We learned through reporting earlier today that the Chicago Bulls are ‘open to trade possibilities’ regarding two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine. Now we know a handful of the teams who are on the other end of those phone calls, one of which is our Philadelphia 76ers.
All three teams mentioned by Shams Charania are in big markets with win-now expectations, the type of trade partner who would be looking to add an All-Star guard in the middle of his prime. Miami doesn’t exactly have a chest overflowing with trade assets, as we learned during the Damian Lillard saga this summer. The Lakers don’t have any interesting draft picks to offer, only a few of their own, although a package involving Austin Reaves back would be something Chicago might want to discuss. Thanks to the James Harden trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Sixers have a partially restocked cupboard where they can enter these conversations on a level playing field to most of the league.
However, the Sixers would likely want to use one or more of those contracts received from the Clippers as part of a LaVine trade, particularly Marcus Morris’ $17.1 million expiring deal, which cannot be aggregated as part of a trade until January 1. Plus, with as well as Philadelphia has played to start the season, I’m sure Daryl Morey would like more time to evaluate the current roster.
Ultimately, there are arguments to be made for and against acquiring Zach LaVine. Adding another high-level scorer would surely benefit the offense, but is he the piece you want to lock into for the next few years, given the contract, questions about defense and a couple past injuries? Either way, it’s not surprising that Morey is doing his due diligence. I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear about this topic in the weeks, and possibly months, to come.