Zach LaVine and Josh Giddey: Good fit or disaster?

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Trading Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey is not necessarily a sign that the Chicago Bulls are going to drastically change their roster next season. 

Doing so will require trading Zach LaVine or not bringing back DeMar DeRozan, either through letting him walk for nothing in free agency or working a sign and trade. 

The Bulls seem reluctant to part with DeRozan and haven’t been able to generate much of a market for LaVine that doesn’t involve them getting fleeced. 

Being patient with LaVine may be the more prudent option (though not the one most fans are hoping for) so that he can somewhat rehabilitate his value and fetch a bigger return down the line. 

Related Story. How the Bulls got fleeced in the Alex Caruso trade. How the Bulls got fleeced in the Alex Caruso trade. dark

And if the Bulls do end up stuck with LaVine, the Giddey trade could end up being a good fit, which is an opinion put forth recently on the Bulls Talk Podcast, which claimed LaVine and Giddey could work out: 

So, is this a match that can work or one that is a disaster waiting to happen? 

Zach LaVine and Josh Giddey playing together for the Chicago Bulls 

The Bulls have staked plenty on Giddey being good and sticking around for the long term, as they gave away their best trade asset to get him. 

But are he and LaVine a fit? 

Yes and no. 

On paper, a big playmaking point guard and a high-volume 3-point shooter are a good match. But we know LaVine is more than that, as he has over a 27 percent usage rate for his career and likes to have the ball in his hands.  

There is evidence it can work. LaVine put up big numbers in 33 games with Lonzo Ball, averaging 24.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4 assists on 48 percent shooting from the floor and 38.6 from long range on over seven attempts per game. 

But Ball had morphed into more of a 3-and-D wing who made plays in transition rather than a traditional table setter like Giddey. Would LaVine be willing to play more off the ball? 

Giddey has a similar usage rate as Coby White and will likely expect that to do up now that he’s not playing with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. If you bring back DeRozan, that is a lot guys who need the ball in their hands to be effective on offense. 

The defensive fit is even more troubling, as Giddey isn’t a good defender and pairing him with LaVine and Nikola Vucevic would leave an open invitation to the rim. 

And what happens with Coby White? Is he coming off the bench? Are you playing all three together? This has potential disaster written all over it on both ends. 

I could see them making it work offensively, but the defense, which is already going to take a big hit with Caruso gone, would be atrocious with Giddey and LaVine on the perimeter. 

I don’t see it as unworkable, but it’s not a great fit either. The Bulls need to keep working on finding a new home for Zach LaVine, but given their lack of leverage in this situation, finding one they can live with won’t be easy.