The Chicago Bulls season is seemingly on the brink of being lost amid swirling trade rumors. It got a boost, as they notched back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Both came without Zach LaVine. But LaVine’s name came up courtesy of a Bulls staffer during a conversation with New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson.
The exchange took place after the Bulls’ 124-118 win over the Pelicans on December 2.
“Heard you want to come play for us,” the staffer can be heard saying in the clip shared on TikTok by content creator @courtsideshod on December 3. “That’s gon be a good look though, you and Zach.”
“Woah! Don’t say it out loud,” Williamson seems to say back in the video. “I was gonna show it to him. Someone came, I had to be safe.”
Williamson, 23, was 10-for-15 from the floor, tallying 27 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal. He is averaging 23.5 points on 60.2% true shooting this season. He has voiced frustration about his role this season. But that was at the end of a five-game losing streak. Williamson averaged 21.8 points on 55.6% true shooting in four appearances in that stretch.
New Orleans has since gone on to win seven of their last 11 games.
Williamson averaged 25.1 points on 65.6% true shooting in his nine appearances during that span, and the Pelicans are 7-1 in those games.
The Pelicans have held trade talks involving Williamson, though none have been “serious,” per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez on September 28. Mark Berman of the New York Post reported that the Pelicans are “not sold” on Williamson on “The Knicks Recap” on October 5.
LaVine and Williamson would have a claim as one of the most athletic duos around the league. The former is a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion and Williamson’s unique combination of bounce and power.
Williamson is in the first year of a five-year, $197 million contract.
Bulls Trade Talk Has Revolved Around Moving Zach LaVine
The Bull’s ‘main organizational focus,’ however, is trading LaVine, per NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson on November 29. Both sides are willing to find a new home, though nothing has materialized to this point. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that teams are concerned about taking on LaVine’s contract and question his ability to play a winning style of basketball.
LaVine is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract.
He has also dealt with knee injuries and has missed the last two games with foot soreness. But he appeared in 67 and 77 games the last two seasons, respectively.
This could suggest that any deal between the Bulls and Pelicans would be to send LaVine out rather than bring Williamson in. As recently as July, Pelicans general manager David Griffin Williamson was available.
He also described their relationship as being as “good as it’s ever been.”
“We never had a single conversation that Zion was part of,” Griffin said during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio on July 12. “I think people perceive that we would be willing to move off of Zion because of all the injuries, because there’s always so much noise around Zion. And fortunately for us, the noise never actually matches what we’re really experiencing.”