The Chicago Bulls are reportedly checking to see if there is any interest from the league in acquiring the team’s superstar shooting guard Zach LaVine.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports looked at potential trades, particularly related to Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, with LaVine a player the Bulls would expect ample compensation in return for.
“Wishful executives will keep their eyes peeled on Portland and Damian Lillard, but it’s the Chicago Bulls who have started contacting teams, quietly gauging the trade interest in Zach LaVine, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” wrote Fischer. “It remains to be seen just how willing Chicago is to part ways with LaVine, or if it receives a commensurate offer for his services. LaVine has four seasons remaining on his five-year, $215 million contract, and multiple teams have indicated the Bulls are holding a steep valuation for LaVine — one that’s likely to exceed what Washington can ultimately net for Beal.”
Last July, LaVine signed a max contract extension with the Bulls worth an estimated $215.2 million. That steep investment was a clear indication of just how much the team valued the contributions of the veteran player.
Over the course of his nine NBA seasons, LaVine has averaged 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Those averages have actually been higher in recent years, an indication that he’s performing at peak level.
One of the potential reasons why the Bulls might consider dealing away a player of LaVine’s caliber is because of the rut the team has been in. Over the past eight seasons, the Bulls have only reached the postseason twice and last won a playoff series in 2015.
A mixed bag of opinions exists as to whether the Bulls are truly interested in dealing LaVine. One report indicated that the Bulls might consider making LaVine the centerpiece of the team’s lineup, while another questioned whether the Bulls are ready to begin a rebuild.
At present, the Bulls don’t seem likely to make a serious playoff run this season or in the next few years. That obviously could change if the Bulls manage to bolster the talent on the roster.
Whether a reshaped roster would LaVine or a collection of players that acquired in exchange for him is a question that remains unanswered. The Bulls’ efforts to gauge trade interest in LaVine may ultimately come up empty, though not without effort on the part of the team.