It has been less than a handful of games for every team in the 2023-24 NBA season but the rumor mill is already churning, and the Chicago Bulls are once again in the crosshairs.
They were linked to a potential trade for Damian Lillard before the Milwaukee Bucks acquired him, leading to rumors of interest in acquiring Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat, as well as being among the acceptable trade destinations for Jrue Holiday before the Boston Celtics landed him.
“They acquired two very appealing first-round picks in this deal. … Those’ll be valuable in a trade,” said Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix on the “Dan Patrick Show” on October 31. “I’ve heard from people around the league already that Philadelphia will likely look into Zach LaVine in Chicago.”
LaVine is averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists this season while shooting 40% from the floor and 29.4% from beyond the arc. The assists and efficiency are down for the two-time All-Star. But he has started seasons slowly before only to round into his optimal form by the end of the campaign.
They could not get beyond the early stages of discussion, though
“The Bulls, we already know they’re kind of going nowhere,” Mannix surmised. “LaVine solves the problem of an extra scorer and a ball-handler. … I think that will make Joel Embiid happy.”
Perhaps even more notably, this could get the Sixers closer to the Bulls’ rumored asking price.
Sixers Could Meet Bulls’ Rumored Asking Price
“One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine,” wrote NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson on June 19. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”
- Tobias Harris
- Jaden Springer
- 2026 first-round pick (via PHI)
- 2028 first-round pick
- Zach LaVine
Springer – the No. 28 overall pick in 2021 – has more potential than production at this point, averaging 1.0 points on a career-high six minutes per game this season. He averaged a career-best 2.6 points across 16 appearances last season.
Harris has been a productive player for more than a decade.
He is averaging 19.7 points while shooting 66.7% from the floor and 54.5% from beyond the arc with 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists through three games this season. The points would be his best mark since 2020-21 if it holds. And, in the final year of his five-year, $180 million contract, he could be more appealing to potential suitors.
Betting Odds on Zach LaVine’s Next Team
LaVine is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract. So the Bulls are under no imminent deadline to move him if they do not find a deal to their liking.
That has not stopped the speculation with betting odds even being set by sites like Bovada, which lists the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat as potential trade partners. The Sixers are not among those teams, though.
This does not mean that the Sixers won’t be LaVine’s next team. But the Bulls are still striving to keep this current group together. LaVine has acknowledged that it’s time for this group to produce the results their talent suggests they should. Otherwise, it could be the end and him getting traded could be the first domino to fall.