In a December 30 ESPN story, Zach Lowe revealed that should the Chicago Bulls decide to break up their team, the plan would be to trade DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic and keep Zach LaVine around. Lowe also explained why rebuilding would not be a fun option for them.
“The assumption has been that if the Bulls pivot to a rebuild, they’d trade DeRozan and Vucevic for youth and picks and then remodel around LaVine. But another teardown would be painful, and the Bulls owe the Orlando Magic their first-round pick this season if it falls outside the top four.,” Lowe said.
Though Lowe said that the Bulls are leaning more towards keeping LaVine, he then asked what would happen if they went the other way.
“LaVine is in the first year of a five-year max contract. What if they investigated trading LaVine for multiple players and retooling around DeRozan? What return would LaVine fetch?”
The Bulls are 15-19 and have moved up to the 10th seed in the conference. They’re not too far behind the 18-18 New York Knicks and the 19-18 Miami Heat, who are the eighth and seventh seeds, respectively. With the season almost reaching its halfway point, the Bulls need to decide how important it would be to catch them.
Mavericks ‘Fans’ of LaVine
On the December 27 episode of ‘The Lowe Post,’ ESPN’s Tim MacMahon revealed that there are some in the Dallas Mavericks organization who are fans of LaVine.
“I just know that there are fans of him that hold prominent positions within the Mavericks,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said of LaVine. “Again, I’m not sitting here and telling you it’s some great consensus. I think there’s enough fans of him where I wouldn’t totally rule it out.”
MacMahon then revealed the framework of a potential deal between the Bulls and the Mavericks, which include multiple first-round picks.
-Tim Hardaway Jr.
-Two First-Round Picks
Although LaVine is not on the market as of now, there’s no telling if that will be the case when the NBA Trade Deadline rolls around in February. In 30 games this season, LaVine is averaging 22.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three.
Bulls Writer Suspects More LaVine Rumors
In a December 30 mailbag, Sam Smith of NBA.com wrote that he believes more trade rumors will come out about LaVine.
“I suspect we’ll hear a lot of Zach rumors for a lot of reasons,” Smith said.
While adding that other talented Bulls players left because they didn’t measure up to expectations, Smith explained that getting someone potentially better than LaVine will require getting a star teammate to play beside them for any chance at improvement.
“We’ve seen some good talent escape in the frustration of not being who we want them to be, like Lauri Markkanen. At Zach’s age and fit for the modern game with three-point shooting, he seems as good as any on the roster to build around. Can you get someone better? Maybe, but you also need a running mate, as Jordan understood,” Smith said.