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NBA News: Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine Out for Season

Jan 12, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Trayce Jackson-Davis (32) during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news today that Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 NBA season.

Additionally, the Bulls put out a statement on their official NBA website:

After seeking additional medical opinions, in consultation with the Chicago Bulls training and medical staff, guard Zach LaVine and Klutch Sports Group have elected surgery on LaVine’s right foot as the next step in his recovery process. Surgery is anticipated the week of February 5.

LaVine will be out 4-6 months. Updates will be provided as necessary.

The two-time All-Star has not appeared in a game since January 18 due to his injury.

In 25 total games played this season, LaVine averaged 19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.

NBA News: Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine Out for Season

What’s Next for LaVine?

Elephant in the room–LaVine was one of the top trade candidates ahead of this year’s NBA Trade Deadline. However, it appeared LaVine was increasingly likely to stay in Chicago past the February 8 deadline, as per NBC Sports Chicago:

There’s a growing feeling among rival executives that the Bulls may have to attach another asset to move LaVine, something sources said the Bulls have been hesitant to do to this point. An alternative could be to merely move LaVine as a salary dump for expiring contracts, although NBC Sports Chicago has previously reported that the Bulls weren’t at that stage yet. Plus, of course, it would take another team willing to do that.

Regardless of their original plans, the 23-26 Bulls will not have the 29-year-old for a potential playoff push this season.

As for the team’s plans for LaVine, it still seems likely the guard may have played his final game for the Bulls. However, as of last week, the team had already been “seeking a strong return for Lavine“:

The Bulls haven’t moved off their stance of seeking a strong return for LaVine. In other words, at least as of recently, the Bulls aren’t looking to move LaVine simply as a cost-saving move or in “addition by subtraction” thinking

Chicago values LaVine and was never interested in dumping him rather than getting true assets back in return. Still, the Bulls have only made the playoffs one time since acquiring LaVine in 2017. A change of scenery may be best for both sides.

What’s Next for the Bulls?

The Bulls have other players who have popped up in numerous trade rumors. Per ESPN, Chicago’s Alex Caruso seems to be a name to keep an eye on:

The Bulls have six days to decide if they really want to hang onto Alex Caruso and continue to be Team Play-In. Several playoff teams have expressed strong interest in him, sources said. It wouldn’t shock me if the Bulls ended up with two protected first-round picks if they ginned up a trade war for Caruso.

Additionally, there has been some interest in Andre Drummond. However, there does not appear to be a clear leader in the Drummond sweepstakes.

With Chicago currently sitting as the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference, it is fair to assume the Bulls will make a move or two by the Trade Deadline.


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