Insider Details Bulls’ Asking Price for Zach LaVine Trade

Chicago Bulls

Getty Zach LaVine #8 and Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls have maintained a consistent message that they are sticking with their core of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic. Their 26-28 record might belie that resolve but their current ninth-place seeding in the muddled Eastern Conference standings is undoubtedly an improvement over recent weeks when they found themselves outside of the Play-In Tournament field.

Despite that upward trend and the sentiments shared publicly on their behalf, the Bulls might not be as resolute in their stance for their top stars as some might believe given their recent lack of activity or comments from the front office (or lack thereof).

“The Bulls would demand star assets back in a trade for Zach LaVine, but he isn’t considered “off the table” by other teams,” reports Matt Moore of The Action Network.

This is not directly contradictory – most reports suggest the Bulls would at least consider moving LaVine – or DeRozan for that matter – if the right deal came along. But that does not mean it has ever been seen as likely with the Bulls having just committed to LaVine on a five-year, $215 million max deal this past offseason.

“I don’t think the Bulls are trading LaVine, and if they do, I’ll have egg on my face,” said Brian Windhorst on the ’Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective’ podcast. “I mean, there’s some package they will trade him for. I don’t think the Bulls are going to surrender.”

There has been posturing for LaVine since his exploratory venture into unrestricted free agency this past offseason.

Among the most prevalent, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves being urged to make the necessary move for LaVine to being him to the place he calls home in the summer after missing out on trading for Kyrie Irving whom the Brooklyn Nets sent to the Dallas Mavericks.

If the Bulls did decide to put the two-time All-Star on the market, they would not lack suitors.

Zach LaVine Has Been a Hot Commodity

“The Lakers, Heat, Knicks, and Mavericks have consistently been mentioned by league personnel as holding motivations to land LaVine if the time does arrive,” notes Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer. “Portland also showed interest in signing LaVine last offseason, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Atlanta loomed as a potential LaVine destination before the Hawks splurged for Dejounte Murray.”

For reference on what “star assets” might mean, we can look at the package sent to the San Antonio Spurs by the Atlanta Hawks for guard Murray and the one from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Utah Jazz for Donovan Mitchell.

Cleveland sent a package of three players including former Bull and 2023 All-Star Lauri Markkanen along with three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps in the alternating years to the Utah Jazz. Atlanta sent three picks – one from the Charlotte Hornets (2023) and two of their own (2025, 2027) – along with forward Danilo Gallinari to the Spurs.

They are experiencing different results with Cleveland occupying the four-seed and Atlanta just holding onto a half-game lead on the Bulls for eighth.

LaVine is probably somewhere in between those players – Mitchell with four All-Star nominations while Murray earned his first last season – so a package in the middle of them in terms of value seems reasonable.

He is still below his All-Star-caliber scoring numbers of the last two years on the season. But LaVine is averaging 25.6 points on 62.1% true shooting since a locker room blowup at halftime of a 150-126 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 18. Still, not all of the Bulls’ issues have been resolved opening the door for the possibility of a massive organizational shift.

If LaVine is not quite “off the table”, but the Bulls are still posturing as they are, what might it take to get something done?

The ‘Zach LaVine Deal’

“Technically, if I’m reading this right, you could get the swap option in 2026, you can get the fully unprotected 2027, a swap option in 2028, and the fully unprotected 2029,” pointed out Morten Jensen of what the Lakers could offer in the offseason during ‘The NBA Podcast’ on February 7. “That’s the Zach LaVine deal.”

Previous iterations of this lofty suggestion would see the Bulls send LaVine (or DeRozan) to the Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook and those 2027 and 2029 firsts. The Bulls have been said to be ice cold on that idea, however even with the draft capital despite their own limited draft assets.

“Trading [LaVine] for the media-created hypothetical package of Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 is essentially trading him for two far-off firsts since Westbrook owns an expiring deal and he wouldn’t likely fit into future plans,” explained NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson. “Any potential cap space created by such a deal would begin a search for a scorer like LaVine.”

Jensen’s idea would require L.A. to re-sign Westbrooon to a three-year deal in a sign-and-trade with the Bulls leaving the final two years non-guaranteed if a deal could not be consummated ahead of the deadline.

The suggestion certainly ups the ante quite a bit and could be instructional for any interested team. The only other question is whether that level of offer comes before 3 p.m. ET on February 9.