The Chicago Bulls have a few big decisions to make on their roster, and specifically how they want to move forward at key positions. While the overall season has been disappointing, they’ve dealt with some frustrating injuries and head-scratching results at various points. Ahead of the 2019 NBA trade deadline, the Bulls could move a few names if they choose to, one of which is Zach LaVine.
Chicago matched the Sacramento Kings’ offer sheet for LaVine this past offseason, and overall, the 23-year-old guard has put together an impressive season. Statistically, this has been the best of his career, as he’s averaging career highs in points (22.9), rebounds (4.4) and assists (4.2) per game. LaVine has also shot 45.2 percent from the field, tied for the second-highest mark of his career.
But as ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported, the Bulls are open to moving any player not named Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter Jr. at the deadline. This means LaVine, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis are among the many names available. Lowe did cite that the Bulls would “ask for a ton” in a trade for LaVine or Dunn but didn’t take the possibility off the table.
With that said, let’s see what packages could be enticing enough to potentially convince Chicago to strike a deal ahead of the February 7 deadline.
*All deals created with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.
Bulls Trade Zach LaVine for Domantas Sabonis Package
The Indiana Pacers have a major need at the guard position after Victor Oladipo’s season-ending injury. They’ve lost four consecutive games since that point and have attempted various lineups and rotations to fill the void. By adding a player in LaVine who can score while tacking on additional stats, it could provide immediate help and bolster the outlook moving forward.
An interesting factor here is that the deal includes Domantas Sabonis, who’s had an impressive season. He’s averaging 14.3 points with 9.3 rebounds in just 24.9 minutes per game. The big question is whether he and Myles Turner will be able to share the floor more moving forward, and it seems somewhat unlikely, which Lowe cited in his article.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed the Pacers had signed Turner to a four-year contract extension worth up to $80 million this offseason. Taking that into account makes this deal a bit more understandable from Indiana’s side, even if it requires giving up the expiring contracts of two guards to make it happen.
Bulls Strike Deal for Pistons’ Blake Griffin
*Bulls send a protected first-round pick to Pistons
The situation involving Blake Griffin’s future with the Detroit Pistons is an interesting one. If there’s any looming tension between the two sides and Griffin is potentially looking to be traded, this could be an avenue for Detroit. While the Pistons will get a decent return for their star should a deal happen, this one accomplishes a few different things.
First, the Pistons will remain competitive by acquiring LaVine, Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker. There’s been plenty of drama around Chicago about the situation with Parker and current head coach Jim Boylen, but it doesn’t change the fact that 23-year-old can score at an impressive clip.
Beyond that, Portis, who’s flashed quite a bit of upside, is a restricted free agent after the year so the Pistons can decide if they want to keep him after the homestretch of the season. Assuming Detroit has indeed been on the search for a new point guard, LaVine has the potential to provide a scoring spark and create a one-two punch with Andre Drummond.