Here we go. According to a new report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Chicago Bulls are apparently open to trading Zach LaVine.
LaVine, a two-time All-Star, averaging 21.2 points per game this season, signed a supermax contract with Chicago and is signed through at least the 2025-2026 season, with a player option for 2027. He’s worth nearly $140M in guaranteed salary in the three seasons beyond this current one.
LaVine began his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and is now 28 years old, turning 29 next March.
According to Charania, writing for The Athletic:
“NBA teams are probing the availability of two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine and there’s been increased openness from the organization and player about exploring a trade, league sources said.”
The Bulls are just 4-7, and face an increasingly growing disparity between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference.
The Philadelphia 76ers of course, figure to be one of the more prominent teams that may demonstrate interest. Given how Tyrese Maxey, fresh off a 50 burger vs. Indiana, has played this season, the Sixers aren’t starved for another on-ball guard. That being said, Morey admitted recently in a post-Harden-trade media tour, he may not get his ideal choice here; but at least Philadelphia was able to replenish their draft pick haul a bit. So they should be involved in these types of rumors at the very least.
It remains to be seen if LaVine, long considered a realistic Sixers target, at least based on fan interest, will appeal to the front office. Charania notes that some Bulls players, including Nikola Vucevic, were frustrated with the Bulls’ offense lately. Shams noted that the Bulls would like to keep DeMar DeRozan around beyond this season. DeRozan’s contract is expiring so it also makes sense that they’d explore trading him as well, though he doesn’t fit quite as well as LaVine alongside Embiid.
LaVine and Embiid have both trained together under Drew Hanlen. Maxey began working with Hanlen last spring as well. Names like Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Mo Bamba have also worked with Pure Sweat, so you know if Hanlen had his way, the Sixers would bring onboard LaVine, and Hanlen could then just build a second home in Philly.