In the newest wave of potential trades across the league, Bleacher Report had the Chicago Bulls shipping off two-time All-Star guard Zach LaVine in a deal to land their first All-NBA point guard since Derrick Rose in 2011. Starting point guard Lonzo Ball’s absence last season proved the largest void for a Bulls team that finished sub-.500 without a playoff berth after holding the top spot in the Eastern Conference for much of the 2021-22 season while he was healthy. How much sense does the proposed deal make for the Bulls, and how realistic is it to happen between now and the 2023-24 playoffs?
Trae Young For Zach LaVine
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Atlanta Hawks front office has full clearance to make any roster moves they desire, and many believe this might include moving on from the 24-year-old two-time All-Star point guard Trae Young. Aside from one miraculous playoff run where the Hawks lost in the Eastern Conference Finals, this team has failed to advance beyond the first round in any of Young’s five seasons with the team. Many wonder how different this team would look if they hadn’t opted to trade Young for the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic on draft night, who’s since developed into one of the most dominant players in the NBA.
The Bulls’ Zach LaVine tenure has unfolded even more disappointing than Young’s time in Atlanta. Missing the postseason in five of his six seasons in Chicago follows a streak of 11 postseason appearances in 13 years before his arrival. Despite inking LaVine to a maximum five-year contract, his name is constantly brought up in trade scenarios and swirls the trade deadline annually. The 28-year-old guard didn’t receive any All-Star votes a season ago, and the patience for his development is thinning around the Windy City.
Dealing LaVine for Young would mean the Bulls get the starting point guard they have been sorely missing for 12 years while getting younger in the process. Ranking fifth in the NBA last season as a defensive team, Chicago could afford the liability on that side of the floor that Young would be. In his five NBA seasons, he’s ranked top ten in assists per game all five years and has ranked top ten in points per game for three of those campaigns. His undeniable scoring and playmaking abilities would orchestrate an offense featuring DeRozan, Vucevic, and spot-up shooters like Patrick Williams, Coby White, and Alex Caruso.
Get This Deal Done
Bleacher Report’s proposed deal costs the Bulls their best player and future draft capital but also liberates them from a contract that is not team-friendly or something to build a franchise around.
Chicago Bulls Receive: Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Zach LaVine, 2027 First-Round Selection
Swapping stars for a younger, better playmaking and proven playoff winner would be a successful trade for the Chicago Bulls. With an aging roster and no recent success to speak of, there’s little to nothing to lose for the franchise. With a league centered around three-point shooting and stretching the floor, Young’s range rivals that of some of the game’s best deep threats.
Will Chicago make or take any calls before the 2023-24 season, or can fans expect the same lackluster product that failed to reach the postseason and had zero first-round draft selections to help bolster the depth chart?