Amid the disappointing start for the Chicago Bulls, talks of trades for nearly all of their players have escalated. Just recently, NBA insider Shams Charania reported that the Bulls and former All-Star Zach LaVine are exploring the idea of parting ways.
Chicago Bulls Open to Trade All-Star Player
Through 11 games, the Bulls have posted a bottom-10 net rating in the league at -3.8. LaVine has inefficiently served as the team’s first option, leading the Bulls in minutes, shot attempts, and points. The former All-Star is shooting one of his lowest field goal percentages and a career low in three-point percentage this season. Bulls fans have frustratingly watched as LaVine put up several below-35% field goal percentage games. His inefficient play, combined with the Bulls’ mediocrity, makes the question of trading the All-Star player less of an “if” and more of a “when.”
Trading LaVine Only Solves One of Chicago’s Problems
While trading LaVine for assets is beneficial, this would be one step in a long process for Chicago’s recovery. There are two roads the Bulls could take following a LaVine trade. The first is to expedite the rebuild process and also trade DeMar DeRozan and/or Nikola Vucevic. The team could enter a tank era and hope to win big in a future draft once they acquire picks for their current veterans. The other option is to use whatever assets they receive for LaVine to retool around DeRozan, Vucevic, and the rest of their mostly veteran team. It could be that Chicago’s front office sees LaVine and DeRozan as redundant and commits to a DeRozan-centered team. If tanking isn’t in the vision for Bulls executives Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley, this retool would be the more attractive option.
Either way, the Bulls still have a list of problems to solve. If Chicago wants to remain relevant, more decisions must happen following a potential LaVine trade.
Benefits of a New Environment for LaVine
Despite LaVine’s inefficient start, there is still much value in having a player of his caliber. This is just LaVine’s 10th season, and there isn’t much expectation league-wide for his poor start to continue. Over his career, LaVine has been an above-average three-point shooter, a skill highly sought after by every team in the NBA. He is a two-time All-Star and an explosive weapon on offense, capable of going for 40-50 points on any night. A team with him as its first option doesn’t bode for much success, but Lavine next to some other elite players in their prime? That could be a recipe for success for the receiving team and a resurgence for LaVine.
The Last Word
This season, LaVine is putting up 21.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 40.9% from the field and 30.9% from three. Despite an uninspiring first few games, the former All-Star still has valuable offense to contribute to any team needing his services. As the Bulls explore their options, many contending teams will undoubtedly eye the possibility of acquiring the talents of the All-Star scorer.