uncertainty, those picks could have value to the Bulls.

The biggest issue with the proposed trade would be the lack of first-round picks. While many of the Pistons' rumored trades have included a first-round pick, Detroit is not willing to move on from many of their young stars. The Lakers packages rumored over the last couple of months included a first-round pick, but the Lakers were unwilling to include Austin Reaves and the Bulls did not want D'Angelo Russell.

As the Bulls look to shift focus to their younger stars, draft capital is a must-have going forward. Unfortunately, Zach LaVine has not played much this season, has not looked great in most of the games he's played, and has up to three more years worth over $130 million left on his deal.

With LaVine likely out through the trade deadline on February 8th, any team trading for him would be making a high-risk, high-reward move. For the Warriors, this trade would get them another scorer and shot creator in hopes of turning their season around. As the countdown to the trade deadline continues, the Warriors may become desperate to make a trade for a true difference-maker like Zach LaVine.