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The Chicago Bulls haven’t achieved a winning record since the 2015-2016 season and could be on the verge of a rebuild. Zach LaVine, an all-star in the making, is the best player on the Bulls, and rumors of a potential trade, out of Chicago, has circled around him.
LaVine, 25, broke out in the 2019-2020 season with the Bulls, setting new career averages in points and rebounds. He averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game during the shortened season. LaVine was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 13th pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The Renton, Washington native played three seasons in Minnesota before getting traded Bulls during the 2017-2018 season. He was traded along with Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen for Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton.
LaVine could be leaving Chicago in the near future. If he were to play in a new scenery next season, he would be entering the third year of a four-year contract worth $78 million. What teams could be interested in the rising star?
The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of money locked into stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but a third star could be needed. The Nets did make the playoffs but they were without many of their stars. According to Bleacher Report, Brooklyn is looking for that third star and they are in on LaVine. If Chicago and Brooklyn were to work out a deal, look for center Jarrett Allen and / or Caris Lavert possibly included in the deal. Draft picks will more than likely also be involved.
New York Knicks
New York has the assets to bring in a star and might start to trend upward. The players that the Knicks have can be quite valuable in a trade, but they might have to give up a lot. If New York wants to land LaVine, forward Kevin Knox will likely have to be included in the trade. The Knicks will also likely have to include Bobby Portis or Julius Randle in the deal. If the deal consists of Knox and Portis, expect high picks included. If Randle replaces Portis, picks will probably be included just not as high. Another player who could be included would be Frank Nitlikina.
Dallas made the playoffs in 2020 but did not make it far. The Mavericks have been rumored to be interested in acquiring a third star to play alongside Luka Doncic and Kirstaps Porzingis. The assets that would be included in a trade for LaVine aren’t necessarily the best, compared to other teams, but Dallas could make a deal. To match the base salary of LaVine’s contract the Mavericks could trade Dwight Powell, but he isn’t a huge piece in any trade. Point guard Delon Wright would be the biggest piece ina trade that Dallas could put together. If the western conference’s 7th-seed wants to lock in LaVine, picks will definitely be a factor.
The Nuggets are currently making a push to the Western Conference’s finals and are reliant upon Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets are very balanced, but if one of their two stars falls, due to injury, the Nuggets will be in a hole. Denver definitely has a lot of assets to add, and they could take many approaches to a potential trade. Denver could be the one team that can land LaVine without giving up draft picks. If LaVine is traded to Denver, Gary Harris, Monte Morris, and Will Barton will likely be a part of a trade and possibly others like Jermai Grant.
Phoenix was surprisingly very good during the play-in games. The Suns went 8-0 behind head coach Monty Williams and all-star, Devin Booker. It has been known for a while now the Phoenix needs another star to play alongside Booker, and LaVine could be their guy. You could see many players included in a trade for LaVine if Phoenix and Chicago agree to a sign and trade. Dario Saric and Aaron Baynes are two players that the Suns could deal for LaVine, but they would have to resign them and give up a ton of draft selections. Ricky Rubio and young stars Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson could also be dealt.