Bulls ‘Locked In’ on $40 Million Scorer in Zach LaVine Trade Talks

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

Getty Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls are looking to juice up their offense ahead of the trade deadline.

They have had a difficult time finding takers for two-time All-Star Zach LaVine. But their market hasn’t been as barren as it has been portrayed.

“Similarly, the Chicago Bulls and Pistons have had conversations involving Zach LaVine, league sources say,” The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III wrote on January 25. “Chicago appears to be locked in on a package involving Bojan Bogdanović and one of Detroit’s blue-chippers for LaVine and his hefty contract.”

Bogdanovic, 34, is averaging 20.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in the first year of a two-year, $39 million contract. The second year of his contract is also partially guaranteed for $2 million of the $19 million he will count against the cap in 2024-25.

The versatile veteran is also shooting better than 41% from beyond the arc for the second year in a row, making him highly sought after.

But the Pistons’ desire to make a significant trade to right their ship could be the Bulls’ in.

LaVine, 28, currently sidelined by a sprained ankle, has missed 17 games this season with foot inflammation. That has only added to the litany of injuries in his career and consternation among potential suitors.

Additionally, the Bulls’ asking price had previously turned off rumored suitors in the New York Knicks.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers have similarly fallen back as trade suitors.

Bulls Asking Price & Pistons Bidding Point

Edwards’ reported asking price is an adjustment from what the Bulls sought for LaVine in previous rumors.

“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,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson wrote on June 19. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”

Bogdanovic and another player asset is in line with the latter part of Johnson’s report. That could also be where the Bulls run into another roadblock, though, with Edwards noting reluctance on Detroit’s end.

“The Pistons have shown no interest in parting with any of [Cade] Cunningham, [Jaden] Ivey, [Jalen] Duren or [Ausar] Thompson,” Edwards wrote. “It is possible Detroit considers adding LaVine when/if the Bulls’ asking price goes down. However, those are discussions that have been happening and will continue to happen internally.”

Proposed Trade Sends Zach Lavine to Pistons Duo

The Bulls may have missed on the opportunity to acquire the Pistons’ available young-ish talent with potential upside after they sent Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Livers to the Washington Wizards.

He would have added some needed depth in the frontcourt. While Killian Hayes is of a similar age and trajectory, he also plays guard, which is the Bulls’ deepest position.

Perhaps this hypothetical deal for Bogdanovic and Joe Harris would interest the Bulls.

Bulls get:

– Bojan Bogdanovic
– Joe Harris
– 2025 first-round pick (top-4 protected, via MIL)

Piston get:

– Zach LaVine

Harris is in the final year of a four-year, $75 million contract. He hasn’t been in the Pistons’ rotation consistently but is a 43.6% career three-point shooter. The Pistons sending the rights to the 2025 Bucks’ pick means they would still control their own future too.

Detroit may feel they can get something for him in a separate deal.

But this hypothetical scenario would give the Bulls the best of both worlds: an opportunity to push for the postseason now and pivot in the offseason if they fall short.